Last year I wrote about trials which had been undertaken for treatment of peanut allergies in children, using a combination of the probiotic Lactobacillus Rhamnosus and peanut protein. It was very interesting therefore to read this week the reports regarding the follow up study, indicating those children who had been treated successfully 4 years ago, continue to be protected from peanut allergies.
The trial was undertaken at Murdoch’s Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne over a 18 month period. At the end of the trial, 82% of the participants were considered to be tolerant to peanuts, compared to only 4% in the placebo group. After the trial, the children who had built up a tolerance to peanuts were encouraged to include peanuts in their daily diet for the next 4 years. It was found two thirds of the treated participants had been able to continue eating peanuts regularly and more than half were eating moderate to large amounts of peanuts regularly.
There have been many clinical studies on prevention of eczema and food allergies by supplementing with probiotics. There are many strains of probiotics and generally you will find a combination of those strains in a probiotic supplement. However, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus has been one of the most researched strains of probiotic especially when it comes to allergies. Since being patented in 1985 there have been numerous studies indicating more than 44 health benefits of this particular strain of probiotic. This research has shown Lactobacillus Rhamnosus adheres to the intestinal gut wall extremely well, allowing the body to clear the way for our body’s other friendly bacteria strains to do their work.
With 1 in 20 children and 2 in 100 adults suffering from food allergies, this is great news.
It has been suggested taking probiotics mimics the exposure to bacteria. Being exposed to different bacteria appears to settle the immune system, thereby reducing the allergies. It is understood, children with allergies have more bad bacteria in their gut and less good bacteria.
When we ingest foods or any other substances our gut has the ability to establish whether these foods or substances are safe or not. Any substance which is determined to be unsafe by our gut is attacked by our immune system. To assist the gut in providing some protection from these bad substances the gut also sets up a wall of defense called the ‘mucosal lining’, made up of a mucous layer, gut cells and gut bacteria. Allergic reactions develop when allergens penetrate this wall of defense and invade our blood stream. By taking probiotics to build up that wall of defense with good bacteria, research has shown there is not only a decrease in allergic reactions in the gut and of course food allergies, there is also improvement in other allergies such as eczema, hay fever and in some cases asthma.
Other interesting research has shown pregnant women taking probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding have been able to reduce the risk of their child developing eczema. Also, studies which included 11,000 participants being children at risk of developing eczema, and supplementing with probiotics, reduced the child’s risk by 50%. As eczema is said to be one of the first signs of allergy which can quite often then develop into asthma or other allergies, one would think it would be a good idea for most children and adults to be supplementing with a daily probiotic.
Many of the studies indicate Lactobacillus Rhamnosus is the most important strain when it comes to treatment and prevention of allergies. For more information on allergies call to see Bev and the team at Go Vita your health shop in North St, Batemans Bay or phone on 44729737.