Further to my article last week, I’m continuing to share with you another article by Kale Brock, the keynote speaker at our upcoming Heal Your Gut Seminar on 4 April 2017.
PROBIOTICS FOR ALLERGIES & HAYFEVER (STUDIES)
By Kale Brock
Allergies flare up and noses run wild as our immune systems seemingly go awry throughout the Spring weather. You might be surprised to find though, that the bugs in your gut are an important ally to have during allergy season. Through their immune-modulating effects and their influence on intestinal permeability, your microbiome can stand you in good stead to deal with allergies and hay fever.
A systematic review published on the topic in 2015 examined 23 prominent studies in the area of probiotics and allergic rhinitis (hay fever), covering a total of 1,919 participants. The researchers looked mainly at the subjective quality of life reported by the participants throughout the 23 studies.
What the review found is that of the 23 studies, 17 found that there were significant improvements in the questionnaires for participants taking probiotics. That is for 74% of the studies, allergy sufferers reported big improvements in quality of life whilst taking probiotics compared to those who didn’t. In the studies which did measure blood indicators of allergic response, changes were not statistically significant (the participants’ perceived benefit was the most striking difference).
Studies have looked at individual strains of probiotics to help reduce allergic symptoms. One group of researchers were able to reduce allergic symptoms in patients using Lactobacillus casei Shirota whilst others have used Lactobacillus Rhamnosus (LGG strain) regularly to the same effect.
The key, it seems, is that modulating the microbiome by ingesting probiotic supplements (with specific strains) may indeed reduce hay fever/allergy symptoms. But how does this work? As I’ve written about extensively in previous articles and my book The Gut Healing Protocol the population of your microbiome, that is the different bacteria, yeast, parasites, viruses and protozoa which live on and inside of you, is constantly communicating with your immune system, quite literally sending out messages of ‘health’ or ‘dis-ease’.
The gut epithelium (the gut lining) is an extremely sensitive part of the gastrointestinal system and it is at this site in which much of our immune activity occurs (around 80-90%). Hayfever it seems is simply an increased sensitivity/irritation of the mucous membranes of the gastro-intestinal system and subsequently further irritation of the olfactory and oropharynx mucous membranes. This can be caused by an excessive histamine response in the body from the degranulation of specific immune cells – importantly LGG has actually been shown to down regulate this process, an important indicator that probiotic-immune cell interaction is probably at the root of allergic response.
In an era where the symptom-based approach has quite literally spiralled out of control, examining and focusing on the root cause of such conditions as allergies and hay fever is probably a much smarter approach.
On the basis of the research, it can be said quite confidently that the regular intake of probiotics throughout the year (as opposed to only during allergy season) is our best option for the prevention of allergic symptoms.
Microbes have also been implicated in the development and restoration of food allergies. In my book, The Gut Healing Protocol I also describe where increased intestinal permeability, Leaky Gut, can often be the root cause of food allergies due to a constant bombardment of undigested, macromolecules of food passing into the bloodstream, causing an immune response within the body. The body reacts as it would any consistent, foreign invader and develops specific antibodies to quickly and efficiently nullify the substances – the reaction takes place. As shown in this study, by harnessing the gut-restorative power of probiotics, one may be able to restore integrity to the gut lining and stop this phenomenon from occurring.
The immune system and gastrointestinal population of microbes are intimately linked. If we are to appreciate that many forms of illness have origins in inflammation and that most inflammation itself has origins in the gut, our approach to creating wellness across the board should focus largely on the rebalancing of our microbiome. Through diet, supplements and a long term restorative approach, this can certainly be achieved!
HEAL YOUR GUT SEMINAR
In this 1 hour keynote presentation, health journalist Kale Brock shares the fundamental role the gut microbes play in your health. The presentation will cover:
A scientific round up of the gut; how it works and how it can influence your health
discussions on points of view of work experts on the microbiome
the roles played by the various microbes who live on and inside of you
why eliminating certain foods can drastically decrease the inflammation in the gut
why the addition of certain foods can drastically decrease the inflammation in the gut
why the addition of certain foods and supplements can assist in healing the gut lining
a comprehensive, gentle 8 week program for you to undertake
principles of recipe creation to ensure the foods you consume rebalance your gut
Tuesday 4th April 2017
Catalina Golf Club, Beach Road, Batemans Bay
$25 per person
Book by phone or in person
at Go Vita Batemans Bay | 5 North St Batemans Bay | Tel 44729737