Monday, May 5, 2008

Tired of Allergies? Try Yogurt - probiotics

ABC News: Tired of Allergies? Try Yogurt:
Exposing pregnant mothers and infants to probiotic bacteria could help stimulate the growth of the immune system and potentially play a role in preventing allergies...levels of key proteins associated with tissue inflammation were 50% higher on average in the blood of probiotic-treated infants than in the blood of placebo-treated infants. Inflammation is thought to stimulate the immune system, and so reduce allergic reaction. Probiotic children were also 30% less likely than their untreated counterparts to develop an itchy skin condition known as atopic eczema, which is often an early manifestation of allergies... "It seems clear that we need to stimulate the infant's immune system as early and as vigorously as is safe, for inflammation seems to go hand in hand with allergy prevention," says Errki Savilahti"...The findings support the idea that allergies have increased, at least partially, thanks to the deficit of bacteria in modern living. Historically, food was loaded with bacteria and caused chronic immune responses that resulted in inflammation, says paediatric immunologist Anthony Horner at the University of California at San Diego...In the absence of such heavy bacterial exposure, the immune system is much less active than it should be and this leads to malfunction and can lead too allergies. "These probiotics are probably closely mimicking the effects of regularly eating unpasteurised and unsterilised food,"..."Even if someone has the genes for allergies, these results suggest that people can take action to at least reduce the chances of developing early allergic conditions like eczema,..."

Hygiene hypothesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Latest research on probiotics:

Probiotics Affect Metabolism, Says New Study: "ScienceDaily (Jan. 16, 2008) — Probiotics, such as yogurt drinks containing live bacteria, have a tangible effect on the metabolism, according to the results of a new study published January 15 in the journal Molecular Systems Biology."
Probiotic Good Bugs May Control Gut Infections: "ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2007) — Probiotics, the friendly bacteria beloved of yoghurt advertisers, may be an effective substitute for growth promoting antibiotics in pigs, giving us safer pork products, according to scientists.*"
Probiotic Cuts Respiratory Illness Rates In Endurance Athletes, Study Suggests: "ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2008) — The probiotic Lactobacillus substantially cuts the rate and length of respiratory illness in professional long distance runners, reveals a small study. Intensive exercise can subdue the normal immune response, and as a result, some athletes are vulnerable to respiratory viruses, such as colds and flu."
Despite Claims, Not All Probiotics Can Treat Diarrhea Say Experts: "Researchers at the University of Naples tested five different preparations in 571 children with acute diarrhoea. All the children were aged 3-36 months and were visiting a family paediatrician with acute diarrhoea. Children were randomly assigned to receive either a specific probiotic product for five days (intervention groups) or oral rehydration solution (control group)."
Infants With Poor Intestinal Flora Often Develop Eczema

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