Probiotics not just for gut health – research reveals some surprising results in time for hayfever season

New medical research shows probiotics can relieve miserable pollen allergies and hayfever symptoms this spring!

Millions of Americans suffer from pollen allergies each year. Constant sneezing, runny noses, and sore or itchy eyes are just a part of everyday life for many sufferers as over counter solutions provide little or no relief.

New scientific research has found that there is light at the end of the tunnel for those with pollen allergies, showing that a probiotic supplement could offer some much needed relief to the annual hassle of hay fever. 

Camilla Gray, Nutritional Therapist at Optibac Probiotics, the UK and Ireland’s most recommended brand of friendly bacteria supplements, explains how introducing probiotics to your daily routine could help alleviate the unpleasant effect pollen has on so many at this time of year:

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  • Our ‘Western’ lifestyles have contributed to a rise in hay fever sufferers  

Researchers believe that allergies amongst those living in the US and other Western countries are rising due to a lack of bacterial diversity in our immediate environments, which is subsequently affecting other parts of the body, like the skin, digestive system and eyes. 

During the last year, we’ve become used to spending a large proportion of our daily lives indoors, and living extremely hygiene-focused lives. Our bodies are subsequently being exposed to a significantly decreased number of bacteria species than our ancestors  (who didn’t suffer with hay fever) would have been. The bacteria that our bodies are missing out on are vital for our overall well being, and this is where the introduction of a probiotic can play its part. 

  • Probiotics top up your gut with beneficial bacteria 

A team of researchers at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine recently conducted a review of 23 studies on 1,900 participants, discovering evidence to support the hypothesis that probiotics can decrease the severity of pollen allergy symptoms. 

Scientists looking into the link between gut health and the rising level of hay fever sufferers believe that the key to lessening the impact of allergies lies in either restoring or increasing the diversity of bacteria within our guts. 

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  • Those with a ‘histamine’ intolerance could also benefit significantly 

The subject of histamines is somewhat of a double edged sword when it comes to probiotic introduction. 

Essentially, histamine is a chemical involved in the immune system and central nervous system that can stimulate stomach acid secretion and gut motility, both of which are crucial for proper digestive function. Histamine’s role is to cause an immediate inflammatory response to such things as infection, dust mites or bee stings. 

The problem is, a build-up of histamine can result in headaches, asthma attacks, congestions, or leave people feeling flushed, itchy and miserable. Those who don’t break it down properly can develop what’s known as ‘histamine intolerance’. 

Keeping the gut microbiome in balance through the regular use of probiotics is therefore recommended in alleviating a histamine imbalance, with research suggesting that some strains play a positive role in histamine metabolism

  • Probiotics could also benefit those suffering with other allergies and conditions

Hay fever is by no means the only allergy that can be eased through the daily use of probiotics. 

There are numerous studies that have highlighted the beneficial effects on many conditions seemingly exclusive to Western societies, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, and skin conditions like eczema and acne. 

For those suffering with pollen allergies this spring, Camilla recommends taking ‘For Every Day EXTRA Strength’  a daily friendly bacteria supplement containing the highly researched combination of strains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM® and Bifidobacterium lactius Bl-04®.

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