Allergy season is right around the corner, and for those who suffer from seasonal allergies like hay fever, relief may be found in the form of probiotics. A recent study conducted by the University of Florida found that the symptoms of hay fever may be eased with the integration of a specific combination of probiotics into sufferers’ daily diet.
Previous studies have revealed that probiotics can help to regulate the body’s immune response to allergies as well as provide benefits for your digestive health. Scientists have hypothesized that probiotics may increase an individual’s tolerance to hay fever symptoms by raising the percentage of the immune system’s regulatory T-cells.
To examine the effect of these probiotics on hay fever symptoms, the research team gathered 173 adult participants who reported suffering from seasonal allergies but were otherwise deemed healthy. These participants were split into two groups, with the first being instructed to take the probiotic and the second given a placebo. Over the course of eight weeks, all participants responded to a weekly online survey that measured their symptom severity and tracked their level of discomfort. DNA was analyzed from stool samples taken from each participant to track who was taking the probiotic as well as how their intestinal bacteria changed.
The results found that those who had been taking the probiotic throughout the eight-week experiment reported suffering fewer allergy-related symptoms than those taking the placebo. Previous research has shown that seasonal allergies can reduce sleep quality, productivity, and cause stress and embarrassment for the patient, meaning the improvement seen due to the use of probiotics not only reduced symptoms but increased the quality of life for the participants.
Current allergy medications often come with unwanted side effects such as drowsiness and dry mouth, meaning natural alternatives like probiotics could be beneficial for many fighting seasonal allergies. Further research should be conducted into how effective probiotics may be in treating more severe allergies.