Probiotics and Allergies
The most common misconception about allergies is that they are caused by allergens. Although allergens may be the precipitating event that causes allergenic symptoms, the underlying problem is a compromised, weakened and out-of-balance immune system as a result of food and lifestyle mismanagement.
For example, modern food choices are increasingly limited, removing variety from the diet. Even though we may eat different forms of food, food processors are only shaping the same mostly synthetic ingredients into different products. These foods eaten daily, results in antigenic overload.
The same can be true of substances that come in contact with our skin and what we breathe in our air conditioned and polluted world. So allergies are a result of an immune system that has been damaged or compromised by modern living habits. The constant consumption of dead, devitalized, processed foods and use of various drugs, can result in an imbalance of microflora in the digestive tract. The bad guys (the pathogens) can overtake the good guys (probiotic organisms) and result in susceptibility to a variety of diseases as well as a compromised immune system.
As much as 50% of the dry weight of the stool consists of mircroorganisms. There are, in fact, more microorganisms in our digestive tract than there are total cells in our entire body. Studies have shown that probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus, bifidobacteria and others, help prevent permeability defects in the gut (leaky gut syndrome).
In addition, they support controlled antigen absorption and promote important immune functions, as well as reduce hypersensitivity and inflammatory intestinal reactions. Probiotics also ferment certain types of fiber to produce short-chain volatile fatty acids such as butyric and propionic acids which decrease the pH to inhibit pathogen growth. Probiotics feed the cells lining the colon to enhance health and resistance to penetration of potential allergens.
Millions of dollars are spent every year attempting to test/identify allergens and to suppress allergic reactions. Making proper food choices that emphasize fresh, whole, raw, natural foods, in combination with judicious supplementation of probiotics would be of greater benefit.