Do you see patients with atopic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, eczema, food allergies and asthma? Chances are the answer is a resounding yes, as the incidence of allergies has increased exponentially over the last decade, with around 50% of the population worldwide affected.
Significant risk factors for allergy development include genetic predisposition, early use of antibiotics and a Western-style diet leading to epithelial barrier dysfunction and dysbiosis.1,2 As we previously highlighted, 70% of our immune system resides in the gut, making the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) an essential treatment target for your patients with allergies.
In our earlier blog, The Top Three Probiotic Strains for Boosting Immune Health, we covered probiotics for patients with recurring infections. So, what about your patients with atopic conditions? Boosting immune function may not be the best approach for these itchy, stuffed up and often quite miserable individuals. Instead, allergy symptom reduction is within reach if you focus on a dream team of ingredients to dampen your patients’ overreactive immune response.
In short – you need probiotic strains with immune modulating action.
Immune system – calm down!
A major player in immune regulation within the gut is the humble regulatory T cell (Treg). Induced by intestinal macrophages, Tregs play a vital role in dampening unrestrained inflammation in allergic disorders. These atopic conditions are characterised by an overactive type 2 immune response and decreased numbers of allergen-specific Treg cells.1 Put simply, Tregs help to break the cycle of allergy by regulating inflammation.
Excitingly, specific probiotic stains have been demonstrated to boost Treg levels and reduce allergy symptoms. Read on to find out which specific strains form a dream team when it comes to settling an overreactive immune response!
Probiotics to the rescue
Lactobacillus paracasei (LP-33®) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) are two clinically trialled probiotic strains shown to help restore immune control and moderate overactive immune responses. In one randomised, placebo-controlled trial (RCT), the rhinitis quality of life score and ocular allergy symptoms improved significantly in those taking 5 billion CFU/d* of L. paracasei (LP-33®) for five weeks.3 In a 2022 RCT, children with atopic dermatitis were given 10 billion CFU/d LGG® for 12 weeks. The probiotic was associated with a decrease in dermatitis symptoms, less topical steroid use and improved quality of life.4
Evidence indicates probiotics can even change the trajectory of genetic predisposition to allergies in childhood! In this RCT, 20 billion CFU/d of LGG® was associated with a reduced risk of eczema in offspring, when given to expectant mothers with a first degree relative with atopic eczema. The probiotic was supplemented for an average 26 days prior to expected delivery and for six months postnatally. The frequency of atopic eczema in the probiotic group was half that of the placebo group!
Interestingly, when these two synergistic probiotic strains are combined, Treg production is induced,5,6 providing important immune-regulatory support to allergy sufferers.
Supporting the gut barrier to boost results
Given the strong connection between the health of the gut and immune reactivity, holistically supporting GIT function is essential. This addresses some of the underlying contributors to allergic disorders, including epithelial barrier dysfunction and gut inflammation.7,8
Luckily, specific herbs and nutrients contained in Chinese Mushrooms, Skullcap and Perilla for Allergy Tolerance can help to restore a healthy gut barrier, alleviate inflammation and modulate immune function:
- Glutamine: reinforces the integrity of the gut barrier and suppresses pro-inflammatory pathways.
- Vitamin A: essential for optimal cell growth and maintenance of the gut barrier.
- Zinc: supports the integrity of gut barrier cells, increases brush border enzymes and enhances gut immunity.
- Shiitake mushroom: regulates immune function and reduces inflammation.
Get ready to settle down symptoms of allergy!
With patients who’ve tried countless remedies for their allergies, natural treatments can go a step further to balance their immune response. A holistic prescription including the dream team Lactobacillus paracasei (LP-33®) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG®) for Immune Control, alongside Chinese Mushrooms, Skullcap and Perilla for Allergy Tolerance can help to subdue the itchy symptoms of an overactive immune response. What a relief!
* CFU/d: Colony forming units per day.
1 Bellinghausen I, Khatri R, Saloga J. Current strategies to modulate regulatory T Cell activity in allergic inflammation. Front Immunol. 2022;13:912529. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2022.912529
2 Kreft L, Hoffmann C, Ohnmacht C. Therapeutic potential of the intestinal microbiota for immunomodulation of food allergies. Front Immunol. 2020;11:1853. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2020.01853
3 Costa DJ, Marteau P, Amouyal M, et al. Efficacy and safety of the probiotic Lactobacillus paracasei LP-33 in allergic rhinitis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (GA2LEN Study). Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014;68(5):602-607. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2014.13
4 Carucci L, Nocerino R, Paparo L, et al. Therapeutic effects elicited by the probiotic Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG in children with atopic dermatitis. The results of the ProPAD trial. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2022;33(8):e13836. doi:10.1111/pai.13836
5 Lavasani S, Dzhambazov B, Nouri M, Fak F, Buske S, Molin G, et al. A novel probiotic mixture exerts a therapeutic effect on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mediated by IL-10 producing regulatory T cells. PLoS One. 2010;5(2):e9009.
6 Wang MF, Lin HC, Wang YY, Hsu CH. Treatment of perennial allergic rhinitis with lactic acid bacteria. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2004;15:152-158.
7 Hassan A, Sada KK, Ketheeswaran S, Dubey AK, Bhat MS. Role of zinc in mucosal health and disease: A review of physiological, biochemical, and molecular processes. Cureus. 2020;12(5):e8197. doi:10.7759/cureus.8197
8 Ventura MT, Polimeno L, Amoruso AC, et al. Intestinal permeability in patients with adverse reactions to food. Dig Liver Dis. 2006;38(10):732-736. doi:10.1016/j.dld.2006.06.012