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6 June 2008

Relief From Hay Fever ... Provided by Bacteria

A probiotic drink may help keep hay fever away. Probiotic, or "good" bacteria, taken in a daily drink, can change the immune system's response to grass pollen, a common cause of allergies.

Probiotics contain live micro-organisms that colonize the intestine. They are sold as supplements but are also found naturally in many fermented foods. Humans carry several pounds of bacteria in their intestines, which are crucial for digestion and immune system function.

Researchers took blood samples from study participants before the grass pollen season, at its peak, and after the end of season. They found that people who drank a probiotic drink daily had lower levels of an antibody that help produce allergy symptoms. They also had higher levels of a different antibody, called IgG, that may play a protective role against allergic reactions.


* Reuters June 3, 2008

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