I just completed the 2017 Internal Medicine Review course at Boca Regional Hospital and one of the presenters was Dr Eamon Quigley an expert on the bacteria in the gut or microbiome. He spoke about the future of analyzing the gut bacteria in disease, as well as health, and adjusting it accordingly.
When the question of probiotics came up he was extremely tepid in his views on the benefits they provide. We have routinely added a probiotic to antibiotic regimens for documented infections with the hope that by providing back bacteria for the gut destroyed as collateral damage of treating the infection, we might be preventing antibiotic related colitis and gastrointestinal distress. I left the conference uncertain about the role of probiotics
Upon getting to my desk I found an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which talked about probiotics filled with Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bibidobacterium bifidum G9-1 and B. longum MM-2 had fewer allergic symptoms than allergic patients given a placebo. It was a controlled double blinded study looking at seasonal allergies. There were 173 participants all with seasonal allergies who filled out weekly MRQLQ questionnaires and had blood samples taken to measure serum immunoglobulin E and regulatory T cell activity.
The results clearly showed an improvement with the probiotics compared to the placebo. The benefit was most noticeable in those with mild symptoms.
Further studies need to be performed but as we head into spring allergy season I will make sure the probiotic I choose contains the cultures mentioned in this study. I will let you know how my allergies feel.
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