Peanut allergies affect millions of people around our nation. Have you ever noticed all of the warnings on food labels that let you know the factory in which the food was processed also processed peanuts? Well…it’s for very good reason….allergic reactions to peanuts can actually be fatal. This is true in adults…but the current estimate is that 10-15% of babies and children are also allergic to peanuts. Often, we don’t find out until it’s too late and the worst has happened.
Researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute investigated one means of improving this allergy dramatically. As a matter of fact, it was cured in 80% of the children in the study. What the researchers did at Murdoch Children’s Research was incorporate a probiotic….one of many healthy strains of bacteria in our guts….and supplement the kid’s diets with this bacterium. They followed the children for eighteen months and what they discovered was nothing short of amazing….the vast majority of the children were cured of their peanut allergy and its profound and potentially life threatening effects.
So what is a probiotic actually? Simply stated…there is an entire civilization of bacteria in our colons which work together regulate an enormous number of our body functions. This includes regulating elimination, nutrient absorption, inflammatory presence in the body, and even immune system function. That is why this would work with a food allergy….as an allergy is an exaggerated immune response to a substance which really isn’t a threat to the body….but the body perceives it to be so. So incorporating this probiotic (lactobacillus rhamnosus, specifically) into the diet actually altered the immune response of the children in response to what it had once perceived as an invader. One potential line of thought is that imbalances in gut bacteria (often called the microbiome) could be related to many allergies of various sorts.
This is extremely exciting news as interventions with probiotic supplements and foods that promote healthy gut bacteria is exceedingly cost effective and helpful for so many conditions. Imbalances in the gut’s bacteria are rampant in today’s world of processed foods, too much sugar, excessive caffeine and chlorinated tap water. These things cause losses of the numbers and types of bacteria thus leading to problems such as allergies! Here in our office, we frequently incorporate supplements to rebalance these bacteria and facilitate the fundamental regulatory systems of the body….often long before the onset of such severe symptoms.
Great news on once again helping the body’s natural systems express in more vital and exuberant fashion!