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Good Bacteria Can Prevent Food Allergy; Best Sources Of Good Bacteria/Probiotics

It is this good bacteria that prepares the immune system to recognize food as harmless.

Good Bacteria Can Prevent Food Allergy; Best Sources Of Good Bacteria/Probiotics

Good bacteria can help keep food allergy at bay

The epidemic of food allergy is caused by the absence of certain beneficial bacteria in the human gut, researchers suggest.

The number of Americans who suffer from food allergy has risen sharply over the last decade to as many 32 million, according to one recent estimate. Nearly 8 percent of children in the U.S. are affected. One hypothesis is that factors like an increase c-sec births, reduction in breastfeeding, a rise in sue of antibiotics and smaller family sizes is disrupting the normal microbial balance in the gut. This is depriving babies of the "good" bacteria. It is this good bacteria that prepares the immune system to recognize food as harmless.

Researchers conducted a study, published in the Journal of Nature Medicine, where they tested this hypothesis by studying gut bacteria in babies with and without food allergies. They analysed stool samples from 56 food-allergic patients and 98 matched controls.


It was found that the bacteria in the feces of babies with food allergies were different from those of controls. The researchers then transplanted fecal bacteria from the babies into a special strain of allergy-prone mice. They fed the mice small doses of chicken egg protein to sensitize their immune systems to this allergen, then challenged the mice with a large dose. As a result, the mice that had been given fecal bacteria from food-allergic babies went into the life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. "The fecal bacteria from food-allergic subjects did not protect against food allergy, whereas the bacteria from control subjects did," Chatila says.

The study results did point to the fact that the loss of protective gut bacteria is a critical factor in food allergy. These finding may help lead to new treatments that prevent the development of food allergies in newborns at risk in future. The treatments might take the form of probiotics which is a a mix of good bacteria.

So one must include good bacteria or probiotics in their diet to stay away from food allergies.

Here are some important healthy sources of good bacteria:

1. Yogurt - one of the best sources of good bacteria. it has many other health benefits too. 

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Yogurt can help keep food allergy away
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Kefir - this is a fermented probiotic milk drink made by adding kefir grains to milk. it has many stains of good bacteria and yeast.

3. Kombucha - this is a fermented black or green tea; fermented with good bacteria and yeast.

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4. Pickles - naturally fermented pickles are better than those fermented in vinegar. 

5. Buttermilk - the leftover liquid while making butter is a very good probiotic. Iit also has important vitamins and minerals. 

6. Soft cheese -  not all cheese are good sources of probiotics but the ones in which the good bacteria survive the ageing process like mozzarella, gouda, cheddar and cottage cheese. 

(With inputs from IANS)

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