Role of Intestinal Flora in the Development of Allergy – (02-24-03)

Role of Intestinal Flora in the Development of Allergy

I’m really getting to the point where I will not include any more info on probiotics and allergies–there is enough research and anecdotal evidence in the medical literature to pretty much solidify the concept. No more groundshaking news in this department. Unfortunately, the “coming soon to a doctor’s office near you” commercial may still be several decades off.

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology Posted 02/10/2003 Marko Kalliomaki, Erika Isolauri Abstract and Introduction Purpose of Review: The frequency of allergic diseases is increasing worldwide. Experimental and clinical studies have linked a reduced number of early infections to this trend. The gastrointestinal system, which comprises the largest lymphoid tissue and microbial reservoir of the body, has received more attention during the last few years as a potential determiner in the development of atopic disease. Recent Findings: Alterations in intestinal microbiota have been detected both in infants suffering from allergic disease and in those later developing the disorder. Delay in the compositional development of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in gut microflora was a general finding in allergic children. In a subsequent study, perinatal administration of lactobacilli halved the later development of atopic eczema during the first 2 years of life. Specific strains of the healthy gut microbiota have been shown to induce the production of IL-10 and transforming growth factor-beta, which possess an important regulative role in the development of allergic type immune response. Probiotics also strengthen gut defence barrier mechanisms and reduce antigen load in the gut. Pattern recognition receptors in intestinal epithelial and antigen-presenting cells have been demonstrated to mediate a continuing dialogue between host and gut microbiota. Summary: Despite several promising findings, the exact role of gut normal microbiota in the development of allergy remains to be elucidated. For successful interventions, more data concerning a communication between host and specific microbial species are needed.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.