A triple combination probiotic was found to improve the rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life for individuals with seasonal allergies when compared with placebo. Findings from this study are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

 Previous studies have shown that probiotics have been able to regulate the immune response to allergies but not all probiotics are effective for this condition. In this study, researchers aimed to find out whether consuming Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and B. longum MM-2 compared with placebo would result in beneficial effects on Mini Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (MRQLQ) scores in individuals who typically experience seasonal allergies.  

One hundred and seventy-three individuals who self-identified as having seasonal allergies were included in this double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants received either probiotic or placebo for 8 weeks during spring allergy season; MRQLQ scores were collected throughout the study on a weekly basis. To determine serum immunoglobulin IgE concentrations and regulatory T cell (Treg) percentages, fasting blood samples were taken from some of the participants at baseline and week 6.  

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Results showed an improvement in the probiotic group compared to the placebo group. The MRQLQ score from baseline to pollen peak was –0.68 (±0.13) for the probiotic group, compared to –0.19 for the placebo group (±0.14; P=0.0092). From baseline to week 6, there was an increase in both serum total immunoglobulin lgE and the percentage of Tregs, however the change was not significantly different between the probiotic and placebo groups. 

The authors note that this study did not include individuals with severe allergies, however this combination of probiotics did show clinical benefit for those with more mild seasonal allergies.

For more information visit AJCN.nutrition.org.