Do probiotics Help to Treat Allergic Rhinitis?
Chances are that by now you’ve at least heard of the term, probiotic. Whether you’ve been walking down the yogurt isle in your local grocery store and seen the word printed on a yogurt container or perhaps you’ve been watching television in the evening and heard claims that probiotics “help to regulate your digestive tract.” Either way, probiotics whether found in dietary supplement tablets or in yogurt are becoming tremendously popular.
What exactly are probiotics? Well, they are dietary supplements that contain bacteria or yeast, ‘good microbes’ that are potentially beneficial to your health.
Potential Benefits of Probiotics:
- Lowering cholesterol/blood pressure
- Improving immune function
- Preventing traveler’s diarrhea
- Reducing inflammation
Probiotics and Allergic Rhinitis?
Recently, Canadian researchers published a systematic review to evaluate the evidence for probiotics to treat allergic rhinitis and asthma (Vliagoftis et al, 2008). The study author’s concluded that probiotics may be beneficial for allergic rhinitis in terms of both reducing symptoms and medication use–additional studies are needed to confirm these results. To date, the randomized controlled trials that studied probiotic treatment for asthma do not support the use of probiotics to treat asthma.
- Clinical trial data does not support the use of probiotics to treat asthma
- Probiotics may be useful to reduce both the symptoms and medication use in patients with allergic rhinitis
- Vliagoftis H, Kouranos VD, Betsi GI, Falagas ME. Probiotics for the treatment of allergic rhinitis and asthma: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 Dec;101(6):570-9.