If allergies are making your life unbearable, it could be the microbes in your gut.
Typically a healthy body can resist pathogenic attacks on a daily basis. When we have chronic symptoms such as allergies, our body is telling us there is a problem.
I hear this following statement from people all the time in regards to allergies and their habitual use of OTC allergy medications “my doctor said I’m just more susceptible to pollen” But why? Why is your condition now chronic?
Scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School presented findings from studies involving mold and laboratory mice. Results showed that antibiotics might be responsible for producing changes in microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, which in turn could impact the way the immune system responds to common allergens in the lungs.
They claim antibiotic use eliminated bacteria in the gut, which enabled fungi to take control until the bacteria grew back after antibiotics use was discontinued.When we inhale mold spores they become trapped in saliva and mucus which in turn enter the stomach when we swallow.Scientists found that fungi produced oxylipins, which are molecules that could determine the kind and severity level of immune responses. This supported the idea that fungal oxylipins in the GI tract helped avoid the production of regulatory T cells for ingested allergens. This caused T cells in the respiratory system to become susceptible to common allergens such as mold spores and pollen. It becomes a vicious cycle.
These factors combined result in a hyperactive immune response, which could result in allergy symptoms and in some cases asthma. This hypothesis was tested on mice who were administered oral antibiotics for five days and then given one oral introduction of the yeast called Candida albicans, which was used to reproduce a steady group of microbes in both the gastrointestinal system and intestines.
Findings from the study:
The mice were injected with common mold spores two days after the antibiotics were stopped and possible allergic side effects were evaluated with both groups of mice, those that were given the antibiotic and those that were not. The mice that were given antibiotics and exposed to C. albicans displayed higher rates of pulmonary hypersensitivity to A. fumigatus as opposed to the mice that weren’t given any antibiotics. Based on these findings, researchers concluded the changes to both the growth of bacteria and fungi within the GI tract disrupted the function of the regulatory T cells to lessen the immune system reaction to respiratory allergens.
Researchers expressed hope that by learning how microflora in the GI tract which impact the immune system might hold the key to treating allergies. Can we regulate the microbes in our gut with dietary changes, probiotics, dietary supplements which are responsible for producing “healthy” bacteria?
Researchers also stressed the importance of following a clean healthy diet complete with an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables after taking antibiotics as a way to speed up the process of bringing the beneficial microbes in the GI tract back to healthy level.
Be good to yourself, your body. Using positive reinforcement, encourage those around you to adopt a healthy lifestyle and diet. Remember you are what you eat.