The increased sterilization and pasteurization of foods has led to a decrease in the amount of bacteria to which we are exposed. There is a potential this has led to the increase in allergies which today’s children are experiencing.

A Finnish team of researchers conducted a study with pregnant women; some received a probiotic while others received a placebo. From eight months pregnancy to delivery, these women took a daily dose of probiotics or its placebo counterpart.

The children were examined by pediatricians at 3, 6 and 24 months of age. The conclusion was that:

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  • Key proteins associated with tissue inflammation were 50% higher on average in the blood of probiotic-treated infants than in the blood of placebo-treated infants. Inflammation is thought to stimulate the immune system, and so reduce allergic reaction.
  • Probiotic children were 30% less likely than their untreated counterparts to develop an itchy skin condition known as atopic eczema, which is often an early manifestation of allergies.

While more research is needed, it seems plausible that probiotics may be a key ingredient to decreasing the likelihood of your child developing allergies.