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Antibiotics linked to allergies, studies find

Medication can kill good bacteria, affect immunity

Reported in Toronto Star

Friday, May 28, 2004

Bugs in the gut may be causing many allergy symptoms felt in the head, from runny noses to trouble breathing, researchers said this week.

And antibiotics could be to blame, the researchers told a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

The findings could help explain the puzzling rise in asthma and allergies across the developed world in recent decades, the University of Michigan researchers said.

Antibiotics kill bacteria, but they can kill beneficial living in the intestines and in the colon. Many doctors recommend that patients taking anibiotics also eat "live" yoghurt to replace some of these helpful microbes.

"We all have a unique microbial fingerprint - a specific mix of bacteria and fungi living in our stomach and intestines," said Dr Gary Huffnagle, an associate professor of internal medicine and of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan.

"Antibiotics knock out bacteria in the gut, allowing fungi to take over temporarily until the bacteria grow back after the antibiotics are stopped," explained Huffnagle. "Our research indicates that altering intestinal microflora this way can lead to changes in the entire immune system, which may produce symptoms elsewhere in the body".

Experiemnts on mice suggest that altering the balance of these so-called inteestinal flora can affect the immune system.

"After antibiotics change the mix of microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, the mice developed an allergic response in the lungs when exposed to common mold spores." Huffnagle said in a statement. "Mice that didn't receive the antibiotics were able to fight off the mold spoes."

Huffnagle todl the meeting that if the findings also hold true in people, they could help explain why asthma and allergies are on the rise.

"Anything you inhale you also swallow." Huffnagle said in a statement.

"So the immune cells in your GI (gastrointestinal) tract are exposed directly to airborne allergens and particulates. This triggers a response from immune cells in the GI tract to generate regularoty T-cells which then travel through the blood stream searching the body for these antigens".

The immune system cells then block the development of allergic responses.

When antibiotics wipe out the bacteria population in the gastrointestinal tract, yeast and fungi move in and multiply.

Fungi may secrete compounds called oxylipins, which can control the type and intensity of immune responses
, Huffnagle told the meeting held in New Orleans.

Having too many oxylipins may prevent the development of regulatory T-cells, in turn allowing for a hyperactive immune response against allergens such as pollen, he proposed.

LB17 live probiotic "LIVE" probiotic would help strengthen the immune system and yet allow the GI tract to be exposed to bacteria and germs so that they are more able to handle the irritants that contribute to the allergic conditions. At the same time, LB17 probiotic is able to eliminate harmful and pathogenic bacteria from the GI tract. It prevents fungi especially yeast from overgrowing leading the Candidiasis.

The above information is provided for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace competent health care advice received from a knowledgeable healthcare professional. You are urged to seek healthcare advice for the treatment of any illness or disease.
Health Canada and the FDA (USA) have not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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