European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 56, Issue 7, pp 2245–2253 | Cite as

Probiotics modulate gut microbiota and health status in Japanese cedar pollinosis patients during the pollen season

  • Gaku HarataEmail author
  • Himanshu Kumar
  • Fang HeEmail author
  • Kenji Miyazawa
  • Kazutoyo Yoda
  • Manabu Kawase
  • Akira Kubota
  • Masaru Hiramatsu
  • Samuli Rautava
  • Seppo Salminen
Original Contribution



Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCP) is a challenging public health problem in Japan. Altered gut microbiota is associated with several diseases, including allergic diseases. However, only a few studies have focused on JCP and the underlying mechanisms for probiotic effects remain unclear. In addition, this study is the first observation of the correlation between the gut microbiota and blood lipid in JCP.


Faecal samples from JCP subjects were collected before and after treatment with (n = 14) and without (n = 11) LGG–TMC0356-fermented milk for 10 weeks. Gut microbiota composition was characterized from faecal DNA using sequencing of 16S rRNA genes.


16S rRNA-based operational taxonomic unit clustering of the microbiota revealed that LGG–TMC0356-fermented milk significantly altered gut microbiota after 10 weeks of milk consumption, and eight dominant genera of microbes were detected. During the JCP season, the Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio, when compared to baseline, was significantly decreased in subjects at end of the study. Bacteroidetes showed positive correlation with LDL- and HDL-cholesterol levels, whereas Firmicutes showed negative correlation with total cholesterol, LDL- and HDL- cholesterol.


The altered gut microbiota through supplementation of fermented milk containing the study probiotics may be a prospective target for protection against JCP, with beneficial effects on blood lipid levels.


JCP Gut microbiota Blood lipid Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG Lactobacillus gasseri TMC0356 Probiotic Allergy 



This work supported by Takanashi milk Company Limited. We thank Dr. Juha-Pekka Pursiheimo (Turku Clinical Sequencing Laboratory, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku) for his assistance and technique of next-generation sequencing. Thanks also to Enago ( for the English language review.


This work was supported by Takanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

G. Harata, F. He, K. Miyazawa, K. Yoda, M. Kawase, A. Kubota and M. Hiramatsu are employees of Takanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd.; H. Kumar, S. Rautava and S. Salminen declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaku Harata
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Himanshu Kumar
    • 2
  • Fang He
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kenji Miyazawa
    • 1
  • Kazutoyo Yoda
    • 1
  • Manabu Kawase
    • 1
  • Akira Kubota
    • 1
  • Masaru Hiramatsu
    • 1
  • Samuli Rautava
    • 2
  • Seppo Salminen
    • 2
  1. 1.Technical Research LaboratoryTakanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd.YokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Functional Foods ForumUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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