Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 622–630

Is There a Role for Probiotics in the Prevention or Treatment of Food Allergy?

FOOD ALLERGY (D ATKINS, SECTION EDITOR)

Abstract

A balanced gut microbiota is crucial for the development of healthy immunoregulation and gut barrier function to allow brisk immune responses to pathogens and systemic hyporesponsiveness to harmless antigens such as food. Although the first allergic disease to manifest itself, atopic eczema, is not equivalent to food allergy, pre- and postnatal administration of specific probiotic strains has emerged as a promising tool for the prevention of this condition, with potential implications for food allergy development. For food allergy proper, however, we lack markers and risk factors and mechanisms, i.e., targets for preventive measures. The focus here is therefore on the treatment. Indeed, the potential of specific probiotic strains to alleviate food allergy resides in their ability to modify antigens, repair gut barrier functions, balance altered microbiota, and restore local and systemic immune regulation. In patients with multiple food allergies, induction of oral tolerance by specific probiotics continues to attract research interest.

Keywords

Food allergy Gut barrier Microbiota Oral tolerance Probiotics Regulatory T cells Prevention Treatment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of Turku and Turku University HospitalTurkuFinland
  2. 2.Functional Foods ForumUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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