March 1 (UPI) -- Scientists at the University of Florida have found the use of a specific probiotic combination can effectively alleviate allergy symptoms.
"Not all probiotics work for allergies," Jennifer Dennis, a doctoral student in the University of Florida's Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, said in a press release. "This one did."
Researchers studied the probiotic combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, marketed as Kyo-Dophilus, and its effects on allergies.
The combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria is known to maintain digestive and immune system health, and it is suspected the probiotic combination increases the number of regulatory T cells -- which the researchers thought could improve tolerance to hay fever symptoms.
Researchers analyzed DNA from stool samples from 173 healthy adult participants with seasonal allergies. The participants were divided into two groups during the eight-week study, with one given the probiotic combination and the other given a placebo. Study participants completed online surveys detailing their symptoms after treatment.
The stool samples were studied to determine how participants' bacteria changed from the probiotics, finding participants treated with the probiotic combination had an improved quality of life and reported fewer allergy-related nose symptoms compared those treated with a placebo.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.