It’s that time of year again when (minus those odd rainy days) the sun’s high in the sky and so is the pollen count. It starts with a few sneezes here and there then before you know it, your eyes and throat feel itchy. Whether you get a mild sniffle or your hay fever means you experience fatigue and headaches, it isn’t nice on any level.
A new study has shown that there may be an unusual hay fever relief remedy with something you’ll find in your fridge.
That’s right, yoghurt. Scientists have found initial (but not definite) evidence that probiotics offer relief from hay fever symptoms. In a test run by the University School of Medicine in Nashville, the US, 23 trials (including around 1,900 people) took place where 17 out of the 23 studies found some benefit from the probiotics while the rest still found no benefit at all.
After the trial, authors looked at the study more closely and concluded that the probiotics may have a positive effect on hay fever symptoms when added to other hay fever treatments but stronger, more extensive research would need to be done to prove anything further.
Scientists now think that many allergies are caused by a lack of bacteria in the gut. Humans have evolved to live with bacteria but cleaner environments have killed off important factors which are designed to keep the immune system at a healthy level. This means the immune system is being sent into overdrive by allergens like dust mites, animal hair and pollen.
So is it worth eating yoghurt to relieve your symptoms?
The studies shown indicate that a probiotic can relieve symptoms better than a placebo and researchers say that eating a small pot of yoghurt a day or when your symptoms are especially bad could help to lower symptoms.
However there is still not enough evidence to support probiotics as a standalone treatment for hay fever but eating it along with your normal over the counter medication could make some difference.
Remember not all yoghurt is probiotic so make sure you pick up the right one.
Have you found any truth in this report by using probiotic yoghurt to treat hay fever symptoms? What do you make of it all? Let us know by leaving a comment below!