If you want to avoid allergies or asthma, scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School suggest you start paying more attention to what’s in your gut.
In the January 2005 issue of Infection & Immunity, U-M researchers report new evidence suggesting that changes in the normal mixture of microflora – bacteria and fungi in the gastrointestinal tract – can intensify the immune system’s reaction to common allergens, like pollen or animal dander, in the lung and increase the risk of developing chronic allergies or asthma.
"Our research indicates that microflora lining the walls of the gastrointestinal tract are a major underlying factor responsible for the immune system’s ability to ignore inhaled allergens," says Gary Huffnagle, Ph.D., an associate professor of internal medicine and of microbiology and immunology in the U-M Medical School. "Change the microflora in the gut and you upset the immune system’s balance between tolerance and sensitization."
Sally Pobojewski | EurekAlert!
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