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Pre and Probiotics: No Global Guidelines for Food Allergies

December 14, 2021 1 min read

Should probiotics be used in pregnant women to prevent atopic disease? Which strains, how much and when? These are just some of the many questions that Ruby Pawankar MD, PhD, and former president of the World Allergy Organization, discussed in her talk during the “Future of Food Allergy Prevention” Symposium hosted by Dr. Kari Nadeau, SpoonfulONE founder and head of Stanford University's Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research. 

With so many postnatal risk factors for food allergy - antibiotic use early in life, the western diet, delayed introduction of food allergens, to name a few - it is no wonder that the gut microbiome is a hot topic of research. While it is indisputable that prebiotics and probiotics do influence gut microbiota, studies are limited given the number of different strains and the difficulty of pooling data across these different strains. 

Below, we’ve summarized key takeaways from the Symposium: 

  1. Although still a matter of intense debate, global guidelines have no recommendation for or against the use of pre and probiotics for the prevention of atopic disease. 
  2. That said, the Lactobacillus species is the most studied of all strains, although with mixed results in long-term studies. 
  3. Probiotics during the third trimester could be considered if there is a strong family history of allergies and atopy.
  4. Continue to encourage diet diversity, which can have a beneficial impact on the child’s gut microbiome.

Watch The Full Talk Here.