Probiotics and Effect on Allergic Rhinitis? Interview with:
Dr Kamal Ivory
Institute of Food Research
Norwich Research Park Norwich, UK
Gut Health & Food Safety ISP
The Institute of Food Research receives strategic funding from BBSRC What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Ivory: In the present study we show that administration of probiotics in the gut can induce changes at the nasal mucosa where the immune system meets pollen allergen. This implies a potential to alter the course of allergic rhinitis. However, in our single high dose pollen challenge in the clinic (out of pollen season), we did not measure any significant changes in the clinical parameters we had set. It is not clear if this was because a single challenge fails to replicate occurrence during natural seasonal exposure to pollen in terms of dosage and timing. That aside, the mode of action may vary from one probiotic organism to another and it is possible that a cocktail of probiotic organisms may be needed for clinical effectiveness. If funding becomes available, we would like to repeat the study during the pollen season. Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Ivory: We were surprised to find that oral delivery of probiotics induced changes in cells at the nasal mucosa. With regard to effects, while we had no preconceived expectation we had hoped that probiotic action would impact on clinical symptoms. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Ivory: The exploitation of probiotics as health promoters must depend on sound, scientifically proven clinical evidence of health-promoting activity. At present, strong evidence showing that probiotics have a significant effect on the disease outcome remains lacking. While evidence of the mechanisms by which probiotics interact with and modulate immune responses is being gathered, there is still much to know. So, I believe that continued scientific endeavours in the field are needed to secure the future of probiotics as potential therapeutics. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Ivory: I believe that the scientific community should continue to unravel the mechanisms of action of different probiotic organisms on the immune system with a view to exploiting those properties in the future for health benefit in various conditions.


Oral Delivery of a Probiotic Induced Changes at the Nasal Mucosa of Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis Subjects after Local Allergen Challenge: A Randomised Clinical Trial

Kamal Ivory, Andrew M. Wilson Prasanna Sankaran,
Marta Westwood, Justin McCarville, Claire Brockwell, Allan Clark, Jack R. Dainty, 
Laurian Zuidmeer-Jongejan, Claudio Nicoletti Af

PLOS One Published: November 15, 2013

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078650filiation: Gut Health and Food Safety Strategic, United Kingdom 



Last Updated on February 2, 2014 by Marie Benz MD FAAD