“The number of hospital admissions due to reactions to food have increased dramatically over the past 10 to 20 years.” Dr Simon Keely, Senior Lecturer in Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Newcastle. A negative biological reaction to food can have life-threatening consequences for people with allergies.
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal are now shedding light on how bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can influence allergic response.
Key findings linking the immune system with gut bacteria
- Exposure to antibiotics in the early stages of development makes the immune system more vulnerable to the development of allergies.
- Introducing the group of bacteria called Clostridia to the gastrointestinal tracts of mice with peanut allergies, showed a reversal of peanut sensitivity.
Although these findings are from studies on mice, they provide “proof of concept” and support the theory that gut bacteria plays an important role in the development of the immune system.
Speaking about this link Simon Keely confirms, “they regulate each other. If you disturb one, you disturb the other.”