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Probiotics could offer some help to infants with cow milk allergy

Posted:  Monday, September 28, 2015

Allergy to cow’s milk is one of the most common allergies affecting up to 3% of children worldwide. A new study finds that providing a probiotic enriched formula to infants with cow milk allergy could enhance tolerance to the allergy and also modify the gut microbial composition to a favourable one.

Published in The ISME Journal, the study employed 3 sets of infants: healthy; those with cow's milk allergy and fed the Lactobacillus GG enriched probiotic formula; and those who were fed the formula without added probiotics. The researchers then collected their stool samples and performed sequence analysis to identify bacteria.

They found that the gut microbiome of the infants with cow milk allergy was significantly different than the healthy controls. The infants who were treated with a probiotic enriched formula seemed to develop tolerance to the condition. Analysis revealed that the newly tolerant infants had high levels of bacteria that produced the short chain fatty acid butyrate.

Butyrate helps maintain gut homeostasis and thus could be helpful to develop tolerance against cow milk allergy. According to the researchers, acquisition of specific butyrate producing strains of bacteria, namely Blautia and Coprococcus could be beneficial.

"The ability to identify bacterial strains that could be used as novel therapeutics for treating food allergies is a fundamental advance. Translating these findings into clinical treatments is our next goal," said the researchers.

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