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Food supplements

The number of people affected by hay fever is growing from year to year. As much as 30 percent of the population in industrialised countries now suffer from one or more allergic diseases, such as hay fever, asthma or allergic skin problems. Current therapies often have side effects, such as dry mucous membranes in the mouth and drowsiness. Probiotics represent a new approach in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, e.g. hay fever.

“Probiotics are live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host” (WHO/FHO definition 2001).

These live microorganisms are resistant to the stomach’s hydrochloric acid and reach the intestine, where they are said to have a positive effect when taken as a dietary supplement. The best-known probiotic food supplements include the genera Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Enterococcus and Enterobacteriaceae or certain yeasts.

It is neither a very high dosage nor a very high number of bacterial strains that determines the effect of a probiotic. What is more important is to select the appropriate bacterial strains for the specific health condition and to take them in the scientifically tested dosage, just like medication. Depending on the amount consumed and taking into account the expiration date, most products require a regular, usually daily dose of 10⁸ to 10⁹ probiotic microorganisms in order to develop a probiotic effect in the human organism.

The test criteria are based on the question of whether the intake of a probiotic food supplement reduces allergic symptoms in people with allergic rhinitis or allergic asthma when exposed by inhalation in an exposure chamber to pollen, animal hair or mites under precisely defined and repeatable conditions

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