The role of probiotics in allergic diseases

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2009 Oct 22;5(1):5. doi: 10.1186/1710-1492-5-5.


Allergic disorders are very common in the pediatric age group. While the exact etiology is unclear, evidence is mounting to incriminate environmental factors and an aberrant gut microbiota with a shift of the Th1/Th2 balance towards a Th2 response. Probiotics have been shown to modulate the immune system back to a Th1 response. Several in vitro studies suggest a role for probiotics in treating allergic disorders. Human trials demonstrate a limited benefit for the use of probiotics in atopic dermatitis in a preventive as well as a therapeutic capacity. Data supporting their use in allergic rhinitis are less robust. Currently, there is no role for probiotic therapy in the treatment of bronchial asthma. Future studies will be critical in determining the exact role of probiotics in allergic disorders.