Gut Microbiota as a Target for Preventive and Therapeutic Intervention against Food Allergy

Nutrients. 2017 Jun 28;9(7):672. doi: 10.3390/nu9070672.


The gut microbiota plays a pivotal role in immune system development and function. Modification in the gut microbiota composition (dysbiosis) early in life is a critical factor affecting the development of food allergy. Many environmental factors including caesarean delivery, lack of breast milk, drugs, antiseptic agents, and a low-fiber/high-fat diet can induce gut microbiota dysbiosis, and have been associated with the occurrence of food allergy. New technologies and experimental tools have provided information regarding the importance of select bacteria on immune tolerance mechanisms. Short-chain fatty acids are crucial metabolic products of gut microbiota responsible for many protective effects against food allergy. These compounds are involved in epigenetic regulation of the immune system. These evidences provide a foundation for developing innovative strategies to prevent and treat food allergy. Here, we present an overview on the potential role of gut microbiota as the target of intervention against food allergy.

Keywords: butyrate; cow’s milk allergy; diet; dysbiosis; immune tolerance; probiotics; short chain fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dysbiosis / prevention & control
  • Dysbiosis / therapy
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / microbiology
  • Infant
  • Metabolomics
  • Probiotics


  • Dietary Fiber