- 1Probiotics have been suggested to have potential for treating food allergy in small children. Although oral probiotics have been studied extensively in animals and humans for various allergies, their effects on the prevention and/or treatment of pollinosis have not been adequately investigated.
- 2The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of the novel symbiotic food supplement ImmuBalance (a koji fungus (Aspergillus oryzae) and lactic acid bacteria (Pediococcus parvulus and Enterococcus faecium) soybean fermentation product; Nichimo Co. Ltd, Tokyo, Japan) on the prevention and treatment of allergic reactions in Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCP) during the pollen season.
- 3An open-label pilot study on seven individuals with JCP was conducted. Each participant received oral administration of 1.0–2.0 g ImmuBalance daily for 3 months, which contained 1.8 ¥ 1010/g heat-killed lactobacteria. Six participants (four men, two women; 26–55 years of age) completed the 3 months of supplementation. One participant was excluded from the study because the JCP-specific IgE in RAST scores was lower than 2 UA/mL. The clinical severity of JCP in past year for each participant was self-evaluated on a five-point scale from 0 to 4, in accordance with the guidelines of the Nasal Allergy Clinic 2002, Japan.
- 4Self-evaluated overall average symptom scores (1.7 ± 0.8) in the peak pollen season showed significant improvement compared with the past year (3.5 ± 0.5; P = 0.001). Furthermore, the average scores for sneezing and runny nose in the peak pollen season showed significant improvement compared with the past year. The scores for swelling and colour of the mucosa and snivel in the nasal cavity did not increase significantly in the peak pollen season compared with baseline.
- 5Our studies suggest that dietary ImmuBalance may be effective in the prevention and treatment of JCP. The underlying mechanisms of action and the possibility of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial are being investigated.