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Int J Food Microbiol. 2009 Jan 15;128(3):429-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.09.017. Epub 2008 Oct 7.

Effect of fermented milk prepared with two probiotic strains on Japanese cedar pollinosis in a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical study.

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  • 1Technical Research Laboratory, Takanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd., Yokohama, Kanagawa 241-0023, Japan.


There has been much interest in the potential of using probiotic bacteria for treating allergic diseases. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of Lactobacillus GG (LGG) and L. gasseri TMC0356 (TMC0356) in alleviating Japanese cedar pollinosis (JCP), a seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by Japanese cedar pollen. Fermented milk prepared with the tested bacteria or placebo yoghurt was administered to 40 subjects with a clinical history of JCP for 10 weeks. Subjective symptoms, self-care measures and blood samples were compared between the two groups. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were collected from seven patients with JCP and in vitro cytokine production by the isolated PBMCs was analysed in the presence of heat-killed lactic acid bacteria. Consumption of the fermented milk significantly decreased the mean symptom score for nasal blockage after 9 weeks (P<0.05) and mean symptom-medication scores after 9 and 10 weeks when compared with the placebo group (P<0.01 and P<0.05 respectively). The tested strains of lactic acid bacteria affected cytokine production by isolated PBMCs in vitro in a strain-dependent manner. LGG significantly inhibited IL-4 and IL-5 production by PBMCs stimulated by both Cry j 1 and PHA. TMC0356 only suppressed IL-5 production stimulated by PHA. The fermented milk prepared with LGG and TMC0356 might be beneficial in JCP because of its effect on nasal blockage. The effects of LGG and TMC0356 might arise at least partly from their specific down-regulation of the human Th2 immune response.

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