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Probiotic therapy for gastro‐intestinal allergenic infants: A preliminary review

S. Sarkar (Department of Quality Assurance, Metro Dairy Limited, Kolkata, India)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 19 June 2007

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Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to review the incidence of food allergy or food sensitization in children which has increased during the past decade and can manifest urticaria or angioedema, anaphylaxis, atopic dermatitis, respiratory symptoms or gastro‐intestinal disorders, and to looks closely at probiotic therapy, which appears to alleviate allergy inflammation.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature related to probiotics and their exploitation as probiotic therapy for gastro‐intestinal allergenic infants has been primarily composed from two databases, namely, Dairy Science Abstracts and Entez Pub Med.

Findings

Development of intestinal microbiota is considered to be a consequential factor affecting the health of newborns and could be achieved by nutritional change in diet or by consumption of probiotic through fermented milks. Animal and human trials revealed that probiotics can affect host‐resistance to intestinal infection as well as various immune functions and alleviate intestinal inflammation, normalize gut mucosal dysfunction and down‐regulate hypersensitivity reaction. Mode of action of probiotics is mediated by the microbial composition as well as metabolic activity of the intestinal flora. Beneficial properties of probiotics suggest their application for probiotic therapy of food‐allergenic infants.

Originality/value

Ingestion of fermented milk products containing probiotic cultures may provide health benefits in terms of colonization and normalization of intestinal flora, thereby alleviating food allergenicity in infants.

Keywords

Citation

Sarkar, S. (2007), "Probiotic therapy for gastro‐intestinal allergenic infants: A preliminary review", British Food Journal, Vol. 109 No. 6, pp. 481-492. https://doi.org/10.1108/00070700710753535

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited