But first to the basic question: What is an allergy?
Many people do not know that around 80% of our immune cells are located in the gastrointestinal tract. If you then look at the definition of an allergy, it quickly becomes clear that there must be a deeper connection here: "An allergy is understood as an acquired, immunologically conditioned, specific hypersensitivity to substances foreign to the body" (Center for Allergology, 2012) .
...and how is our gut related to allergies (or intolerances)?
Many medical studies try to explain how certain strains of bacteria - or the lack of them this - related to allergies. The composition of the intestinal flora (type, variety and amount of microbes) affects how strongly the body reacts to food allergies, for example. Research work and medical practice has shown that the targeted promotion of certain strains of bacteria can reduce allergic reactions and the tendency to infections. Research currently assumes that allergies develop early in childhood and are most likely genetically predisposed. Although a complete 'cure' is not yet possible for most forms, probiotics can often alleviate the symptoms.
What is the difference between an allergy and an intolerance
An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a non-harmful foreign substance (such as peanuts). In the case of food intolerance (also called intolerance), the immune system is not active. Incompatibilities usually arise because the body does not have enough of a certain enzyme or transport molecule to break down certain food components, such as lactose, fructose or histamine, or to absorb them into the body.
How can I rekindle my body's natural healing powers?
There are many ways to help your body get back to optimal well-being. One of them is ingestion of live microorganisms through fermented foods or dietary supplements. Because a loss or a fundamental deficiency of certain types of probiotic bacteria has been proven to promote the development of allergies. Therefore, a reconstruction and the long-term maintenance of a healthy intestinal flora is particularly important for allergy sufferers.
A distinct microbiota composition is associated with protection from food allergy in an oral mouse immunization model., Diesner et. al (2016).
Helmholtz Center Munich - German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH) (2017)