As I’ve mentioned before, each and every one of us is outnumbered 10:1 by bacteria. In addition to our 10 trillion human cells, we’ve also got 100 trillion bacteria living in and on us at all times. We’re just starting to discover the huge impact of gut bacteria on our health, mood and physiology.
Gut bacteria are linked to immune system health. Because allergies are the result of hyperactive immune responses, researchers in a recent study set out to investigate whether or not probiotics could have an impact on the development of allergies.
They discovered that babies whose mothers had taken probiotics while pregnant had a 12 per cent lower risk of later developing allergies later in life. Probiotics taken during pregnancy have also been shown to prevent eczema, the most common early-age allergic disease. Administering probiotics to babies early in life has also been shown to be helpful in preventing allergies and eczema.
So should you take a probiotic supplement while pregnant?
If you’re pregnant and worried about your baby developing allergies, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement (as well as these three very important pregnancy supplements) is a great start. There are many nutritious whole food sources of probiotics available, too.
Food sources of probiotics:
- Sauerkraut. On top of being rich in probiotics, sauerkraut also contains vitamins A and C. Make sure you purchase the lacto-fermented kind, usually sold in the refrigerator aisle.
- Yogurt & kefir. There are tons of probiotic yogurts out there, but try to avoid conventional brands, as they tend to contain sweeteners and low-quality ingredients. Organic, unsweetened yogurt from sheep or goat’s milk is best.
- Miso. Miso is a paste made from fermented soy beans and barley or rice malt. In addition to its probiotic benefits, it’s also a good source of zinc and a very good source of manganese.
The evidence is mounting of how important it is to feed our genes the right information even before we are born. The information that probiotics present to the immune system has proven to afford the child great benefits, even before they’re born. This is a true display of the epigenetic capacity of targeted neutraceuticals.