Are allergies related to gut health

Microbiome: How the gut affects the development of allergies - symptoms, therapy, and research

  1. 24vita
  2. Allergies & intolerances
  3. Symptoms & diagnosis
  4. Gastrointestinal


From: Laura Knops

A good intestinal flora may protect against allergies (symbol picture). © Monique Wüstenhagen / dpa

Our intestinal flora could decide who will develop an allergy in the course of their life and who will not. Because the microbiome in the intestine has a great influence on the balance of our immune system.

Of the skin, about the respiratory tract up to Digestive tract - a variety of Microorganisms colonize the human body. Although invisible to the naked eye, the microbes make us who we are. They affect ours Weight, our behavior and our health. Much of the human microbiome, also Intestinal flora or Gut microbiota called, is located in the intestine. More than 1000 different Types of bacteria have researchers so far alone in the human Digestive tract identified.

It was a long time Microbiome of Intestines A mystery to scientists. But especially in the last few years Intestinal flora moved into the focus of research. For good reason: It just doesn't seem to be more numerous in emergence Diseases to play a role, but also in the development of the Immune system. Since that body's own defense system also closely related to the genesis and course of Allergies related, scientists suspect that the causes allergic diseases how hay fever and asthma possibly lying in the intestines. What influence the bacteria in the Digestive tract on our health and how they have the emergence of Allergies influence, you can find out here.

Allergies and the microbiome: what is the microbiome?

The discovery of the Microbiome changed medicine. Many researchers now even suspect that the key to human health lies in the microbiome. But what exactly is the microbiome? Doctors understand the term microbiome to mean the whole Microorganismsthat live in the intestines and on our skin. Although the term microbiome is strictly speaking only the genetic information of the bacteria describes, the terms microbiome and microbiota are often used synonymously. So there is Microbiota in addition to the microbiome also from the Viroma, i.e. the genetic make-up of the viral units, and the Mycobioma, by which the genetic material of fungal structures is meant.

Allergies and the microbiome: first intestinal inhabitants

Already with the birth settle bacteria the child's intestines from the mother's birth canal. In the course of life shape in addition to the Breast milk, also the nutrition, Medication and our Surroundings the individual composition of the Microorganisms. How many different types and in what combinations the bacteria occur in the intestine, varies from person to person. For comparison: researchers assume that the composition of the human Microbiome as unique as your personal fingerprint.

Children who are sent by Caesarean section come into the world, they take bacteria just about that Skin microbiome the mother up. That too can be the diversity of Intestinal flora of the baby. In addition, other factors such as a Antibiotic treatment unbalance the composition of the microbiome. Breastfeeding has a positive effect in the first few months of life Intestines of the newborn and promotes the settlement of the Microbiome.

Allergies and the microbiome: The microbiome shapes the development of the immune system

For a long time it was unclear how important the microbes are for the development of our immune system. Yet the microbiome doesn't seem like just for physical ailments chronic inflammatoryBowel disease, Obesity, diabetes and Cardiovascular diseases to play a role, but also for neurological and mental suffering how dementia or depressions. The microbiome could also be involved in the emergence and development of allergies.

To understand which one Influence the gut microbeson the development allergic diseases it's worth it immune system to take a closer look. The reason for this: the development of the Immune system and the emergence of allergies seem to take place in parallel. The immunological defense of a baby is particularly marked in the first year of life. During this period, various factors influence which children have an increased risk of developing an allergy in the course of their lives. A Caesarean section or one Antibiotic treatment seem to make the child's immune system more vulnerable. Children who were breastfed in the first four months are usually at lower risk. This is because important microbes can also be transferred from the mother to the newborn.

Allergies and the Microbiome: Complex Interactions

The Microbiome can be found wherever the inside of the body comes into direct contact with the environment. This includes besides Digestive tract, also the respiratory tract and Genital organs, as well as that skin. At the same time, these are the interfaces at which Allergy trigger enter the body and come into contact with the immune system. Even if the interactions between the microbiome and the immune system are not yet fully understood, researchers assume that between Microbiome and Immune system complex interactions occur. These are of great importance to that immunological balance in the intestines, skin and lungs. If this balance is disturbed, diseases can develop. Various studies have shown that there is a connection between the Microbiome and infectious diseases, chronic bowel disease, obesity, diabetes, colon and liver cancer and allergies.

In addition, researchers suspect that it is determined at an early stage whether a child will have one in the course of his or her life allergy developed or not. So scientists found that five months old Babieswho are already under a Food allergy suffer that Microbiome has a special composition. Certain bacteria were significantly more common in affected toddlers and others less often than in healthy peers.

Allergies and microbiome: increasing in recent years

More and more people are allergic to apparently harmless substances in the environment - the number of people affected has increased significantly in the last 50 years in particular. In addition to the genetic predisposition play different Environmental factors like an exaggerated one hygiene and Air pollutants, but also the nutrition and Infections a role in the development of an allergy. Researchers therefore see a connection between the changed way of life in western societies and the worldwide reduction in biodiversity and the rising ones Allergy rates.

Although according to the allergy information serviceof Helmholtz CenterMunichthe connection between allergic diseases and the Gut microbiome Research has only been going on for a few years, but researchers see another possibility in the gut. This is how changes play in the intestinal microbiome, as the cause of the significant increase in allergic diseases in the last few decades, may play a role. It is noticeable that these developments can mainly be observed in industrialized countries. It's not just that Composition of the microbiome crucial, but also microbial diversity. The less this diversity is pronounced in the intestine, the more likely it is, according to researchers Helmholtz Center Munich at a allergy to get sick.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. Under no circumstances does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.