A review of all studies on the effects of probiotics resoundingly showed their benefit in the prevention of allergies. Researchers evaluated the results of 25 studies published between 2001 and 2012 that examined the effect of probiotics on allergies in children.
They discovered that prenatal exposure to probiotic supplements as well as postnatal supplementation had a significant effect in reducing the incidence of allergies. The effect was measured by blood tests for antibody levels to specific allergens and by skin tests for allergic responses.
Taking Probiotic Supplements And Probiotic Rich Foods During Pregnancy
Mothers who took probiotics during their pregnancy had children with less allergies. This effect continued when babies also took probiotics. The longer that studies followed up on the effect of probiotic supplementation, the greater the observed protective effect.
What should you do?
Begin probiotic supplements during pregnancy and continue giving them to your baby if you have any concerns about allergies. A family history of hay fever, eczema, or asthma would be a good indication that your baby could develop allergies. Choose a broad spectrum probiotic produced by a reputable manufacturer and take at least 20-30 billion CFU (colony forming units) per day.
In addition, fermented foods also contain probiotic strains. Their addition to your diet during pregnancy can provide added benefit.
Probiotics Relieve Reflux
Probiotic supplements have also proven effective in treating reflux and colic symptoms in babies. This makes sense because reflux is often related to food allergies. The most studied probiotic for the treatment of reflux is Lactobacillus reuteri.
Other Supplements Recommended During Pregnancy
- Vitamin D taken during pregnancy has also been shown to reduce the incidence of allergies in babies. Other important effects of prenatal vitamin D are an increase in intelligence and prevention of obesity in children. Pregnant women should have their vitamin D levels tested and the goal of vitamin D supplementation is levels of 50-100 ng/ml. Usually this requires a daily dose of at least 5,000 IU of vitamin D3.
- Finally, taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement in the form of fish oil, krill oil, or flax oil is a third essential pregnancy supplement to support healthy brain development in your unborn baby. Take at least 500 mg of DHA per day in your supplement