Abstract Title:

Cow milk allergy symptoms are reduced in mice fed dietary synbiotics during oral sensitization with whey.

Abstract Source:

J Nutr. 2009 Jul;139(7):1398-403. Epub 2009 May 27. PMID: 19474160

Abstract Author(s):

Bastiaan Schouten, Betty C A M van Esch, Gerard A Hofman, Suzan A C M van Doorn, Jan Knol, Alma J Nauta, Johan Garssen, Linette E M Willemsen, Léon M J Knippels

Article Affiliation:

Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Utrecht, Utrecht 3584 CA, The Netherlands.


Cow milk allergy is the most common food allergy in children. So far, no effective treatment is available to prevent or cure food allergy. The purpose of this study was to compare effects of dietary supplementation with a prebiotic mixture (Immunofortis), a probiotic strain [Bifidobacterium breve M-16V], or a synbiotic diet combining both on the outcome of the allergic response when provided during oral sensitization with whey in mice. Mice were fed diets containing 2% (wt:wt) Immunofortis and/or the B. breve M-16V (n = 6/group). The acute allergic skin response was determined by measuring ear swelling. Antigen-induced anaphylaxis was scored. Furthermore, whey-specific serum immunoglobulins and mouse mast cell protease-1 (mMCP-1) were determined. In mice fed the synbiotic mixture, the allergic skin response and the anaphylactic reaction were strongly reduced compared with whey-sensitized mice fed the control diet (P<0.01). Immunofortis or B. breve M-16V alone were significantly less effective in reducing the allergic skin response than the synbiotic diet and did not reduce the anaphylactic reaction. The whey-specific IgE and IgG(1) responses were not affected; however, IgG(2a) was greater in all treated groups than in the control group (P<0.05). Serum mMCP-1 concentrations, reflecting mucosal mast cell degranulation, were lower in mice fed synbiotics compared with those fed the control diet (P<0.01). Dietary supplementation with Immunofortis, B. breve M-16V, and particularly the synbiotic mixture, provided during sensitization, reduces the allergic effector response in a murine model of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity that mimics the human route of sensitization. This model shows the potential for dietary intervention with synbiotics in reducing the allergic response to food allergens.

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