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The newly tolerant infants had higher levels of several strains of bacteria that produce short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate, which help maintain homeostasis in the gut. The discovery of bacteria that drive tolerance to problem foods like cow's milk could be crucial to developing new treatments to help children with food allergies.

There has been an unprecedented increase in food allergies in developed countries, rising by as much as 20 percent in the past decade. Allergy to cow's milk is one of the most common, occurring in up to three percent of children worldwide.

Emerging evidence suggests that modern environmental influences, including widespread antibiotic use, high-fat and low-fiber diets, reduced exposure to infectious diseases, Caesarean birth and formula feeding have altered the mutually beneficial relationship between humans and the bacteria that live in our gastrointestinal tract. This dysbiosis, or skewing of the structure of the microbial community, can predispose genetically susceptible individuals to allergies.

Previous research from collaborator Roberto Berni Canani and his team at the University of Naples showed that infants with cow's milk allergy who are fed formula containing a form of the milk protein casein, supplemented with the probiotic bacterial species Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), develop tolerance at higher rates than those treated with a non-probiotic formula.

Read More: Techtimes

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