I have just posted a report on the Purehealth blog here about the fact that research is starting to bear us nutritionists out that early antibiotic exposure is a probable cause of later food sensitivity:
Antibiotic exposure in the first year of life is associated with an increased risk of FA [Food Allergy] and may be a causal factor. Multiple courses confer a greater risk.
You can read my ‘you don’t say!’ comments there and I have given specific info on what to do to replenish bacteria after antibiotics, but of course, you need to use the grain free versions given in the Barrier Plan and the TGF Supplements Master List.
Also in my inbox was a report suggesting that giving coeliacs the baby bacteria can actually help alleviate symptoms. Again, this is something you should already know, since the first thing I tell you to do in the Barrier Plan is to replenish that, especially if you weren’t breastfed. The researchers concluded:
In contrast to patients receiving the placebo, patients who received B. infantis experienced significant improvements as measured by the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (P=0.0035 for indigestion; P=0.0483 for constipation; P=0.0586 for reflux)…..
The study suggests that B. infantis may alleviate symptoms in untreated CD. The probiotic produced some immunologic changes but did not modify abnormal intestinal permeability. Further studies are necessary to confirm and/or expand these observations.
The study only lasted 3 weeks so this is a really good start. They didn’t notice any improvement in gut permeability but I am not really surprised at that because a) I wouldn’t think 3 weeks is anywhere near long enough for a change there, b) infantis is not necessarily the right strain of probiotic to achieve that – hence the move onto other more specific probiotic strains advised in the Barrier Plan after you have done the Infantis, c) Lifestart is not dairy-free and d) they were still consuming gluten so, given what we know about zonulin upregulation from gluten, it is highly unlikely it would heal!
Note too that the amount given, from what I can tell, was 2 billion cells per day. If you follow the BP guidelines, you will get a minimum of 12 billion cells, which is a bit different…
Basically, what we can glean from this is that Bifido bacteria is very important to the prevention and treatment of gluten sensitivity/coeliac disease from an immunological and inflammatory point of view especially, and that taking it without removal of gluten is going to help symptoms but very likely won’t solve the permeability problem.
Moral of the story: get that bacteria replenished AND remove the gluten for best results.