Yeast ingredient shows promise for reducing airborne allergies

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Allergy Immune system

Supplementation with a yeast fermentate may improve allergy symptoms like runny nose, according to the results of randomised clinical trial.

A daily supplement of Embria's EpiCor yeast fermentate also reduced the length of time people suffered from nasal congestion by 12.5 fewer days, according to the results of a study published in the Advances in Therapy​, a peer-reviewed journal.

Allergic rhinitis is said to impact about 1 in every four people in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in ten Americans suffer from airborne allergies.

At the recent Supply Side West show in Las Vegas, Larry Robinson, VP scientific affairs at Embira, told NutraIngredients that the study supports the ingredient’s claim for “immune balance rather than immune modulation”​.

EpiCor and Embria, as the company bringing it to market, were born out of suspicions that the culture could have other uses following farmers' reports that their animals were not getting sick.

Moreover, in 2004 insurance adjusters noticed that Diamond V, Embria's parent company, employees had far lower sick rates than other workplaces. The company thought the culture could be boosting the immune systems of workers who handled it.

Two of the researchers involved in the new study are Embria employees and the company sponsored the study.

Study details

Led by Mark Moyad from the University of Michigan, the researchers recruited 96 healthy people with a history of seasonal allergies and randomly assigned them to receive a daily EpiCor supplement (500 mg of dried, modified Saccharomyces cerevisiae​) or placebo for 12 weeks.

At the end of the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial results showed that supplementation with the yeast fermentate led to significant reductions in the severity of allergic rhinitis symptoms, including nasal congestion. A non-significant reduction in the discharge from the eyes was also recorded.

“This yeast-derived product appeared to be safe and efficacious, and should receive more clinical research with and without standard medications to reduce the impact of seasonal allergies, especially allergic rhinitis-induced nasal congestion,”​ concluded the researchers.

Source: Advances in Therapy
Volume 26, Number 8, Pages 795-804
“Immunogenic yeast-based fermentation product reduces allergic rhinitis-induced nasal congestion: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial”
Authors: M.A. Moyad, L.E. Robinson, J.M. Kittelsrud, S.G. Reeves, S.E. Weaver, A.I. Guzman, M.E. Bubak

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