Yogurt and Seasonal Allergies

This comment on a previous post deserves emphasis:

For the past 3 years or so, a co-worker and I would suffer spring allergies together. We seemed to be allergic to the same thing, because we’d start and stop at the same times. This year, we both got whacked hard late April. Desperate, I started eating yogurt (Breyers mostly, some Danactive and Stonyfield) every day, sometimes twice, after reading your blog and doing some research. About 8 – 10 days later, I noticed I had no symptoms. My friend had light symptoms, so I thought maybe it was just a lull. Then about 2 weeks later, my friend got pummeled by allergies again, very badly; he could hardly work. I had NO symptoms. I didn’t even realize it was a bad day for allergies until he showed up to work. I haven’t had any allergies since.

3 Replies to “Yogurt and Seasonal Allergies”

  1. A few years ago, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. I didn’t have symptoms constantly, but when they did occur—maybe every 3-4 weeks—it was terrible.

    About six months ago I started eating yogurt every day. I also eat Indian food 2-3 times a week with large amounts of raita. Raita is more sour than typical commercial yogurt, so I assume it has more bacteria. I haven’t had any IBS symptoms since I started the fermented foods.

  2. I have a question about cooking with fermented food. My husband and I have developed an appetite for umami, and we often use fermented foods to flavor our cooking – kim-chi in a stir-fry, fermented tofu in scrambled eggs, etc. It tastes great, but it must kill off most of the bacteria, right? Are we reaping any benefit (besides gustatory) from eating cooked/dead bacteria?

    Thanks for a great blog!

  3. I think dead bacteria stimulate the immune system. I can’t think of any reason they wouldn’t and lots of dead stuff improves immune function (e.g., hormesis). Unlike live bacteria, dead bacteria don’t improve digestion.

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