Food allergies and food intolerances may be linked to poor microbiome diversity, which make it hard to digest certain foods or can make you prone to food sensitivities.

Food allergies are common and estimated to affect 8% of children and 11% of adults in the United States. They pose a significant burden—physical, economic and social—to those affected. There is currently no available cure for food allergies. Emerging evidence suggests that the microbiome contributes to the development and manifestations of atopic disease. According to the hygiene hypothesis, children growing up with older siblings have a lower incidence of allergic disease compared with children from smaller families, due to their early exposure to microbes in the home.

With the evidence to support that the gut microbiome plays a role in the development of food allergies, the investigation and understanding of microbiome therapy has been of interest in providing a potential avenue for food allergy prevention and treatment.

Microbiome therapy entails the use of both prebiotics and probiotics.

Prebiotics pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract undigested and serve to stimulate the activity and/or growth of microorganisms colonized in the large intestines. By contrast, probiotics are live microorganisms that provide beneficial health benefits to the host. When given in adequate doses, probiotics may provide health benefits through the modulation of immune responses. When paired together, products containing both prebiotics and probiotics are known as symbiotics. A few studies have provided evidence that the composition of the gut microbiota can influence the development and course of food allergy. Therefore, the use of prebiotics, probiotics or synbiotics has been investigated for their potential benefits on the host, in order to prevent and/or treat food allergies.


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