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Probiotics and The Hygiene Hypothesis:
A Case for Protective Nutrients

PME logoThe “hygiene hypothesis” helps to explain the fact that immune disorders are increasing while improved hygiene and antibiotics have caused infectious diseases to decrease during the last half century.

With the evidence mounting that immune disorders are increasing – especially in North America and Europe – this webcast explores how decreased microbial exposure – even from vaccinations and improved sanitation – can lead to abnormal responses to allergens and autoantigens in the mucosal immune system.
It also offers encouraging scientific evidence that probiotic administration may prevent and reduce the immune-mediated disease trend. Probiotics are living organisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.

Regular consumption of certain probiotics can help regulate the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract and reinforce mucosal defenses that helps limit the propagation of immune mediated disease bacteria. Probiotics have been used historically by many societies worldwide to promote health.

Below are links to each of the presentations given at the live Symposium held at the 2006 Experimental Biology Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA on April 3, 2006. Each of the links will open the presentation in a new window. System Requirements: You will need Macromedia's Flash player to view these presentations.

Welcome and Introduction
W. Allan Walker, MD
Director, Division of Nutrition, Harvard Medical School
Director of Mucosal Immunology Laboratory,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition, Harvard Medical School

The Effect of Infections on Susceptibility to Allergic and Autoimmune Diseases
Nathalie Thieblemont, PhD
Senior Scientist
CNRS, Hôpital Necker, Paris, France
Discussion of the Bach NEJM article in 2002 and recent work on the role of pathogen TLR antagonists in protection against autoimmune disease

Counter-Regulation and the Hygiene Hypothesis
Christopher Karp, MD
Esiason Professor of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital,
University of Cincinnati, Ohio
Update of thesis of regulatory T-cells in the hygiene hypothesis published in Nature Immunology, 2000.

Postnatal maturation of immune function and risk for atopic disease
Patrick Holt, DSc, FRCpath, FAA
Head, Division of Cell Biology
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, West Perth, Australia
Recent clinical data on TH1/ TH2 imbalance and development of allergy

Mechanism(s) of the probiotic affect in atopic disease
W. Allan Walker, MD
Review mechanisms from a basic perspective of work that has been done in the Massachusetts General Hospital laboratory, as well as clinical work.


Probiotics and Intestinal Health in Children

Probiotics and Intestinal Health in Children

Click here to download the Proceedings from the October 9, 2005 Symposium, "Probiotics and Intestinal Health in Children," held at the 2005 American Academy of Pediatrics Annual National Conference in Washington, DC. (PDF format)
Note: You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document. You can download a free version here if you do not already have the free viewer.

Program made possible by an unrestricted educational grant provided by The Dannon Company, Inc. and Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.


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Updated 4/17/06