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New study on immune balance and allergies is nothing to sneeze at

Posted Oct 02 2009 12:14pm

I’ve written periodically about the marked improvement in my life-long seaonal allergy symptoms while taking an allergy oral  nutritional supplement containing the ingredient EpiCor. (EpiCor’s parent company financially supports this blog, though they do not dictate to me what to write, and hardly even say boo to much of anything that appears here.) Some people would probably say, “Yeah, Craig, your allergies are better because you think they’re supposed to be better because you’re taking a supplement that you blog about. It’s called placebo effect.”  Heck, that could be true. I can’t prove it’s not, at this point.

What I do know it this: Before I started in on this blog in Sept. 2008, my symptom improvement had already occurred (I started my daily supplement regimen in Feb. 08), plus I was also experiencing next to nothing on the winter crud front while everyone else in my world was going the typical sickness routine.  So I was organically motivated to write about this “immunce balance” concept that seemed to be impacting me directly.

And, peer-reviewed published data had also been produced, documenting that my reduction in symptoms and/or duration after in ingesting the supplement over a period of several months was something that had been observed in others before me as well.

Now just last week, a new study on allergic rhinitis (AR) in humans- -meaning stuffy nose, congestion, nasal inflammation, itchiness that comes with seasonal allergies–shows that in subjects taking the same supplementation, EpiCor “significantly reduced the mean severity of specific AR symptoms, including a significant reduction in nasal congestion ( P =0.04), rhinorrhea ( P =0.005), and a nonsignificant reduction in ocular discharge symptoms. A significantly ( P =0.04) reduced total number of days with nasal congestion (12.5 fewer days) favored EpiCor compared with placebo, as did the nasal congestion section of the quality of life questionnaire ( P =0.04). Subjects receiving the intervention also experienced significantly ( P =0.03) higher salivary IgA levels.” (SIgA are important immune factors within the saliva, an important first-line defense.)  Ninety-six people took part in the study.

So what’s the difference between my pre-supplementation life and now?  Am I strolling through life blissfully free of anything remotely construed as a sniffle or nose twitch? Not at all. I still knock out some good sneezes during allergy season. And I actually do need to blow my nose from time to time! The real difference is that if a sneeze or two comes on, it happens and that’s it. I’m not thrust into a protracted state of misery that lasts until I can choke down a Zyrtec or Benedril. And I can breath clearly, too. Like the study above stated, nasal congestion and inflammation showed significant improvement. I may get a bit of a runny or itchy nose once in a while, but it just doesn’t last. It goes away. I think that’s called reduction in symptom severity. And perhaps the biggest difference it that when I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel like my entire sinus system is overflowing with allergy gunk that takes massive Kleenex, sneezing and coughing to get rid of.

OK, this is more than anyone wants to know so I’m cutting it off.  It’s just interesting when esoteric data displayed on gray pages and screens of text-laden journals that only a biochemist could love seem to actually connect with day-to-day, real-world living.

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