Impact of orally-administered oligosaccharides in a murine model of food allergy

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Food allergy is a refractory condition for which there are no standard effective therapies. Prebiotic supplementation such as oligosaccharides in infants was found to be associated with decreased risk of allergic diseases. Raffinose and stachyose are the major oligosaccharides identified in beans; these oligosaccharides have properties of regulating homeostasis. In this study, we explored the use of oligosaccharides as a means to prevent food allergy using an ovalbumin (OVA) sensitization and challenge model in which reductions in body temperature and diarrhea were evaluated. Raffinose and stachyose were administered ad libitum in drinking water for five weeks from one week prior the first sensitization through the final oral administration of OVA. Among our findings, treatment with stachyose suppressed allergic diarrhea and prevented elevations in OVA-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G1. We hypothesize that suppression of these responses was associated with the actions of regulatory T cells and promoted by utilization of the oligosaccharides by intestinal microbiota. Taken together, our findings suggest that daily ingestion of oligosaccharides might be effective for the prevention of food allergy.

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