Division of Nutrition

2006 Experimental Biology
Annual Conference

Probiotics and The Hygiene Hypothesis:
A Case for Protective Nutrients

April 3, 2006
San Francisco, CA

The “hygiene hypothesis” helps to explain the fact that immune disorders are increasing while improved hygiene and anitibiotics have caused infectious diseases to decrease during the last half century. Now you can learn more about this problem and how probiotic administration can help, at this symposium, “Probiotics and the Hygiene Hypothesis: A Case for Protective Nutrients”.

With the evidence mounting that immune disorders are increasing – especially in North America and Europe – this symposium 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.

No Webcast recordings of this event are available.


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
Discussion of the Bach NEJM 2002 article and recent work on the role of pathogen TLR antagonists in protection against autoimmune disease.

Nathalie Thieblemont, PhD
Senior Scientist, CNRS, H™pital Necker, Paris, France

Counter-Regulation and the Hygiene Hypothesis
Update of thesis of regulatory T-cells in the hygiene hypothesis published in Nature Immunology, 2000.

Christopher Karp, MD
Esiason Professor of Pediatrics, ChildrenÕs Hospital, University of Cincinnati, Ohio

Postnatal Maturation of Immune Competence and Risk for Atopic Disease
Recent clinical data on TH1/TH2 imbalance and development of allergy

Patrick Holt, DSc, FRCpath, FAA
Head, Division of Cell Biology
Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, West Perth, Australia

Mechanism(s) of the probiotic affect in Atopic Disease
Review mechanisms from a basic perspective of work that has been done in the Massachusetts General Hospital laboratory and clinical work.

W. Allan Walker, MD

Panel Discussion


Presented by
Harvard Medical School
Division of Nutrition
American Society for Nutrition
American Association of Immunologists
Made possible through an unrestricted educational grant from
The Dannon Company, Inc.
Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd