Could yoghurt ease hayfever?

Norfolk scientists are launching groundbreaking research to find out if humble yoghurt drinks could hold the key to ending hay fever misery for millions of people.

Norfolk scientists are launching groundbreaking research to find out if humble yoghurt drinks could hold the key to ending hay fever misery for millions of people.

The debilitating condition, which has no cure, makes the summer months unbearable for many as they suffer itchy eyes, streaming noses and constant sneezing.

As many as 15m people across Britain are estimated to suffer from hay fever, with East Anglia the region with the highest prevalence.

Although no specific figures are available, health chiefs estimate that there are up to 150,000 sufferers in the NHS Norfolk area and 57,500 in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

Now people in the county are being asked to take part in a trial that could bring them much-needed relief - thanks to something on a supermarket shelf or in their fridge.

Experts at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Norwich Research Park (NRP) are calling for 60 volunteers to help in their work as they seek a breakthrough in treatment of the condition, which affects 600m people worldwide, with the numbers rising each year.

Most Read

Apart from bringing relief, the year-long study could save people hundreds of pounds, which they spend on a mixture of homeopathic and drug treatments in a bid to ease the symptoms.

The team of researchers has already completed a pilot study on a small group of people with hayfever (seasonal allergic rhinitis), which found yoghurt drinks containing Lactobacillus casei Shirota (LcS) can modulate immune system responses.