Probiotics may help reduce childhood eczema

Women who take probiotics while pregnant could help reduce the likelihood of their child developing eczema, according to a new study.

BY Amy Anderson 4 July, 2007

The study, carried out at Linkoping University Hospital in Sweden and published in the May edition of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, was on expectant mothers with a family history of eczema and allergic diseases.

The results found that oral supplementation from 36 weeks until birth with the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri during pregnancy, followed by supplementation to the babies themselves up to 12 months after birth, helped reduce the development of eczema and allergy associated with immunoglobulin E, a key protein involved in the allergic response, in their children. By two years old only 8% of the infants treated with probiotics had eczema compared to 20% in the placebo group.

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