Probiotic supplement in pregnancy halves eczema in children
THE prevalence of eczema can be almost halved if women drink milk with a probiotic supplement during and after pregnancy, a study suggests.
Norwegian researchers randomised 415 women to receive either probiotic milk or placebo from 36 weeks’ gestation to three months postnatally during breastfeeding.
Children whose mothers were in the probiotic group had a 49% lower rate of eczema than the placebo group at two years of age.
However, probiotic supplementation had no significant effect on the incidence of asthma or atopic sensitisation in children.
The study was “the first to show that certain probiotic bacteria given to the mother during pregnancy and breastfeeding prevents eczema”, the authors concluded.
The probiotic milk contained three bacteria: Bifidobacterium animalis and two strains of Lactobacillus. Both products had a similar taste and were delivered in unmarked cartons.
British Journal of Dermatology, online