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Culturelle® PreventsAtopic Eczema in IgE-sensitized Infants

Culturelle® Prevents Atopic Eczema in IgE-sensitized Infants

HELSINKI, FinlandLactobacillus GG (LGG), a mixture of four probiotic strains, reduced symptoms of atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) in infants with food allergy, according to a study published in Allergy (60, 4:494-500, 2005).

In the randomized, double blind study, 230 infants with AEDS possibly caused by cows milk allergy (CMA) received LGG (as Culturelle®, manufactured by ConAgra Functional Foods) or placebo, as well as an elimination diet and skin treatment, for four weeks. At the conclusion of the test period, CMA was confirmed in 120 infants with a double blind, placebocontrolled cows milk challenge. Severity of AEDS measured by the Severity Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index had decreased by 65 percent since baseline, with no differences between treatment groups or in infants with CMA.However, infants sensitized to Immunoglobin E (IgE) and given LGG showed a greater reduction in SCORAD than did infants given placebo. Exclusion of infants who received antibiotics during the study reinforced the findings in the IgE-sensitized subgroup.

The researchers concluded treatment with LGG may alleviate AEDS symptoms in IgE-sensitized infants but not in non-IgE-sensitized infants.

All groups showed improvement in mean SCORAD, a standardized way to assess eczema, due to the dietary and dermatologic treatments, said M. Viljanen, Ph.D., co-author of the study. Many cases, however, do not respond to standard treatment. When the groups were subanalyzed for IgE levels, an index of the type and severity of allergic response, the group that had the highest IgE levels showed a significant reduction in SCORAD when taking LGG as compared to both the placebo and LGG mix group. This is significant because treatment with LGG may help with AEDS symptoms in IgE- sensitized infants. It also helps to identify the exact mechanism by which LGG works and demonstrates that combining probiotics doesnt necessarily improve efficacy.

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