June 23, 2003
Probiotics During Pregnancy Reduce Atopic Eczema Risk inChild
TURKU, Finland--Probiotic administration during pregnancy seemsto offer a woman's unborn child protection against atopic eczema beyond infancy,according to a research letter in the May 31 issue of The Lancet (361,9372: 2003) (www.thelancet.com).Researchers from the University of Turku and the National Public HealthInstitute in the same city discovered perinatal administration of Lactobacillusrhamnosus strain GG (L. rhamnosus GG) reduced the incidence of atopiceczema, an itchy skin disease usually associated with asthma and hay fever, inat-risk children during the first two years of life. To investigate whether theprotection lasted beyond infancy, researchers diagnosed atopic disease at fouryears.
Fourteen of 53 children born to women receiving L. rhamnosus GG developedatopic eczema compared to 25 of 54 children born to women receiving placebo. Askin prick test administered among the children demonstrated reactivity wassimilar in both groups: 10 of 50 children previously given L. rhamnosus GGcompared with nine of 50 given placebo tested positive. Researchers concludedtheir results would seem to suggest the protective effect of L. rhamnosus GGagainst atopic eczema extends beyond infancy.
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