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Probiotics Ineffective in Childrens Eczema

MELBOURNE, Australia—Oral ingestion of probiotics does not help relieve symptoms of eczema in children, according to a new Cochrane Library review (ePub 8 Oct 2008) (DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD006135.pub2). A research team coordinated out of the Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia, reviewed controlled trials of live orally ingested microorganisms for the treatment of eczema, including a total of 12 studies with 781 patients. There was no significant difference in patient or parent-rated scores in favor of probiotic treatment nor in symptom severity. The researchers noted there was significant heterogeneity between results of studies, possibly due to the use of different probiotic strains. Robert John Boyle, lead author, said: “The studies to date have only evaluated a limited range of probiotic strains; therefore, it is possibly that as yet unstudied strains, particularly non-Lactobacillus strains, may be effective for the treatment of eczema.”

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