Study challenges the value of probiotics/prebiotics in treating childhood atopic dermatitis

Researchers from Iran’s Department of Allergy and Immunology, Children’s Medical Centre, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, have investigated more closely the varying results of previous studies looking into whether the use of probiotic and synbiotic (probiotic and prebiotic) supplementation decreases the severity of atopic dermatitis (AD) in childhood. They gave a group of 41 infants between 1-36 months with moderate to severe AD either a synbiotic (n=20) or a placebo (n=21) daily for two months.

At the first visit, severity of AD symptoms was measured using the SCORAD chart, plus skin prick testing, IgE blood level and eosinophil count were measured. The infants were allowed to use emollients and topical corticosteroids for relief.  SCORAD were re-evaluated at the end of the two months, and there was no significant difference in the total SCORAD between the placebo and synbiotic groups.

This study challenges the role of synbiotics as an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis.

Source:  Tehran University of Medical Sciences Journal

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March 2011

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