Nancy Toedter Williams


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010;67(6):449-458. 

In This Article


Several studies have found that probiotics have a beneficial effect on atopic eczema. Kalliomaki et al.[50] conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in which 159 pregnant women with a family history of atopic disease were given LGG or placebo daily for two to four weeks before their expected delivery date, followed by administration of the probiotic or placebo to the newborn infant for 6 months; 132 participants completed the trial. There was a 50% reduction in the frequency of atopic eczema during the first two years of the children's lives in those given probiotics compared with placebo (23% [15 of 64] versus 46% [31 of 68]; RR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.32–0.84; p = 0.008). This cohort was reexamined after four years, and significantly fewer children who had previously received LGG were diagnosed with atopic eczema compared with placebo (26% [14 of 53] versus 46% [25 of 54]; RR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.33–0.97), suggesting that the protective effect of this probiotic on atopic eczema in at-risk children continues beyond infancy.[51] In another randomized double-blind study, 27 infants (mean age, 4.6 months) with atopic eczema received formula supplemented with probiotics (either LGG or Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12) or the same formula without probiotics.[52] After 2 months, the Scoring Atopic Dermatitis index, which reflects the extent and severity of atopic eczema, was reduced significantly in the infants given probiotic-supplemented formulas compared with those who did not receive probiotic supplementation (p = 0.002).


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