News article

Guidelines on the use of Probiotics for Allergic Disease Management

Posted:  Monday, April 27, 2015

Probiotics have been reported to modulate immune responses and their supplementation has been proposed as a preventive intervention when it comes to infants with allergic diseases. 

To investigate this further, World Allergy Organization (WAO) convened a guideline panel to develop evidence-based recommendations about the use of probiotics in the management of allergy.

Using the most relevant clinical questions, the panel performed a systematic review of randomized controlled trials of probiotics for the management of allergy, following the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach to develop recommendations. In particular, the panel searched for and reviewed evidence about health effects, patient values and preferences, and resource use (up to November 2014).

The panel concluded that the currently available evidence does not indicate that probiotic supplementation reduces the risk of developing allergy in children. However, considering all critical outcomes in this context, the WAO guideline panel determined that there is a likely net benefit from using probiotics resulting primarily from prevention of eczema.

Based on this, the WAO guideline panel suggests using probiotics in:

a) pregnant women at high risk for having an allergic child;

b) women who breastfeed infants at high risk of developing allergy; and

c) in infants at high risk of developing allergy.

All recommendations are conditional and supported by very low quality evidence and are intended to support parents, clinicians and other health care professionals in their decisions whether to use probiotics in pregnancy, during breastfeeding, or for infants.

Read the full recommendations in the WAO panel report:
Guidelines for Allergic Disease Prevention (GLAD-P): Probiotics