Monday, September 10, 2012
Combining probiotics and prebiotics to produce a symbiotic may reduce the
severity of eczema in children, suggests a new research study that was conducted
in Taiwan on 60 children. Supplements, containing a combination of Lactobacillus
salivarius and fructo-oligosaccharide and taken for eight weeks, were associated
with significant reductions in the severity of eczema, when compared with a
control group receiving only prebiotics, according to findings published in the
British Journal of Dermatology.
Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis (AD), is regarded as a result of the
immune system being delayed in development, and one of the implications of an
immature immune system can be allergic manifestations. This is seen in 10 to 20%
of all infants, who ultimately outgrow this between 5 and 15 years.
Intestinal microflora plays an important role in enhancing or strengthening the
immune system. There are a few researches that discuss how demographic changes
can actually influence the intestinal flora of the population, especially in
more urbanised communities such as Taiwan. It is therefore important to look at
the factors - particularly probiotics and prebiotics - which play a direct part
in determining the intestinal microflora of humans.
This study was conducted in children between 2 to 14 years, to determine the
efficacy of probiotic and prebiotic combination in improving eczema (Atopic
initial population group consisted of 60 children (30 in each group), which
decreased to 27 children each in the symbiotic and control groups respectively,
due to unforeseen circumstances. During the trial period, the usual treatment or
management for AD patients was still implemented.
control group comprised children with 60% severe eczema, and the remainder, with
moderate eczema, who were given only the prebiotic fructo-oligosacharide. This
resulted in 20% with severe eczema and 60% with moderate eczema.
treatment group was given a combination of the probiotic Lactobacillus
salivarius and prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharide. In this group, 75% of children
initially presented with severe eczema and 25% with moderate eczema. The results
were less than 10% with sever eczema, 40% moderate eczema and 50% mild eczema.
is clear that the prebiotic is also efficient in the reduction or treatment of
eczema, but even clearer is how the symbiotic combination is more superior in
the treatment thereof.
Arguments that arose from other researches were that probiotics are more
efficient in the preventing of eczema, as opposed to the treatment. Others went
on to suggest that the observations were only modest.
Probiotics such as Lactobacillus Rhamnosus were observed to also be effective in
preventing AD. More suggestions went into how prebiotic and probiotic
combinations would be essential in infant formula to prevent AD, however, it was
said that more research is required for this.
Taking all that has been said into account, it can be confirmed that the
symbiotic use of probiotics and prebiotics is effective in eczema treatment, but
a follow-up to assess its long-term effects are of importance.
further information and access to this article, please click on the link below:
Source: British Journal of Dermatology
January 2012, Volume 166, Issue 1, pages 129-136
“Lactobacillus salivarius plus fructo-oligosaccharide is superior to fructo-oligosaccharide
alone for treating children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis: a
double-blind, randomised, clinical trial of efficacy and safety”
Authors: K.-G. Wu, T.-H. Li, H.-J. Peng
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