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Risk of Eczema Decreased with Probiotics

Probiotics alter eczema risk among children with a genetic predisposition, a study epublished in August 2014 reports.  According to The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, eczema is the most common skin condition, especially in children. It affects one in five infants but only approximately one in fifty adults.

The subjects included 331 children of European ancestry. The investigators genotyped 33 eczema susceptibility single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in eleven genes. The investigators categorized the subjects based on who carried a genetic variant that put them at a high risk of developing eczema. The researchers randomly assigned the children to receive Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis HN019, or placebo.

Among the children with a genetic variant that put them at a high risk of developing eczema, those who received Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 were less likely to develop eczema compared to the placebo group. They also showed that Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis HN019 was able to protect against the effects of some SNPs. Furthermore, the researchers found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 was able to modify genetic susceptibility to eczema severity and atopy risk.

The study authors concluded, "This is the first study to show an effect of a probiotic on reducing eczema risk amongst those with particular eczema-associated genotypes. Our findings suggest that Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 may be particularly effective in preventing eczema in children with specific high risk genotypes."

Reference:

Morgan AR, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 2014 Aug 21. [Epub ahead of print.]