Kukkonen K, Savilahti E, Haahtela T, Juntunen-Backman K, Korpela R, Poussa T et al.. Probiotics and prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides in the prevention of allergic diseases: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Allergy Clin Immunol 119, 192-198

Institute of Biomedicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 02/2007; 119(1):192-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.09.009
Source: PubMed


The increase in allergic diseases is attributed to a relative lack of microbial stimulation of the infantile gut immune system. Probiotics, live health-promoting microbes, might offer such stimulation.
We studied the effect of a mixture of 4 probiotic bacterial strains along with prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides in preventing allergic diseases.
We randomized 1223 pregnant women carrying high-risk children to use a probiotic preparation or a placebo for 2 to 4 weeks before delivery. Their infants received the same probiotics plus galacto-oligosaccharides (n = 461) or a placebo (n = 464) for 6 months. At 2 years, we evaluated the cumulative incidence of allergic diseases (food allergy, eczema, asthma, and allergic rhinitis) and IgE sensitization (positive skin prick test response or serum antigen-specific IgE level >0.7 kU/L). Fecal bacteria were analyzed during treatment and at age 2 years.
Probiotic treatment compared with placebo showed no effect on the cumulative incidence of allergic diseases but tended to reduce IgE-associated (atopic) diseases (odds ratio [OR], 0.71; 95% CI, 0.50-1.00; P = .052). Probiotic treatment reduced eczema (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.55-0.98; P = .035) and atopic eczema (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.46-0.95; P = .025). Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria more frequently (P < .001) colonized the guts of supplemented infants.
Probiotic treatment showed no effect on the incidence of all allergic diseases by age 2 years but significantly prevented eczema and especially atopic eczema. The results suggest an inverse association between atopic diseases and colonization of the gut by probiotics.
The prevention of atopic eczema in high-risk infants is possible by modulating the infant's gut microbiota with probiotics and prebiotics.

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Available from: Anna Kaarina Kukkonen, Nov 21, 2014
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    • "Using probiotics for prevention of atopic diseases was initiated by Scandinavian trials published in high-impact journals demonstrating significant effects in the prevention of atopic dermatitis [40–42]. Here, Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus appears to be a primary candidate strain in the incidence of atopic dermatitis. "
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    • "Several clinical trials suggest that probiotic bacteria (Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus) contribute to the prevention, reduction and treatment of allergic diseases [29] [103] [104] [105]. Consuming probiotics by the mother during the breastfeeding has beneficial effects on the maturation and modulation of the newborn's immune system. "
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    12/2013; 12(6). DOI:10.2174/1871528112666131205113129
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    • "In most studies reporting beneficial effects, mothers received probiotics during pregnancy and their babies continued with the same product after birth. The preventive effects of probiotics on eczema were greater in infants with a family history of allergic diseases22,39,40). "
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