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Prebiotics and probiotics: the prevention and reduction in severity of atopic dermatitis in children

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The purpose of this review was to identify whether supplementation with prebiotics and/or probiotics help prevent the development or reduce the severity of atopic dermatitis in children less than three years of age. Since 1997, immunostimulatory supplements, such as prebiotics and probiotics, have been investigated. Various supplementations include probiotics (single strain or mix), probiotics with formula, probiotics mix with prebiotics, and prebiotics. In this narrative review, we examined 13 key articles on prebiotics and/or probiotics, and their effects on infant atopic dermatitis. Among the selected studies, a total of 3,023 participants received supplements or placebo. Eight out of the 13 (61.5%) studies reported a significant effect on the prevention of atopic dermatitis after supplementation with probiotics and/or prebiotics. Five out of the 13 (38.5%) studies indicated significant reduction in the severity of atopic dermatitis after supplementation. Based on the available studies, supplementation with certain probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG) appears to be an effective approach for the prevention and reduction in severity of atopic dermatitis. A mix of specific probiotic strains prevented atopic dermatitis among infants. Based on studies with prebiotics, there was a long-term reduction in the incidence of atopic dermatitis. Supplementation with prebiotics and probiotics appears useful for the reduction in the severity of atopic dermatitis. Additional interventional studies exploring prebiotics and probiotics are imperative before recommendations can be made.
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Keywords: atopic dermatitis; children; prebiotics; prevention; probiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Beneficial Microbes is a peer-reviewed scientific journal with a specific area of focus: the promotion of the science of microbes beneficial to the health and wellbeing of man and animal. The journal contains original research papers and critical reviews in all areas dealing with beneficial microbes in both the small and large intestine, together with opinions, a calendar of forthcoming beneficial microbes-related events and book reviews. The journal takes a multidisciplinary approach and focuses on a broad spectrum of issues, including safety aspects of pro- & prebiotics, regulatory aspects, mechanisms of action, health benefits for the host, optimal production processes, screening methods, (meta)genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, host and bacterial physiology, application, and role in health and disease in man and animal. Beneficial Microbes is intended to serve the needs of researchers and professionals from the scientific community and industry, as well as those of policy makers and regulators.
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