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Probiotics again linked to dermatitis benefits in kids

By Lorraine Heller , 15-Jun-2010

A study from Ukraine has found that supplementation with probiotics for two months had significant benefits for children with atopic dermatitis, adding to the growing body of evidence for the bacteria’s skin health benefits.

Conducted using a mixture of probiotics from US based UAS Laboratories, the study involved 90 preschool children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis (AD).

AD, also known as Eczema, is one of the first signs of allergy during the early days of life and is said to be due to delayed development of the immune system. It is a common inflammatory skin disorder, which occurs in early childhood and may persists into adult life. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists it affects between 10 to 20 per cent of all infants, but almost half of these kids will 'grow out' of eczema between the ages of five and 15.

Current treatments focus on alleviating symptoms, but probiotics have been studied for over 20 years for their therapeutic benefits for the condition.

Presented last week at the New York Academy of Sciences symposium Probiotics: From Bench to Market, the current study was designed to determine the impact of a mixture of L. acidophilus DDS-1 and B. lactis UABLA-12.

Double blind placebo controlled

Conducted by Dr SV Gerasimov, MD, PhD from the Department of Pediatrics, Lviv National Medical University, Lviv, Ukraine, the study involved two groups of children aged one to three.

One group received doses of the probiotics twice a day, to provide a total of 10bn CFU/gram of a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 and Bifidobacterium lactis UABLA-12 with FOS (fructooligosaccharide). The second group received a placebo.

After four weeks, both groups demonstrated a decrease in SCORAD indexes (scoring of atopic dermatitis), which was the primary outcome measure used to track improvements. The decrease in the group taking probiotics was almost 34 per cent after eight weeks, while the placebo group demonstrated a decrease of 19 per cent.

Secondary outcomes included corresponding lymphocyte subset changes in peripheral blood. The researchers said that more investigation is needed for the efficacy of probiotic therapy in adults with AD.

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