Probiotics During Pregnancy May Reduce Incidence of Eczema in Babies

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Eczema is an itchy allergic rash that is often associated with other allergies and asthma. Mothers who have a history of allergies have a higher incidence of giving birth to babies with the condition and allergic sensitivities. A study in Finland took a sample of 241 of these high allergy risk pregnant women, and assigned them to drink one of two beverages. One beverage was a probiotic supplement containing good bacteria, which is thought to balance bacteria in the intestines and prevent disease. The hope was that these beneficial effects are passed to babies in breast milk, and would reduce allergic reactions in babies. The second group was given a placebo.

The research had promising results, and while further research is necessary, it indicates probiotics may reduce eczema in babies. 29% of babies had an incidence of eczema while only 10% had chronic eczema in the probiotic group. In the placebo group, 71% had an incidence of eczema while 26% had chronic eczema. Nestle donated the probiotic supplements for the study. It is too soon to tell if the supplements will reduce risk of asthma in babies, yet the study is hopeful because it provides benefits without the risk of infection with giving supplements directly to infants.

Content courtesy of Reuters. Image source

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