Can probiotics help with atopic dermatitis risk? A meta-analysis offers some answers.
Specific probiotic strains administered to pregnant women, infants, or both can help prevent development of atopic dermatitis (AD), according to a review of 35 studies representing 5406 children with general or high risk of developing allergic disease. Of total studies, all of which were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 14 were follow-ups of completed RCTs and 21 were original studies. The analysis included studies that began maternal probiotic use in the prenatal period.
A comparison of the effect of different probiotic preparations in pre- venting AD found that the 3 most effective are: Mix8 (Lactobacillus paracasei ST11, Bifidobacterium longum BL999), LP (Lactobacillus paracasei ssp paracasei F19), and Mix3 (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis Bb- 12). As the authors noted, however, evidence that Mix8 and Mix3 reduce risk of AD compared with placebo is “low quality” and that evidence for LP is “very low quality.” None of the probiotics was associated with clinically important adverse events.
Thoughts from Dr. Farber
We are still studying whether giving infants probiotics can be of value. This paper suggests they may be worth trying to prevent atopic dermatitis, but at this point I don’t believe I’m necessarily offering parents anything more than hope if I suggest trying them.
1. Tan-Lim CSC, Esteban-Ipac NAR, Recto MST, Castor MAR, Casis-Hao RJ, Nano ALM. Comparative effective- ness of probiotic strains on the prevention of pediatric atopic dermatitis: a systematic review and network meta-analysis. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. Published online April 3, 2021. doi:10.1111/pai.13514