Study: probiotic doesn't reduce child allergy risk

November 7, 2008

A probiotic strain tested in infants did not reduce the risk of allergic reactions, according to research published in the October Allergy.

A probiotic strain tested in infants did not reduce the risk of allergic reactions, according to research published in the October Allergy.

Investigators gave 178 children Lactobacillus acidophilus daily for the first six months of life or placebo. At age 1 year, infants that had received the bacteria were more likely to develop sensitivity to allergens, but at age 2 and a half years, there was no difference in allergy sensitivity between children receiving the probiotic or placebo.

Children who received the probiotic did have significantly fewer gastrointestinal infections in the previous 18 months than those who received placebo, although the study was not designed to measure this result.

The investigators concluded that perhaps other probiotic strains besides the one studied could be more effective in reducing allergy risks.