Researchers from South Korea believe that the daily supplementation of probiotics may help to reduce eczema in children. Eczema, also known atopic dermatitis, is a common inflammatory skin condition believed to effect approximately 10-20% of all infants. The condition usually occurs during early childhood and is believed to be linked to an under-developed immune system.

Recent research published in the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology journal has added to the growing body of studies that suggest that probiotics may be able to reduce eczema. The combined efforts of researchers from the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, the Samsung Medical Centre, the CJ Foods R & D Centre and the Chung-Ang University College of Medicine found that the Lactobacillus plantarum CJLP133 probiotic strain was associated with a significant improvement in eczema symptoms.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study observed a total of 118 children with eczema aged between 1 and 13 years old. The children were split into two groups who received supplementation for a period of 12 weeks, one group received 5 billion colony-forming units of L. plantarum CJLP133 and the other group received a matched placebo.

Results were measured using the SCORing of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) scores, and revealed that the probiotic group showed a significant improvement in eczema symptoms compared to the placebo group.

The scientists also noted that the probiotic group exhibited much lower interleukin-4 allergy markers and eosinophil levels, a white blood cell responsible for controlling allergy mechanisms. The researchers commented;

"A reduction in eosinophil counts represents decreased disease activity as there is a positive correlation between clinical severity and total eosinophil counts in acute exacerbation phase of atopic dermatitis."

More research is needed to further understand the probiotics mechanisms of action.

Find out more about probiotics and eczema.

Reference: Han, Y. et al. (2012) A randomized trial of Lactobacillus plantarum CJLP133 for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 23, 7. 667-673.


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