Research Update: Prenatal Probiotics Reduce Eczema 77%


Editor’s Note: Thanks to ProThera/Klaire Labs for sending me this research bulletin. The two species in this study, Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium longum, are both in the Infant and Children’s Chewable probiotic formulations we carry at Mama’s Chiropractic.

Pre- and Postnatal Probiotic Supplementation Decreases Allergies

A study epublished in July 2014 reports that prenatal supplementation with probiotics to mothers and postnatal supplementation to infants decreased the development of eczema. According to the National Institutes of Health, 9% to 30% of Americans have eczema/atopic dermatitis, and it usually begins in infancy or childhood. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that 50 million individuals in the U.S. have allergies (one in five Americans), and allergies have been increasing in prevalence since the 1980s. In fact, allergies are the fifth most common chronic disease in the U.S. and the third most common chronic disease among children.

One hundred thirty mothers received Bifidobacterium breve and Bifidobacterium longum prenatally one month prior to delivery and their infants received the probiotics postnatally for six months. Thirty-six mother-infant pairs who did not receive the probiotic supplement were designated as the control group. The researchers assessed the infants for allergic symptoms at 4, 10, and 18 months of age. The investigators also evaluated fecal samples from both mothers and infants.

The risk of developing eczema/atopic dermatitis during the first 18 months of life was decreased by 77% in the probiotic supplement group. In addition, the mothers who received the probiotic supplement had lower levels of Proteobacteria at the time of delivery and this correlated with that of infants at four months of age. The phylum Proteobacteria includes gastrointestinal commensals such as Escherichia coli, Desulfovibrio, and Desulfobacter.

The researchers concluded, “These data suggest that the prenatal and postnatal supplementation of bifidobacteria is effective in primary preventing [sic] allergic diseases. Some limited changes in the composition of fecal microbiota by the bifidobacterial supplementation were observed.”


Enomoto T, et al. Allergol Int. 2014 Jul 25. [Epub ahead of print.] PMID:25056226

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