Probiotics Allergy Study

Probiotics and prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides in the prevention of allergic diseases: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Kukkonen, K., Savilahti, E., Haahtela,T., Juntunen-Backman, K., Korpela,R., Poussa, T., Tuure, T.,and Kuitunen, M.

J Allergy Clin Immunol – 01-JAN-2007; 119(1): 192-8.

Objectives: Four probiotic strains and a prebiotic mixture of galacto-oligosaccharides were studied to determine their effects in the prevention of allergic diseases in at-risk mothers and their infants.

Methods: A randomized, double-blinded placebo controlled study used four probiotic strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (ATCC 53103), L rhamnosus LC705 (DSM 7061), Bifidobacterium breve Bb99 (DSM 13692), and Propionibacterium freudenreichii ssp.shermanii JS (DSM 7076) and 0.8 g of galacto-oligosaccharides. All probiotic strains contained ≥108 CFU. Pregnant mothers ingested a commercial capsule of the probiotics (Valio, Helsinki, Finland) or placebo. In addition, after birth, infants were fed the galacto-oligosaccharides (Valio, Helsinki, Finland) or placebo. Primary outcomes were measured when the infants were 2 years old and consisted of the cumulative incidence of any allergic disease (food allergy, eczema, asthma, and allergic rhinitis) and IgE-associated (atopic) disease. Secondary outcomes measured were eczema and IgE sensitization.

Results: No effect was seen on the primary outcome measure; there was no detectable

effect on the cumulative incidence of allergic diseases. However, the IgE-associated (atopic) diseases (odds ratio, 0.71; 95% CI, p=0.52) were reduced. Probiotic treatment reduced eczema (OR, 0.74; 95% CI, p=0.035) and atopic eczema (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, p =0.025). Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria more frequently (p < .001) colonized the guts of supplemented infants.

Conclusions: Eczema and atopic disease was significantly reduced by the treatment of pregnant mothers at risk for having infants with allergic diseases by the ingestion of probiotic capsules during pregnancy. There was no detectable effect on the cumulative incidence of allergic disorders.