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Allergy. 2011 Feb;66(2):170-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02416.x.

Synbiotics prevent asthma-like symptoms in infants with atopic dermatitis.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine and Allergy, Emma Children's Hospital, Academic Medical Center, Meibergdreef 9, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



  Infants with atopic dermatitis (AD) have a high risk of developing asthma. We investigated the effect of early intervention with synbiotics, a combination of probiotics and prebiotics, on the prevalence of asthma-like symptoms in infants with AD.


  In a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre trial, ninety infants with AD, age <7\ months, were randomized to receive an extensively hydrolyzed formula with Bifidobacterium breve M-16V and a galacto/fructooligosaccharide mixture (Immunofortis(®) ), or the same formula without synbiotics during 12 weeks. After 1 year, the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and asthma medication use was evaluated, using a validated questionnaire. Also, total serum IgE and specific IgE against aeroallergens were determined.


  Seventy-five children (70.7% male, mean age 17.3 months) completed the 1-year follow-up evaluation. The prevalence of 'frequent wheezing' and 'wheezing and/or noisy breathing apart from colds' was significantly lower in the synbiotic than in the placebo group (13.9%vs 34.2%, absolute risk reduction (ARR) -20.3%, 95% CI -39.2% to -1.5%, and 2.8%vs 30.8%, ARR -28.0%, 95% CI -43.3% to -12.5%, respectively). Significantly less children in the synbiotic than in the placebo group had started to use asthma medication after baseline (5.6%vs 25.6%, ARR -20.1%, 95% CI -35.7% to -4.5%). Total IgE levels did not differ between the two groups. No children in the synbiotic and five children (15.2%) in the placebo group developed elevated IgE levels against cat (ARR -15.2%, 95% CI -27.4% to -2.9%).


  These results suggest that this synbiotic mixture prevents asthma-like symptoms in infants with AD.

© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

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