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Br J Dermatol. 2012 Jan;166(1):129-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10596.x. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Lactobacillus salivarius plus fructo-oligosaccharide is superior to fructo-oligosaccharide alone for treating children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis: a double-blind, randomized, clinical trial of efficacy and safety.

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Departments of Pediatrics Medical Research and Education, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan.



Some probiotics can ameliorate childhood atopic dermatitis (AD). Prebiotics have also shown some efficacy, although when combined with probiotics as synbiotics, their efficacy may improve.


We compared the effects of Lactobacillus salivarius and fructo-oligosaccharide (synbiotic) with fructo-oligosaccharide alone (prebiotic) on children with moderate to severe AD.


We randomly assigned 60 children aged 2-14years with moderate to severe AD [SCORing AD (SCORAD)>25] to a treatment (synbiotic) or a control (prebiotic) group (30 per group). They received one capsule twice daily for 8weeks containing either L. salivarius plus fructo-oligosaccharide (treatment) or fructo-oligosaccharide only (control). SCORAD indices were monitored at weeks 0, 4, 8 and 10 (post-treatment). Laboratory results and AD medication use were also monitored.


Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics and SCORAD scores were similar between the two groups. At 8weeks, the treatment group SCORAD scores (27·4±12·7) were significantly lower than for the controls (36·3±14·9) (P=0·022); this difference remained at 10weeks. At 8weeks, treatment group AD intensity was significantly lower (P=0·013); more children had mild AD in the treatment group (52%; 14/27) than the control group (30%; 8/27) (P=0·024). Medication use frequency and eosinophil cationic protein levels were significantly reduced in the treatment group at 8weeks compared with 4 weeks.


A synbiotic combination of L. salivarius plus fructo-oligosaccharide is superior to the prebiotic alone for treating moderate to severe childhood AD. However, continued follow-up will be necessary to ascertain long-term benefits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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