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Immun Inflamm Dis. 2013 Oct;1(1):63-9. doi: 10.1002/iid3.8. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

The use of prebiotics during the first year of life for atopy prevention and treatment.

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Nursing School of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo (USP) Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.
Head of Pediatric Allergy Service, Clinics Hospital, Federal University of Paraná Curitiba, Parana, Brazil.


The incidence of allergic diseases has increased in recent decades. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review was to assess the efficacy of prebiotics for the prevention and treatment of allergic manifestations in children. We sought to conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of prebiotics in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases in children. We searched the MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, LILACS, SciELO, IBECS, Web of Science and Clinical Trials databases as well as Google Scholar and the references of the articles identified. Randomised clinical trials, in which one of the treatments was performed with prebiotics and the control group was treated with placebo, were included in the review. The data selection were performed by two reviewers, and the study quality was evaluated according to the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) items, according to the recommendations for improving the quality of reports of randomised clinical trials. The selected studies showed heterogeneity with regard to the participants, albeit with similar outcomes. The treatment group size ranged from 134 to 259 children, and the studies compared prebiotic to placebo treatment in each group. In general, these articles showed a trend toward less allergic reactions in the groups receiving active therapy with prebiotics. Although there was a trend for reduced allergic symptoms following the administration of prebiotics, there was not sufficient evidence to establish that such treatment is effective for the prevention of allergies in children.


Allergy; atopy; children; hypersensitivity; prebiotics; review

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