If a healthy mother consumes probiotics in the perinatal period, does it affect allergy-related diseases in her child at six years of age?
In this study, 415 pregnant women were randomised to consume either probiotic or placebo milk from 36 weeks gestation until 3 months postpartum. The probiotic milk contained three strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. acidophilus La-5, and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb-12.
At six years, the children whose mothers consumed probiotics showed a trend toward lower cumulative incidence of atopic dermatitis (AD), compared with children whose mothers were in the placebo group. Maternal probiotics did not seem to affect the prevalence of asthma, atopic sensitisation, or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis in these children.
This evidence agrees with previous research reporting fewer cases of AD at two years, after maternal probiotic supplementation. The study goes further, showing that maternal probiotics may be sufficient for a long-term reduction in children’s incidence of AD. However, maternal perinatal probiotics may not affect other allergy-related diseases.
Paul Enck Prof. Dr. Paul Enck, Director of Research, Dept. of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Tübingen, Germany.
His main interests are gut functions in health and disease, including functional and inflammatory bowel disorders, the role of the gut microbiota, regulation of eating and food intake and its disorders, of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness, and the psychophysiology and neurobiology of the placebo response, with specific emphasis on age and gender contributions.
He has published more than 170 original data paper in scientific, peer-reviewed journals, and more than 250 book chapters and review articles. He is board member/treasurer of the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility and of the German Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, and has served as reviewer for many international journals and grant agencies.