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Probiotics and Atopic Dermatitis in Children
Department of Pediatrics, Luigi Sacco Hospital, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via GB Grassi 74, 20157 Milan, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 April 2012; in revised form: 26 June 2012 / Accepted: 29 June 2012 / Published: 6 July 2012
Abstract: There is increasing interest in the potential beneficial role of probiotic supplementation in the prevention and treatment of atopic diseases in children. Probiotics are defined as ingested live microorganisms that, when administered in an adequate amount, confer a health benefit to the host. They are mainly represented by Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. Several epidemiological data demonstrate that intestinal microflora of atopic children is different from the one of healthy children. Many literature data show that probiotics may modulate the intestinal microflora composition and may have immunomodulatory effect. Based on this hypothesis, probiotics are supposed to confer benefits to allergic diseases. Administration of probiotics when a natural population of indigenous intestinal bacteria is still developing could theoretically influence immune development by favoring the balance between Th1 and Th2 inflammatory responses. For this reason, some studies have evaluated the potential impact of probiotics supplementation in the prevention of atopic dermatitis, with contrasting results. Clinical improvement in immunoglobulin (Ig)E-sensitized (atopic) eczema following probiotic supplementation has been reported in some published studies and the therapeutic effects of probiotics on atopic dermatitis seemed to be encouraging. However, as far as the usefulness of probiotics as a prevention strategy is concerned, results are still inconclusive. In fact, the clinical benefits of probiotic therapy depend upon numerous factors, such as the type of bacteria, dosing regimen, delivery method and other underlying host factors, such as age and diet. More studies are still needed to definitively prove the role of probiotics in the treatment of allergic eczema.
Keywords: probiotics; atopic dermatitis; prevention; treatment
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Meneghin, F.; Fabiano, V.; Mameli, C.; Zuccotti, G.V. Probiotics and Atopic Dermatitis in Children. Pharmaceuticals 2012, 5, 727-744.
Meneghin F, Fabiano V, Mameli C, Zuccotti GV. Probiotics and Atopic Dermatitis in Children. Pharmaceuticals. 2012; 5(7):727-744.
Meneghin, Fabio; Fabiano, Valentina; Mameli, Chiara; Zuccotti, Gian Vincenzo. 2012. "Probiotics and Atopic Dermatitis in Children." Pharmaceuticals 5, no. 7: 727-744.