- Vitamin Guide
- Health Conditions
- Health Centers
- Diet & Weight Loss
- Herbal Remedies
- Current News
- Food Guide
The link between skin and gut health is often overlooked but emerging evidence brings it back into view. The British Journal of Dermatology reports that children with eczema responded better to a combination of pre- and probiotic supplements than to a prebiotic alone.
The study included 60 children with moderate to severe eczema who were assigned to receive one capsule of a probiotic plus prebiotic combination or one capsule of a prebiotic alone twice daily for eight weeks. Each capsule of the combination supplement provided 2 billion colony-forming units of Lactobacillus salivarius and 475 mg of fructo-oligosaccharide, while each capsule of the prebiotic provided just 475 mg of fructo-oligosaccharide.
Parents kept track of their children’s eczema symptoms by scoring factors such as the percentage of the body affected, the intensity of redness, crusting, oozing, swelling, dryness, scratch marks, and skin thickening, and the degree of itching and sleep loss. They also monitored quality of life factors such as whether their symptoms interfered with their ability and willingness to take part in ordinary life activities and events and how often they needed medication creams to manage their symptoms.
Quality of life scores were similar in both groups throughout the study and children in both groups improved during the study—however, the ones who received the combination supplement improved more. By the eighth week of treatment, moderate or severe symptoms improved in 30% of those in the prebiotic group and 52% of those in the combination group.
Medication use dropped significantly in the combination supplement group but not in the prebiotic group.“In light of our findings, the use of combinations of prebiotics, which selectively promote the growth of certain bacterial species and their activities, and probiotics, which elicit immune modulating effects, may be an effective strategy for treating childhood eczema," said lead study author Dr. Keh-Gong Wu at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan.
Here are some treatment options to consider if your child has eczema:
(Br J Dermatol 2011; Sep 6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10596.x; e-pub)