News - Pro- and Prebiotic Combination May Ease Eczema
Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder that causes the skin to become sore, dry, red and itchy. It affects between 10 to 20% of all children, but almost half of these will ‘grow out’ of eczema before adolescence. None the less, finding strategies to reduce eczema severity can greatly improve quality of life and, according to findings published in the British Journal of Dermatology, one option may be a combination of pro- and prebiotics.
To carry out the research, scientists recruited 60 children aged between two and 14 with moderate to severe eczema. The participants were then randomly assigned to receive either a daily dose of 950mg of fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) or a combination of 950mg FOS plus four billion Lactobacillus salivarius daily for eight weeks. Eczema was measured before and after the supplementation period using the specialist SCORAD scale.
Results of the study indicated that the measures of eczema obtained using the SCORAD scale were significantly reduced in both prebiotic and the combination group, with the greater reductions observed in the combination group. In addition, the severity of the condition decreased in both groups.
At the start of the study about 75% of the children in the symbiotic group had severe eczema with the other 25% having a moderate form. By the end of the study, fewer than 10% had severe eczema, with about 40% having moderate eczema, and over 50% having a mild form. In the prebiotic only group, about 60% of the children had severe eczema at the start with the rest having a moderate form. By the end of the study, about 20% still had severe eczema, with about 60% having moderate eczema, and about 20% having a mild form.
Wu et al. “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” British Journal of Dermatology. (2012) 166(1):129-136