New Research Suggests Probiotics Can Delay and Treat Eczema.
The answer to childhood eczema may be all in the gut! New research from Leiden University, St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein, and Winclove Probiotics identifies butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by intestinal fermentation of dietary fibre, as a crucial factor in the development of a healthy, normal immune system in infants.
Although physical symptoms of eczema often don’t present until 1 year of age, lower levels of butyrate were identified as early as 3 months. This significant head start allowed the researchers to administer clinical supplementation of a probiotic mixture (Ecologic®PANDA) to stimulate intestinal production of butyrate, and thus delay the onset of eczema until age 2 (PandA study, Niers et al 2009).
Based on comparisons of infant fecal samples, the researchers concluded that supplementation of multispecies probiotics induced higher levels of SCFA’s, and as such positively influenced the development of the baby’s immune system. While not conclusively preventing the development of eczema in high-risk children, the temporary delay in manifestation does prove promising for further research. And when it comes to childhood eczema, any additional symptom-free time is certainly welcome!