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Logo of archdischArchives of Disease in ChildhoodVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
 
Arch Dis Child. 2005 September; 90(9): 892–897.
Published online 2005 April 29. doi:  10.1136/adc.2004.060673
PMCID: PMC1720555

Effects of probiotics on atopic dermatitis: a randomised controlled trial

Abstract

Background: The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of probiotics on moderate or severe atopic dermatitis (AD) in young children.

Methods: Fifty six children aged 6–18 months with moderate or severe AD were recruited into a randomised double blind placebo controlled trial in Perth, Western Australia; 53 children completed the study. The children were given a probiotic (1x109Lactobacillus fermentum VRI-033 PCC; Probiomics) or an equivalent volume of placebo, twice daily for 8 weeks. A final assessment at 16 weeks was performed.

Results: The main outcome measures were severity and extent of AD at the end of the study, as measured by the Severity Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index. The reduction in the SCORAD index over time was significant in the probiotic group (p = 0.03) but not the placebo group. Significantly more children receiving probiotics (n = 24, 92%) had a SCORAD index that was better than baseline at week 16 compared with the placebo group (n = 17, 63%) (p = 0.01). At the completion of the study more children in the probiotic group had mild AD (n = 14, 54%) compared to the placebo group (n = 8, 30%).

Conclusion: Supplementation with probiotic L fermentum VRI-003 PCC is beneficial in improving the extent and severity of AD in young children with moderate or severe disease.

Figure 1
 Consort statement: progress of participants through the trial.
Figure 2
 Change in extent and severity of AD during the study. (A) The differences in the SCORAD index from baseline (box plot) are shown for the probiotic L fermentum VRI-003 PCC group (shaded boxes) and the placebo group (white boxes) at each follow ...

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