Probiotic bacteria at weaning may help alleviate allergy in infants

“Friendly” bacteria (probiotics) given to babies during weaning may help alleviate the symptoms of eczema, suggests research in Gut.

The researchers studied 21 infants who already had evidence of atopic (allergic) eczema, and were at heightened risk for chronic allergic disease.

When the babies were weaned onto hydrolysed whey formula feed, eight of them reacted adversely to it. Among the remaining 13, seven were fed the formula supplemented with probiotic bacteria – Bifidobacterium lactis – and six were fed unsupplemented formula. Stool samples were taken from the eight highly reactive babies before weaning, while the rest of the babies provided stool samples before and after weaning.

The eight highly reactive babies had greater numbers of “unfriendly” bacteria in their stool samples than the 13 babies who did not react to the formula feed. But to gauge the allergic response in all the babies, IgE levels were measured.

These directly corresponded to the levels of Escherichia coli, bacteria that can cause infection in this age group, and the numbers of bacteroides species (unfriendly bacteria) in the highly reactive babies.

Although the finding has yet to be verified, the authors suggest that these organisms are implicated in the development of an allergic response, possibly by causing changes in the gut “ecosystem.”

Supplementation of formula feed with probiotic bacteria significantly reduced the numbers of E. coli bacteria and prevented an increase in the numbers of bacteroides during weaning. Probiotic supplementation, say the authors, might help alleviate the allergic (inflammatory) response in babies during weaning.

Media Contact

Emma Wilkinson alfa

All latest news from the category: Health and Medicine

This subject area encompasses research and studies in the field of human medicine.

Among the wide-ranging list of topics covered here are anesthesiology, anatomy, surgery, human genetics, hygiene and environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, pharmacology, physiology, urology and dental medicine.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Perovskite solar cells soar to new heights

Metal halide perovskites have been under intense investigation over the last decade, due to the remarkable rise in their performance in optoelectronic devices such as solar cells or light-emitting diodes….

Blue hydrogen can help protect the climate

An international group of researchers led by the Paul Scherrer Institute and the Heriot-Watt University has carried out in-depth analyses of the climate impact of blue hydrogen. This is produced…

Genes associated with hearing loss visualised in new study

Researchers from Uppsala University have been able to document and visualise hearing loss-associated genes in the human inner ear, in a unique collaboration study between otosurgeons and geneticists. The findings…

Partners & Sponsors