Probiotic supplementation for pregnant women does not preven eczema in their children

13 February 2018
pregnant woman

Probiotic supplementation for pregnant women does not seem to prevent eczema in their children, according to a new New Zealand study.

The research led by the University of Otago aimed to test whether maternal supplementation alone could prevent eczema.

It follows a previous study which found that supplementation for both mothers and children had halved the risk of eczema in the first two years of life.

The earlier study had supplemented mothers from 35 weeks gestation until 6-months post-partum (if breastfeeding) and children from birth until two-years-old with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus or HN001.

This latest study again used HN001 and it was given to mothers only from 14-week’s gestation to 6-months post-partum (if they were breastfeeding).

However, the researchers found infant exposure to HN001 via the mother may be insufficient to provide the eczema protection.

But they say it’s still not clear whether infant supplementation alone will work to reduce the risk of eczema, or whether both infant and maternal supplementation are required.  

“Our findings suggest that direct infant probiotic supplementation is necessary to ensure eczema prevention but does not clearly answer the question as to whether maternal supplementation is also required.

“In a recent meta-analysis, when only the infant is supplemented results for eczema have been inconclusive, indicating the need for pre- and/or post-natal maternal supplementation,” the researchers say.

They say more work in this area is needed.

You can read the full study looking at probiotic supplementation for mothers and the impact on their children’s eczema risk here.