A double blind, placebo-controlled trial on the effects of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 on the extent and severity of atopic dermatitis in children given standard treatment.
Fifty children, 3 months – 4 years old, were randomized into two groups, each with 25 children. Group A was given 1×10^8 of Lactobacillus reuteri in an oil suspension daily and group B an identical placebo, for 12 months. Responses of skin prick tests to several food allergens and total blood IgE were assessed at baseline and at 12 months. Eczema was evaluated according to a validated scoring system (SCORAD).
The extension of the eczema was significantly reduced over time in the Lactobacillus reuteri group compared to the placebo group (p=0.024). Itching and loss of sleep was also significantly reduced in group A compared to group B (p=0.024). Skin prick test for peanut was reduced in the Lactobacillus reuteri group (p=0.023). During the 12-month study period the total IgE levels significantly increased in the placebo group (p=0.022) but not in the Lactobacillus reuteri group (p=0.133).
The results indicate that Lactobacillus reuteri may have an effect on the immune system and reduce allergic symptoms in children.