Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prebiotics: Do supplements in baby formula help prevent allergies?

Date:
March 28, 2013
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Prebiotic supplements in infant formula may help to prevent eczema, according to a systematic review. However, the review highlights a lack of high quality evidence for the effects of prebiotics in preventing allergies.

Prebiotic supplements in infant formula may help to prevent eczema, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. However, the review highlights a lack of high quality evidence for the effects of prebiotics in preventing allergies.

Related Articles


It is thought that bacteria lining the gut may play an important role in a child developing sensitivities to certain foods and allergens, regulating immune responses and determining how they will react to the same substances in later life. Prebiotics are indigestible components of breast milk, fruit and vegetables that stimulate the growth and activity of healthy bacteria in the gut. They are distinct from probiotics, which are cultures of live bacteria such as those added to yoghurts and infant formula. Prebiotics can also be added to infant formula. However, it is unclear exactly what effect these supplements have on the development of allergies.

The researchers drew together data from four studies involving a total of 1,428 children. Children were given formula containing prebiotic supplements or, as a control, standard formula. Studies followed children to between four months and two years of age and reported the number who developed allergies. Eczema was significantly reduced in children who were fed formula containing prebiotics. Only two studies investigated asthma. The number of children who developed asthma was similar whether they were given formula with added prebiotics or without. In one study looking at urticaria (hives), giving children formula containing prebiotics did not prevent any cases of the allergy.

Only one study assessed the effect of giving formula containing prebiotics to high-risk children, who had close family members with allergies. In this study, prebiotics reduced both eczema and asthma, but there were no significant reductions in allergies overall in high-risk children. "Given these findings, it remains unclear whether the use of prebiotics should be restricted to infants at high risk of allergy or may have an effect in low risk populations," said lead researcher, John Sinn of the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.

"Overall, we found some evidence that infant formula containing prebiotic supplements can help prevent eczema in children up to two years of age," said Sinn. "However, the quality of existing evidence is generally low or very low. More high quality research is needed before we can recommend routine use of prebiotics for prevention of allergy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. JK Sinn, DA Osborn. Prebiotics in infants for prevention of allergy and food hypersensitivity. The Cochrane Library, 2013 (in press) DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006474

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Prebiotics: Do supplements in baby formula help prevent allergies?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075716.htm>.
Wiley. (2013, March 28). Prebiotics: Do supplements in baby formula help prevent allergies?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075716.htm
Wiley. "Prebiotics: Do supplements in baby formula help prevent allergies?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075716.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Sanborn family had hoped they'd be able to bring home their 5-year-old adopted son from Liberia by now. But Ebola has forced them to wait. The boy is just one of thousands of orphans in West Africa who've been impacted by the deadly virus. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins