Synbiotics effective treatment for atopic dermatitis
Synbiotics—mixtures of prebiotics and probiotics—are effective in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD), particularly if they contain mixed strains of bacteria and if they are given to children aged 1 year or older, according to a recent meta-analysis.
Researchers searched the PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CAB Abstracts Archive databases from inception to October 15, 2015 for all randomized clinical trials of synbiotics for the prevention and/or treatment of AD published in any language.
A total of six treatment studies that collectively included 369 children (age range 0 months to 14 years) and two prevention studies involving 1,320 children (age range <3 days to 6 months) were identified. In the six treatment studies, the overall pooled change in the Severity Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis index after 8 weeks of synbiotic treatment was -6.56 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], -11.43 to -1.68; p=0.008).
However, subgroup analysis revealed that the beneficial effect was only significant if mixed strains of bacteria were used and when the synbiotic was administered to children aged 1 year or older. Analysis of data from the prevention studies revealed that compared with placebo, synbiotic recipients had a pooled relative risk of AD of 0.44 (95 percent CI, 0.11–1.83; p=0.26).