Probiotics are Not a Cure-All

Probiotics are very popular now and seem to be everywhere. There are also many claims out about what probiotics can and cannot be used for. (Check out the skinny on probiotics here.) I think using probiotics are great for many things, however, I also advocate for their appropriate use.

One current controversial use of probiotics is for treating atopic dermatitis. There is some evidence that probiotics given prenatally and/or in early life may reduce the risk of developing atopic dermatitis, but their role in treating established disease is not clear-cut.

A meta-analysis of 39 randomized trials including nearly 2600 patients of all ages with mild to severe atopic dermatitis did not find a difference between probiotics (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species) and placebo in improving patient/parent-rated severity of atopic dermatitis, pruritus, sleep loss, or quality of life.

To sum it up, the routine use of probiotics as a complementary treatment for a skin condition like atopic dermatitis is not recommended because the clinical benefit is minimal at best.


picture of Whole Foods for probiotics


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