Taking Probiotics in Pregnancy or Giving Them to Infants Doesn’t Prevent Asthma

In a study published in the December, 2013 edition of British Medicine Journal, researchers conducted a meta-analysis to “evaluate the association of probiotic supplementation during pregnancy or infancy with childhood asthma and wheeze….Two reviewers independently identified [randomized] controlled trials evaluating probiotics administered to mothers during pregnancy or to infants during the first year of life. The primary outcome was doctor diagnosed asthma; secondary outcomes included wheeze and lower respiratory tract infection.” The researchers “found no evidence to support a protective association between perinatal use of probiotics and doctor diagnosed asthma or childhood wheeze. [Randomized] controlled trials to date have not yielded sufficient evidence to recommend probiotics for the primary prevention of these disorders. Extended follow-up of existing trials, along with further clinical and basic research, are needed to accurately define the role of probiotics in the prevention of childhood asthma.” The abstract and full article are available online.