Probiotics may enhance gut barrier function and improve immunity in infants.

Studies are proving that probiotics can help infants with allergic reactions. One such allergic reaction is atopic dermatitis. Priobiotics can stabilize the intestinal barrier structure.

At birth, the intestines of infants are free of bacteria. Bacteria starts to colonize the intestines soon after giving birth. Facultative aerobes are the initial bacteria to colonize the infant’s intestines.
Facultative aerobes begin to deplete the storage of oxygen within the intestines of infants. This makes the intestine a great place to harbor anaerobes. In only two days after birth the intestine of an infant is full of enterobacteria.

Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, Clostridum difficile, and Escherichia coli bacteroids are the major types of bacteria that are in the GI tract of infants. The proportion of every bacterium varies depending on some determinants. Gut microbiota’s composition during the first several days is the result of the delivery method. This means that the surroundings and the mother influence composition. There are several other factors to a child’s stomach flor. The environment the infant was born in, hygiene measures, and method of infant feeding also influence it.

The University of Turku in Finland conducted a study with 39 infants who had AT, or atopic dermatitis. The researchers used a formula supplemented with probiotics. This caused improvements in the infants’ immunity after only one month.  The experts concluded that:

 “Specific probiotics can afford protection against the offending macromolecules in the baby’s gut and offer control for any infections through accelerated immunological maturation.”

Allergic Responses Decreased and Immunity Strengthened with Probiotics

Since 1990s, the cases of allergic disease has increased in the various industrialized countries. The above study suggests that probiotics can be beneficial to control allergic disease from a young age. Atopic infants tend to have low levels of Bifidobacteria. As such they are much more susceptible to allergen sensitization. Probiotics can help add this missing healthy bacteria.

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema,  is a typical allergic inflammation of skin on infants. A different study tested infants with atopic dermatitis during breast-feeding who had no exposure to any substitute infant formula. Such infants consumed supplements with probiotics like lactobacillus rhamnosus CG. The purpose of the study was to determine the severity and incidence of allergic response.

The results show a decrease in the severity of the skin manifestations. This happened through minimizing the allergic immune responses. It also promoted the development of immunologic tolerance and suppressive helper cells to antigens. The study also suggested that probiotics can improve gut barrier and decrease gut inflammation. This all comes together to improve immunity.

Many studies use probiotics in a variety of forms. These include supplemented water, supplemented formula, and capsules. When researchers combined supplements with food to treat atopy, probiotics made a powerful impact. Regular probiotic supplementation can stabilize intestinal barrier function and lower the allergic responses. This can cut the severity of the atopic symptoms.