World Allergy Organization (WAO) position paper on probiotics and allergy

Thursday, Feb 01, 2018

Reference:

Fiocchi A, Burks W, Bahna SL, Bielory L, Boyle RJ, Cocco R, Dreborg S, Goodman R, Kuitunen M, Haahtela T, Heine RG, Lack G, Osborn DA, Sampson H, Tannock GW, Lee BW; on behalf of the WAO Special Committee on Food Allergy and Nutrition. Clinical Use of Probiotics in Pediatric Allergy (CUPPA): A World Allergy Organization Position Paper. World Allergy Organ J. 2012 Nov;5(11):148-67. Link to PubMed

  • Background:
    Probiotics administration has been proposed for the prevention and treatment of allergic manifestation. World Allergy Organization (WAO) Special Committee on Food Allergy and Nutrition reviewed the evidence and published scientific opinions on the clinical effectiveness.
     
  • Comments on the quality of clinical studies reviewed:
    Literatures on probiotic consists mainly of reviews, few of them are systemic, and meta-analyses are rare.
     
  • Subject populations in studies reviewed:
    • Infants, pregnant women – newborn pairs in most studies
    • Teenagers and adults in a few studies
       
  • Key findings of literatures review:
  • Probiotics and food allergy:
    • The WAO's DRACMA* and NIAID** Guidelines neither mentioned nor recommended the use of probiotics for milk or food allergy.
    • Studies yield inconsistent findings on the usefulness of probiotics in food allergy.
  • Probiotics and atopic eczema:
    • No meta-analytic evidence showed probiotics are clinically effective for treating established eczema.
  • Probiotics and asthma:
    • No primary prevention study has been able to demonstrate an effect of probiotics supplementation in asthma in human.
    • Positive studies are of relatively small sample size and short period.
       
  • Conclusion:
    • Safety issues are of utmost importance when probiotics are added to cow's milk formula intended for general use.
    • There is no established role of probiotics supplements for the prevention or treatment of allergy.


Remarks:
*DRACMA = Diagnosis and Rationale for Action against Cow's Milk Allergy
**NIAID = National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

 

WYE-EM-163-MAY-14


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