Monday, 23 April 2012

New Eczema Research

According to a report in the Otago Daily Times in New Zealand, World-class research led by New Zealand's University of Otago researcher Dr Kristin Wickens is opening up new horizons in the prevention of eczema among high-risk infants, showing that probiotic use can halve the risk.

Probiotics are microorganisms that protect their host and prevent disease.

The study showed one probiotic, a bacterium named Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001, reduced the risk of developing eczema by the age of 2 by about half among young children who were at high risk of developing eczema.
The probiotic was developed by Fonterra the International milk processing company in New Zealand.

The probiotic has the effect of increasing the population of 'good' bacterium in the human gut - where it already occurs naturally, as it does in yoghurt.   

Some earlier but smaller studies in Finland had shown positive effects of probiotic use in eczema, but the Otago University-led research involved a much larger study and was internationally significant, according to Prof Gerald Tannock, of the Otago microbiology and immunology department.

Researchers say that if eczema could be successfully prevented in childhood, there could also be wider potential benefits in halting an "allergic march" towards developing other conditions, such as asthma and hay fever.

For those that already suffer from Eczema a natural topical solution has been found in applying Manuka honey cream formulated with natural oils and extracts renowned for their skin calming and anti-inflammatory effect.

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