The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    A prebiotic reduces the incidence of atopic dermatitis in high-risk infants

    For the first time prebiotics lowered the risk atopic dermatitis in a high-risk population of infants.

    More than 200 infants at risk for atopy (an allergy involving an inherited immunoglobulin of the IgE type) took part in the study. Those on bottle-feeding were randomly assigned to a prebiotic formula (a mixture of galacto- and long chain fructo-oligosaccharides) or maltodextrine as placebo.

    • Significantly fewer infants given the prebiotic developed atopic dermatitis
    • Diet had no effect on the severity of the dermatitis
    • Prebiotic supplements were associated with fecal bifidobacteria counts
    • But there was no difference in lactobacilli counts

    The investigators proposed that oligosaccharides affect immune development by altering bowel flora. Prebiotics might have a role in primary allergy prevention during infancy.

    The distinguishing characteristics of prebiotics compared to probiotics and synbiotics were discussed here earlier.

    10/20/06 23:02 JR

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