Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Effects of probiotics on atopic dermatitis? Additional studies are still needed!
  1. M O Hoekstra1,
  2. L E M Niers1
  1. 1Paediatric Allergology Clinic, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht, PO Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, Netherlands;

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

We read with interest the paper by Weston et al of a well designed and well carried out trial on the effects of probiotics in schoolchildren with atopic dermatitis.1 We have two methodological questions related to the authors’ conclusions.

First, in the discussion section the authors claim that this is the first study to show a benefit following administration of probiotics in children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. In our opinion this conclusion is not supported by the data generated by this study. Our main reason is that most changes in outcome found refer to changes within treatment groups and not differences between treatment groups. In a placebo controlled trial, changes within the intervention (probiotic) group may indicate a beneficial effect, but could also be due to a beneficial change in the course of the disease over time, regardless of the intervention. Therefore, a placebo group is included to control for the …

View Full Text


  • Competing interests: none declared