Effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 in early life on allergic disease
This December 2018 New Zealand study looked into the effect of probiotic (specifically Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001) in early life, and how this affect allergic disease.
The study concluded that taking HN001 in early childhood HN001 supplementation was associated with significant reductions in the 12-month prevalence of eczema at age 11 years and hay fever. HN019 Bifidobacterium lactis showed no impact.
This study carries weight because it is a randomized placebo-controlled trial of Lactobacillus rhamnosus (HN001) (6 × 109 colony-forming units [cfu]) or Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 (9 × 109 cfu) taken daily from 35-week gestation to 6 months' post-partum in mothers while breastfeeding and from birth to age 2 years in infants, we showed that HN001 significantly protected against eczema development at 2, 4 and 6 years and atopic sensitization at 6 years.
The same group of researchers also studied whether HN001 during pregnancy and breastfeeding alone will be enough without giving it directly to the infants. The conclusion was maternal probiotic supplementation without infant supplementation may not be effective for preventing infant eczema.
My take is that since for now there is no strong study suggesting negative impact of probiotic consumption, I would think if you can afford it, it may be a good cautious thing to consume HN001 during pregnancy and to continue to supplement child's diet. Be sure though to read the label properly as the cheaper probiotics may likely because its CFU is low.
My daughter with eczema still takes probiotics regularly, even if not for eczema, we do find that taking probiotics reduced diarrhea!
Here are some HN001 probiotics:
Swanson Lactobacillus Rhamnosus with Fos 5 Billion Cfu 60 Veg Capsules
Culturelle Kids Chewable Daily Probiotic for Kids| Natural Berry Flavor Daily Supplement
Lovebug Tiny Tummies Probiotic, 30 Packets, Infant & Baby probiotics Support for Babies 0-6 Months Old, Oral Probiotics Kids
The researchers in China arrived at the same conclusion in June 2019 from reviewing studies that have been published, i.e. probiotics have protective effect against eczema only if taken during pregnancy and taken by infants up to 6 months old.