Lactobacillus GG taken during pregnancy prevents eczema in children

Lactobacillus GG is a type of beneficial bacteria that helps promote intestinal health. It is marketed here under the name Culturelle (see This product may or may not be preferable to any of the many similar ones found in health food stores, but its manufacturer – ConAgra – has very deep pockets and has been regularly funding studies on it.

In the newest study from Finland, approximately 50 pregnant women were given Lactobacillus GG and fifty others were given a placebo. At two years and four years after birth, all children were evaluated. In both cases there were half as many children with eczema – an allergic skin condition – in the lactobacillus group than in the placebo group.

This shows not only that lactobacillus given to expectant mothers protects their children from later developing allergies, but also that the protection lasts past infancy (The Lancet, May 2003; 361 (9372): 1918).

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and wonder which other supplements besides lactobacillus and folic acid may help your child, fish oil has also been shown to be beneficial. However, you must be sure that the fish oil you take has undergone molecular distillation and is free of mercury and PCBs.

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