They are already known to help treat stomach and intestinal problems like diarrhea. Now researchers say probiotics can help prevent a common skin condition in newborns.
A new study appearing in the journal Allergy finds pregnant women with a family history of allergies who took a mixture of three probiotics during the last six weeks of their pregnancies were less likely to have children with eczema, according to Reuters.
Researchers followed about 100 children whose moms either took a probiotic supplement or a placebo before they were born. The children were also given the same treatment for a year. They found just six out of the 50 infants whose mothers had taken the healthy bacteria had the skin condition, compared to 15 out of 52 who received the placebo.
According to WebMD, probiotics are bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms in the intestines. They are available in nutritional supplement form as well as in dietary sources. The most common dietary source of this so-called good bacteria is yogurt containing live and active cultures.