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Probiotic for babies may not fight allergies later

Kindergartners who were given "good bacteria" supplements as infants were no less likely to suffer from allergies than other kids in a new study from Australia.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, add to a mixed bag of results from research into whether probiotics can help ward off kids' allergies.

Based on what's known so far, it may be that only certain probiotics are helpful for certain kids - but even then, the benefit seems "very modest," according to Dr. Sonia Michail, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles who was not involved in the work.

The 123 kids in this study, which was led by Marie P. Jensen of the University of Western Australia in Perth, were part of a clinical trial as infants, when researchers randomly assigned half to take a probiotic supplement every day for the first six months of life. The rest of the babies were given a placebo.
 
 

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