February 8, 2012
By Dr. Daniel Zagst
By 2012, most people understand the importance of including omega-3 fatty acids to their diets. Commonly found in fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids have countless benefits to a person’s health and complexion. From teens to the elderly, everyone can benefit from the wonders of omega-3 fatty acids, but what about pregnant moms and newborns? Recent research indicates that moms and fetuses need fish oils just as much as the rest of the population.
Pregnant women have been advised to consume omega-3 fatty acids in order to ensure proper development of the fetal neurological system. Even after birth, fish oil supplementation can improve the early development of a newborn’s brain, visual system, and motor function in women who breastfeed. These fish oils, most notably the fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is part of a group of omega-3s known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The human brain is full of PUFAs that modulate inflammation and provide integrity to the neuronal network. By supplying a developing brain with plenty of PUFAs, a mother can support their child’s proper development. Along with benefits to the child, a pregnant mother that consumes fish oils can prevent pre-term labor, reduce the risk of pre-ecclampsia, and may even help in the prevention of post-pardum depression (PPD).
Another breakthrough in fish oil research shows that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy decreases the risk of a newborn developing eczema. In a study of 700 pregnant women, those who took fish oil supplements versus a placebo had a decreased incidence of infant eczema by three times. When DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) enter the cell membrane, they suppress inflammation that could potentially lead to various allergies and skin reactions that develop in early childhood. This study is ongoing as it plans to follow the children until age six to determine the extent of the lasting benefits.
July 20th, 2011
By: Nancy Walsh
Smoke gets in your ears — if you’re a teen exposed to secondhand smoke — and is associated with hearing loss, a large study suggested.
Exposed adolescents were 1.83 times more likely to experience low-frequency hearing loss than those who had no exposure, according to Dr. Anil K. Lalwani and colleagues from New York University in New York City.
And the greatest risk for hearing loss — a 2.72-fold increase — was in those with the highest levels of exposure as determined by serum cotinine levels, Lalwani’s group reported in the July Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.
The list of potentially harmful outcomes associated with exposure to secondhand smoke continues to grow, from low birth weight to behavioral and cognitive problems and respiratory tract infections — and more than half of U.S. children are exposed.
In the first study to examine secondhand smoke exposure and sensorineural hearing loss in young people, the investigators analyzed cross-sectional data from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
They identified 1,533 nonsmokers ages 12 to 19 who had undergone audiometric testing and whose serum cotinine levels had been measured.
Low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss was defined as a pure-tone level above 15 dB for 0.5, 1, and 2 kHz, while high-frequency loss was a level above 15 dB for 3, 4, 6, and 8 kHz.
Overall rates of hearing loss ranged from 3.68 percent for bilateral high-frequency hearing loss to 9.55 percent for unilateral low-frequency hearing loss.
Yet only 18.43 percent of the teens with these forms of hearing loss were aware of the problem.
Other factors associated with hearing loss included a history of eczema, black race, and having been cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit.
When participants were divided into quartiles by level of serum cotinine, the prevalence increased from 7.53 percent in nonexposed adolescents to 17.05 percent of those with the highest level of this marker of tobacco exposure.
The researchers noted that the link of secondhand smoke exposure with elevated thresholds ranging from 0.5 kHz to 8 kHz suggests “that the injury to the inner ear is global.”
In addition, the unilateral hearing loss is probably an early phase of ocular damage that is likely to progress in severity, they cautioned.
The elevated thresholds at 2, 3, and 4 kHz were particularly important, according to Lalwani and colleagues.
“These mid-to-high frequencies are critical for hearing in humans and are responsible for the clarity of hearing that allows us to discriminate between similar sounding words,” they observed.
Possible mechanisms by which secondhand smoke could result in auditory damage include effects on the vasculature of the inner ear and injury from nicotine or other components of the smoke.
Hearing loss in young children has been shown to interfere with not only speech and language development, but also cognitive function, academic progress, and social interaction.
But newborns and young children are routinely screened for hearing difficulties, while adolescents are not.
The findings of this study suggest that teens who are exposed to secondhand smoke should have their hearing tested, and parents and caretakers should be made aware of the auditory hazards of their smoking.
Limitations of the study include its use of cross-sectional data which doesn’t allow assignment of causation, lack of information on duration and sources of secondhand smoke exposure — including prenatal exposure — and absence of data on other factors such as exposure to loud noises.
The researchers also were unable to rule out the possibility that some of the participants had conductive, rather than sensorineural, hearing loss.
They concluded, “Future studies need to investigate the adverse consequences of this early hearing loss on social development, academic performance, behavioral and cognitive function, and public health costs.”
June 9th, 2011
By: Ethan A. Huff
A new report published by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) highlights some of the worst cosmetic products that cause harmful side effects. Among the most damaging are permanent hair dyes, facial and body moisturizers, cleansers, and even sunscreens, all of which are used by a significant portion of the overall population. And cases of severe reactions from such everyday-use products are widespread, say researchers.
Cosmetics, of course, imply much more than just make-up for women. Hair gels, toothpastes, mouthwashes, skin creams, body sprays, moisturizers, deodorants, and pretty much anything else a person applies to skin or hair is considered a cosmetic product. In other words, virtually every human being uses some kind of cosmetic product every single day.
According to the report, entitled National Register of Adverse Effects from Cosmetic Products 2008-2010, roughly 12 percent of survey respondents indicated that they experienced “very unpleasant adverse effects” as a result of applying common, conventional cosmetic products to their skin and hair. Some of these effects were so severe that respondents indicated that they had to be hospitalized.
The overall worst offender was moisturizers, which represented nearly 58 percent of all adverse events reported. Sunscreens and tanning products ranked second worse at 12.5 percent, and both cleansing products and hair dye products placed third and fourth at 9.2 percent and 6.6 percent respectively. Further down on the list were general hair care products, dental care products, and make-up.
The number one reported adverse event from using cosmetic products included eczema and oedema, as well as blistering and/or stinging pain. Other negative effects included dermatitis, urticaria, acne, itching, and even anaphylactic shock. Swelling and allergic reactions were also common, likely due to the presence of harmful toxins in the cosmetic formulas.
“The Register gives us a better overview of the products that cause adverse effects, the type of adverse effect and who experiences them. Then we can make an assessment and even warn against the use of certain products,” said Berit Granum from the Division of Environmental Medicine at NIPH, concerning the report.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has also established a Cosmetics Database through which the public can freely access information about the ingredients used in cosmetic products. It is important to always be aware of what you are putting on your skin or ingesting in your body, and you can learn more about that here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
June 8th, 2011
By: Shona Botes
Calendula (or Marigold as it is most commonly known as) is found growing in many homes throughout Europe, South Africa and Europe. These flowers have been used for many years to treat conditions such as eczema, boils, abscesses and stomach ulcers. Its scientific name (Calendula Officinalis) has an interesting meaning in that the word Calendula refers to a calendar (owing to the fact that this plant blooms all year round), and the word Officinalis is the term used to refer to an alchemist’s workshop.
The plant may be used in many forms, namely as a salve, tincture, oil or as a soothing tea. When taken orally, these flowers have been known to soothe recurring vomiting, fevers, stomach ulcers, boils and inflammation. It has been reported that when used as a tea, Calendula has helped to soothe conjunctivitis (commonly known as pink eye). Those suffering from bruising, sores, pulled or strained muscles and sprains can benefit greatly from using it in tincture or salve/lotion form.
These wonder flowers can also be used to treat a number of skin and other conditions, among them eczema, nappy rash, ulcerative colitis, peptic ulcers, minor burns, sunburn, gastritis, herpes sores, shingles, warts and sore throats. They are also highly beneficial in assisting with wound healing as they are an excellent anti-inflammatory. Calendula has even been reported to help ease menstrual cramps and earache. Those suffering from chicken pox and other bug bites can use Calendula as a salve to soothe itching and irritation. It is also excellent for detoxifying the body, as it cleanses the gallbladder and liver.
People suffering from gum disease can benefit by gargling with a tea made from the Calendula flowers. This plant has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, making it an excellent choice for those suffering from athletes` foot and thrush. Recent discovery has shown that the stem of this plant has just as many healing properties as the flower itself.
To make a soothing oil that can be used externally, you will need some of these plants in dried form. Place them in a glass jar which has a tight-fitting lid and cover them with extra virgin olive oil. Close the container and store in a dark, cool location, giving it a shake each day for 2 weeks. Strain the leaves from the mixture and add a Vitamin E capsule as a preservative. This can be applied to itchy or irritated skin to soothe it.
To benefit from Calendula in tea form, pour 200ml of boiling water over 1 to 2 teaspoons of the flowers and steep for 15 minutes. This tea may be taken 3 times a day. Lemon or honey may be added to vary the taste and flavour a little. A soothing cream or lotion can be made by combining 3 tablespoons of calendula oil with 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil, 1.5 tablespoons of shea butter and 1 tablespoon of cocoa butter. Place the ingredients in a pot and simmer them on low until they have melted. Ensure they are mixed well and pour into glass jars to store them. Leave them uncovered until they have cooled completely.
It is important to ensure that once these remedies have been made, they are stored in a cool dark place and used within 6 months of being prepared.
April 22nd, 2011
By: Dr. Mercola
When you look at the science, it turns out your grandmother wasn’t so far off on some of those home remedies she used to talk about. For example, it’s really true that olives can help stave off motion sickness – but only if you eat them when the first symptoms appear. That’s because olives contain tannin, which works to eliminate the saliva that triggers nausea.
It’s also absolutely true that oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties, and that a finely ground paste of it can help soothe eczema. The neutralizing powers of yogurt and other probiotics also can help get rid of bad breath.
Gargle salt water for a sore throat, take a spoonful of sugar for hiccups, and chew on a pencil for a headache – they all have a scientific reason why they work.
And, although there are no studies to back up putting Vapor Rub on toenail fungus, enough people have reported success with the remedy to warrant giving it a try.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
Healing practices of yore; natural remedies that were passed from one generation from another, lost a lot of footing with the advent of modern medicine that has a pill for every possible ailment. But does that mean grandma, and all the women before her, were all wrong?
Of course not.
In fact, many of the ailments you experience can be addressed using very simple, natural means. Yahoo Health offers up seven different folklore remedies for common problems. Below I will review my own recommendations for these ailments.
Olives may be of some help here, but ginger is far better. It’s traditionally used to treat nausea, but also seems to work quite well against motion sickness. To make a tea, simply slice off a small amount of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water for 30 seconds up to several minutes. Ginger is very potent, so taste it at regular intervals of about 30 seconds – it can get very strong fast!
Alternatively, for a quicker but less elegant solution, just take a half teaspoon of the fresh ginger and finely dice it with a knife and swallow it whole. It has worked every time I have had the need for it. It probably is the most consistently effective herbal food that I have seen work nearly every time.
In addition to ginger, the University of Maryland Medical Center also suggests using peppermint and black horehound, which is actually a traditional remedy for motion sickness.
These herbs can be taken as:
- Dried extracts in the form of capsules, powders, or teas
- Liquid extracts or tinctures
To make a tea using dried herb, put about one teaspoon of the herb into a tea strainer and place it in a cup of hot water. Avoid adding sugar. If you absolutely need some sweetness, try a couple of drops of liquid stevia instead.
Another excellent method that you can do whenever and wherever motion sickness strikes, is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It balances your subtle energy system and calms your motion sensors, and this will calm your symptoms of motion sickness and allow you to finally enjoy the pleasures of travel.
The devil is in the details when it comes to the recommendation to use yoghurt to combat bad breath, because most of the yoghurt you find today is loaded with sugar and made from pasteurized milk. You do NOT want to use these commercially available yoghurts as they are more likely to do more harm than good.
Only use traditionally fermented yoghurt, such as kefir made from raw milk with no added sugar. Another alternative is to consume traditionally fermented foods (such as natto or tempeh), or take a high quality probiotic like Complete Probiotics.
How is it that these types of foods and bacteria can help against bad breath?
Because halitosis, or bad breath, is typically caused by systemic diseases, gastrointestinal and/or upper respiratory tract disorders, and microbial metabolism from your tongue, saliva or dental plaque – all of which are indicators of systemic unbalance, which can be remedied with probiotics in the form of an oral supplement or fermented foods.
In addition to reseeding the beneficial bacteria in your gut, I highly recommend limiting the primary fertilizer for the bacteria that cause bad breath, namely SUGAR and grains that rapidly break down to sugar. That automatically means cutting down on processed foods (which are high in both grains and sugars/high fructose corn syrup), as they cause bad odor-causing bacteria to grow out of control.
Beware that mouthwashes are only effective against bad breath caused by intraoral factors. Gargling and swishing can’t help you much if your problem stems from an imbalance of bacteria in your intestinal tract, for example.
March 14th, 2011
By: Megan Heimer
Recently, every major media outlet reported on the “Northern Manhattan Study” which linked diet soda to strokes and vascular disorders. This study consisted of 2,564 individuals over the age of 40 who were followed for ten years. The results of the study showed that those who drank diet soda daily increased their risk of stroke by 48% and vascular disorders by 61% compared to those who did not drink diet soda. These media reports were also quick to point out that the study was preliminary, largely unsupported and lacked biological evidence; they explained how diet soda could possibly cause strokes, but it was not cause to change nutrition or dietary advice. However, it’s not hard to see how one famous ingredient in diet soda could be to blame.
Aspartame is just one of the many harmful ingredients found in diet soda. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. This sweetener is dangerous because it is not stable in a liquid solution, and it consists of methanol which breaks down into formaldehyde and diketopiperazine – two neurotoxins known to wreak havoc on the nervous system. In addition, isolated aspartic acid and phenylalanine, two other components of aspartame, react with the breakdown of methanol, become toxic, and dangerously increase phenylalanine levels in the brain. The approval of Aspartame by the FDA in 1981 was controversial and highly opposed even by those on the panel because studies showed that aspartame produced seizures and brain tumors in lab animals. In one report, six out of seven monkeys fed aspartame-laced milk for a year developed seizures after every feeding, and the seventh one died.
In 1994, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report which showed that 75% of all adverse reactions reported through the FDA’s Adverse Reaction Monitoring System were due to aspartame. Per the FDA, only about 1% of the population reports a problem with something they consume. Thus, in 1994 alone, it is estimated that there were actually one million adverse reactions due to aspartame products with 39% of the complaints coming from diet soda. Prior to 1994, the Center for Disease Control reviewed many aspartame complaints consisting of neurological, gastrointestinal, and allergic reactions.
In addition, the 1994 “Official FDA Document” listed 92 symptoms associated with aspartame consumption, including 290 people who reported seizures and convulsions after consuming a product containing aspartame. Because this number is estimated to reflect only 1% of the actual number, the true number of seizures in 1994 could have been as high as 28,710. Today, adverse effects continue to rise as people increase their consumption of diet soda.
A vast amount of scholarly research has been conducted since the 1980′s linking aspartame in diet soda to various conditions including: aspartame poisoning, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, birth defects, tooth decay, dehydration, obesity, seizures, strokes, cardiovascular disease, eczema, sleeping problems, hair loss, muscle tremors, heart palpitations, memory loss, high blood pressure (another leading cause of stroke), chronic fatigue, menstrual problems, loss of libido, and joint pain.
These questions remain: Why are the studies, physician and consumer complaints, and research regarding the toxicity of this diet soda ingredient being overlooked, covered up, and brushed aside? Could it be because the truth about aspartame could discourage consumers from drinking diet soda, resulting in billion dollar losses? Or, could it be that aspartame research is funded largely by those with a stake in this money-making industry? Regardless of the answers, there is 30 years of extensive research linking aspartame to strokes and vascular disorders. Is diet soda worth the risks?
February 25th, 2011
By: Anna Dunlop
The good news for men is that scientists have discovered a cause of baldness — the failure of hair-producing cells to develop properly.
The bad news is that effective treatment could be a decade away. While your genes play a major role in hair loss, what many men don’t realise is that their everyday habits could be exacerbating the problem.
Here, Britain’s leading hair experts reveal the simple steps to help minimise it:
DON’T BRUSH TOO HARD
This can scratch the scalp and pull the hair out at the root, damaging the hair follicle.
It’s important to treat the scalp gently when shampooing, and never tug at your hair with a brush or comb, says Dr Bessam Farjo, a hair restoration surgeon from Manchester.
Dandruff, eczema or dermatitis (characterised by an itchy, flaky scalp) are linked to hair loss; they trigger inflammation, which has an adverse effect on hair follicles.
EAT A COOKED BREAKFAST
Hair is composed of keratin, which gives it its strength. Too little protein (red meat, fish, eggs, chicken) affects keratin levels; your hair will lose its strength and stop growing, says Philip Kingsley, consultant trichologist.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for boosting your hair follicles, he says.
AVOID PETROLEUM-BASED WAXES
There is some evidence that petroleum-based styling waxes (look for paraffin or petroleum on the label’s list of ingredients) can block hair follicles and cause them to stop growing, says London-based hairdresser Jimmy Campbell.
This is especially true if it is used heavily over a long time. Stick to water-based products.
Having an excess of male hormones may not sound like a bad thing, but testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can have an adverse effect on certain parts of the hair follicle, says Philip Kingsley.
They seep down the hair shaft and cause it to become thinner, making the hairs seem further apart. Once the hair shrinks to a certain diameter it will stop growing completely. When men are under stress, their body produces more male hormones, and so tend to lose more hair.
A lack of dietary iron can also lead to hair loss. If you don’t have enough iron, your levels of ferritin drop (this is a molecule that stores iron in the body and releases it in a controlled way).
This in turn disrupts the normal hair growth cycle and increases hair shedding. Eating foods rich in iron, such as red meat, dark green vegetables, nuts and dried fruits, will help reduce this excess hair shedding.
DON’T COLOUR YOUR HAIR
Frequent colouring of the hair — either an all over dye or highlights — can lead to hair loss. Using significant amounts of bleach (found in nearly all hair lightening products) can strip it of its natural moisture, leading to dry, brittle hair that breaks easily, says Dr Farjo.
This tends to make hair look much thinner. Studies have also shown that dyes that contain the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD) can cause severe allergic reactions and dermatitis, which may lead to damage to the scalp and hair follicles.
Recent research from the journal Archives of Dermatology suggest that, as well as causing cancer and heart disease, smoking can also make your hair fall out.
It is thought that, just as smoking can cause damage to peripheral blood vessels in the body, it may also damage blood supply to the hair follicle.
The free radicals produced from smoking and environmental factors such as pollution could also affect hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
December 27th, 2010
By: Penny Forham
Baby`s first tooth usually appears around five or six months and the last appears around two and a half years. Teething doesn’t bother some babies; whereas, others become very unsettled, clingy and unable to sleep. If teething is uncomfortable for your baby, here are ten natural ways to relieve teething pain.
1. Teething Necklaces
When worn around baby`s neck the gentle warming of an amber necklace releases succinic acid into the skin. Succinic acid is known to accelerate the healing of wounds, ease muscle pains, reduce inflammation of the throat, ear and stomach, reduce/prevent respiratory disease, decrease colic symptoms, reduce acid reflux, reduce eczema and improve heart, liver, kidney, and intestinal function.
Hazelwood has the medicinal property of neutralizing the body’s acidity, relieving ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn, teething, skin problems (psoriasis, eczema, acne), arthritis, constipation, migraines, and dental cavities. Like amber, it is worn around the neck of the baby and the active ingredient is absorbed into the skin.
2. Vanilla Essence
Vanilla has natural calming properties which can soothe anxiety associated with teething and relieve an upset tummy. The pressure from rubbing the liquid on the gums provides relieving counter pressure.
3. Something to chew on
This one is as wide ranging as your imagination, from natural rubber or wooden teething toys to mum or dad’s finger. Large pieces of refrigerated or frozen vegetables, e.g. carrots, or a cold teaspoon or wooden spoon can also be used.
Another varied solution is to cool and gently anaesthetise the inflamed gums. Choose from rubbing a melting ice cube on the gums, a popsicle made from fruit, mum`s milk or chamomile tea.
Using a clean finger to press the swollen gums creates counter pressure to the emerging tooth which temporarily relieves discomfort.
Teething times are many mothers` first introduction to homeopathy, which works by stimulating the immune system. Chamomilla is the most commonly prescribed remedy for symptoms such as restlessness and a red cheek. Belladonna may be more appropriate when there is a very flushed face and fever. Pulsatilla is useful when the child is very clingy and weepy. These are the most common treatments but consult a homeopath for the most appropriate remedy.
Breastfeeding and skin to skin contact has been shown to be pain relieving during medical interventions of babies. Many babies instinctively want to nurse more during teething. Nursing also has the added benefit of helping to align baby’s teeth correctly and prevent malocclusion later.
Cloves are known for their ability to relieve a toothache. Clove oil is very potent and should be diluted before using it on your baby. It can be diluted in a carrier oil such as olive oil and then rubbed on the gum.
9. Flower Remedies
Flower based remedies help manage the emotional states. They can be applied on the tongue, the forehead, or behind the ears. They can also pass in breastmilk so can be taken by a nursing mother.
10. Apply a barrier
The excessive drool caused by teething can cause a red irritating rash around the lips and chin. Lubricate the skin with a mild emollient such as cold-pressed coconut, almond or safflower oil to prevent the skin from getting wet from saliva. Pat any saliva to dry the skin without irritation.
July 29, 2010
By: S. L. Baker
About 20 percent of babies and toddlers have the condition known as eczema which causes red, swollen and intensely itchy skin. It usually develops on the forehead, cheeks, and scalp, but it can spread to the arms, legs, chest and other parts of the body. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 65 percent of eczema cases develop in the first year of life and 90 percent develop symptoms before the age of five.
While many babies with eczema get better before they are two, others have cases of eczema that persist into adulthood. Evidence has accumulated over the past decade that this common skin problem is connected to something going on in the gut — and that probiotics, beneficial microorganisms similar to the “friendly” bacteria found naturally in the body’s digestive system, can help.
For example, a review of 21 studies, published last year in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, concluded probiotics were most useful in preventing atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema, from developing in the first place. And a groundbreaking new study, just published in the British Journal of Dermatology, found that when moms drank a probiotic supplement during their pregnancy and after their babies were born, the rate of eczema in their offspring was slashed by about half.
This research, conducted by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), is especially convincing because it was a randomized, double-blind study comparing mothers who drank one glass of probiotic milk daily to women who drank milk containing a placebo. The research subjects drank the probiotic or placebo-laced milk beginning at week 36 in their pregnancy and continued consuming the drinks for three months after giving birth. The results were dramatic: the women who received the probiotic drink reduced the incidence of eczema by 40 percent in their offspring.
“The taste of both products was similar, and the milk was delivered in unmarked milk cartons. This means that neither the participants in the study nor the researchers knew who had received probiotic milk or placebo milk,” NTNU scientist Torbjorn Oien said in a statement to the press. “We can therefore say with great certainty that it was the probiotic bacteria alone that caused the difference in the incidence of eczema between the two groups.”
In fact, although earlier studies have provided evidence that ingestion of some probiotics by children may prevent eczema, this is the first study to show that probiotics given to mothers during pregnancy and breast-feeding prevents eczema. As NaturalNews has previously reported, probiotics in dietary supplements or in food such as yogurt, have also been found to be useful and safe in treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea children (http://www.naturalnews.com/026037_C…).
July 22, 2010
By: Ethan A. Huff
Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) recently conducted a study on the effects of probiotic supplementation during pregnancy. The team found that mothers who drank probiotic-supplemented milk during their pregnancies cut their children’s risk of developing eczema by 40 percent.
The study is part of a larger Norwegian research project being conducted by the university called “Prevention of Allergy Among Children in Trondheim”, or PACT. In this particular study, women were given either milk with probiotics or milk with a placebo, beginning at week 36 of their pregnancies. Neither group knew which formula they were drinking. Researchers evaluated the women and their children from pregnancy until the children were two years old before presenting their findings.
“The taste of both products was similar, and the milk was delivered in unmarked milk cartons. This means that neither the participants in the study or the researchers knew who had received probiotic milk or placebo milk,” explained Torbjorn Oien, one of the study researchers. “We can therefore say with great certainty that it was the probiotic bacteria alone that caused the difference in the incidence of eczema between the two groups.”
Probiotics have been studied quite heavily in recent years, and science continues to discover the many health-promoting benefits of this beneficial bacteria.
“Probiotic bacteria favorably alter the intestinal microflora balance, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria (like Candida albicans, or “yeast”), promote good digestion, boost immune function, and increase resistance to infection. Probiotics also contain enzymes that help break down and digest dairy products like lactose in milk,” explains Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S., in his book The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What Treatments Work and Why.
The Norwegian study is the first to identify a definitive link between probiotics and eczema prevention, particularly as the effects are passed down from mother to child. The team plans to conduct a follow-up study to evaluate the preventative effect of probiotics on allergies like asthma as well.