Childhood Wheeze & Asthma: What is the Role of Probiotic Supplementation?

Asthma Inhaler
Asthma Inhaler (Photo credit: NIAID)

Research Paper Title

Probiotic Supplementation during Pregnancy or Infancy for the Prevention of Asthma and Wheeze: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Study Question

Is probiotic supplementation during pregnancy or infancy safe and protective against the development of asthma and wheeze?

Summary Answer

There is currently no clinical evidence to support a protective association between perinatal probiotic supplementation and doctor diagnosed asthma or childhood wheeze.

What is Known and What this Paper Adds

Recent increases in asthma prevalence could be related to disruption of the infant gut microbiota and associated immune system dysfunction; therefore, perinatal probiotics have been proposed as a novel prevention strategy. This meta-analysis finds that currently, insufficient evidence exists to recommend probiotics for the primary prevention of childhood asthma, wheeze, and lower respiratory tract infection.


BMJ 2013;347:f6471.


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