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Past Studies that support the hygiene hypothesis and probiotics as a possible therapy for allergic disease:

Effect of probiotic mix (Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus acidophilus) in the primary prevention of eczema: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (p )Ji Yeun Kim, Jung Hyun Kwon, So Hyun Ahn, Sang Il Lee, Young Shin Han, Young Ok Choi, Soo Young Lee, Kang Mo Ahn, Geun Eog Ji, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 2009

This study concluded that a mixture of probiotics (B. bifidum BGN4, B. lactis AD011, and L. acidophilus AD031) can have a beneficial effect to prevent development of eczema in infants at high risk during their first year of life.

Probiotics for allergic respiratory diseases – Putting it into perspectiveMeenu Singh and Rashmi Ranjan Das, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 2009

This abstract includes a review of current research and suggests that mounting clinical evidence shows that probiotics are well tolerated and a valuable treatment in allergic respiratory disease but that more and better research is needed to prove their effectiveness as a therapy for asthma.

Positive Interactions with the Microbiota: Probiotics Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, GI Microbiota and Regulation of the Immune System by, Marko Kalliomäki, Seppo Salminen and Erika Isolauri

This book features a chapter that summarizes the body of evidence supporting the health benefits of probiotics for infants, and points out bifidobacterial probiotics or Lactobacillus strains that promote bifidobacterial micro biota is especially desirable.

Hygiene Hypothesis
The Hygiene Hypothesis suggests that too little contact with germs in early childhood may increase the risk for allergic diseases, such as asthma, eczema or hay fever. David Strachan, a British epidemiologist and scientist, first presented the Hygiene Hypothesis in 1989. He based the premise on the rising rates of hay fever, asthma, and eczema seen in the developed western countries since the industrial revolution. Strachan noticed that hay fever was less common in children with older brothers or sisters and larger families.  He believes that illnesses passed between big families might give some protection against allergic disease.  He also believes that too much cleanliness may lessen contact with germs and bring on allergic sensitivities.
Environmental factors (like pollution), a family history of asthma and other unknown causes probably all play a part in allergic disease. However, recent study results seem to support the Hygiene Hypothesis. In trials where participants were exposed to good bacteria (probiotics) there appears to be reduction in eczema. 

On the Radio:
Asthma and Children: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention (March 2008)
Dr. Michael Cabana’s guest appearance on local radio show, Childhood Matters.  Dr. Cabana’s discusses asthma and the TIPS study. Highlights include how to prevent asthma attacks, helping children avoid their triggers, and “Asthma Plans”

The radio program Childhood Matters is on Sunday mornings from 9am-10am on 98.1 KISS-FM and 105.1 KOCN-FM.  You can listen to Dr. Cabana’s radio contribution on the website http://www.childhoodmatters.org/2008.html

In the news:
The Mommy Files
TIME Magazine, Health: Asthma-Proofing Your Home, 2006

KQED Quest feature