Infant probiotic exposure does not reduce celiac risk

  • Uusitalo U & al.
  • Nutrients
  • 2 Aug 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Probiotic exposure during the first year of life does not appear to reduce risk for celiac disease (CD) autoimmunity or CD in children genetically predisposed to type 1 diabetes (T1D) and CD.
  • Exposure from dietary supplements alone is linked to a slight increase in CD risk.

Why this matters

  • Giving probiotics to healthy infants is considered safe and is assumed to have a positive effect on regulation of the immune system.

Study design

  • Researchers studied children (N=6520) with the human leukocyte antigen genotypes DR3/3, DR3/4, DR4/4, and DR4/8 and screened for tissue transglutaminase autoantibodies and reported probiotic use during the first year of life.
  • Funding: NIH; CDC.

Key results

  • After adjustment for known risk factors, probiotic exposure in the first year of life was not linked to:
    • CD autoimmunity: HR, 1.15 (95% CI, 0.99-1.35; P=.07); or
    • CD: HR, 1.11 (95% CI, 0.86-1.43; P=.43).
  • Exposure to probiotic dietary supplements alone, however, was associated with a slightly increased risk for CD autoimmunity: HR, 1.18 (95% CI, 1.01-1.40; P=.043).

Limitations

  • Probiotics dose could not be studied because information was unavailable on their manufacture and storage.
  • Study participants were exposed to a large variety of probiotic supplements and infant formulas.