February 19, 2008

Swedish Scientists On Eczema Cause: Smells Like Floras

flora_shop.jpg

A study at Sweden's Lund University shows that infants who have an imbalanced intestinal bacterial flora a week after birth are more likely to develop eczema.

The composition of a child’s bacterial flora is dependent on the mother’s microflora, since she is the primary source for the child’s bacteria at the outset.

“A healthy vagina is totally dominated by lactobacilli, or lactic acid bacteria. With a vaginal delivery the child will come into close contact with the mother’s bacteria. If the mother has a good flora of bacteria, the contact is an important help for the child to be able to be colonized by bacteria in the proper way," [said Göran Molin, professor of food hygiene at the Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, who co-directed the study with Siv Ahrné, also a professor of food hygiene.]

Only it turns out that 1/3 of US women are short of lactobacilli, resulting in an imbalance in their vaginal bacterial flora, that may get passed on to their kid.

Or not, as Clive speculates in his post on this study; with the steady increase in C-sections in the US, more and more infants may get no exposure to their mothers' vaginal bacterial flora at all.

I'd hoped to discuss some of the sources of these healthy, probiotic lactobacilli, but I'm afraid I've already maxed out my 10-year quota on the phrase, "vaginal bacterial flora." All I can say is "sauerkraut."

Infants With Poor Intestinal Flora Often Develop Eczema [sciencedaily.com via collisiondetection.net]

4 Comments

lol interesting article. I am pregnant with my first and now im going to be wondering to myself "hmm. Do I have a good amount of bacterial flora in my vagina?" lol

www.discussionpub.com

Surprised they don't speculate that this might explain the pregnancy pickle craving.

I didn't crave pickles and my 3 month old has horrible eczema. Clearly I'm in the 1/3. Off to moisturize her sandpaper skin again.....

Hey Greg - Our daughter's had eczema since she was an infant. Nothing too intense though. Thanks for helping us find some answers behind her scratchy hands! - Jeff & Mark

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