The Use of Lactobacillus reuteri as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Children with Newly Diagnosed Asthma in a Tertiary Hospital in the Philippines



Probiotics are live microorganisms that exert beneficial effects on the host, including a reduction of allergic disease symptoms. Lactobacillus reuteri in particular was shown to attenuate the allergic airway, and when used as an adjunct in the treatment of asthma in children, resulted in decreased fractional exhaled nitric oxide and interleukin levels when compared to placebo. However, insufficient information is available regarding the significance of L. reuteri as an adjunct in the treatment of allergic disorders, particularly in allergic airway disease.


The objective of the study was to determine the efficacy of L. reuteri as an adjunct for the control of newly diagnosed asthma in children.

Methodology and Population:

In this analytical, experimental, prospective, randomized controlled trial, 44 asthmatic patients aged 6–18 years were recruited from the University of Santo Tomas Hospital outpatient department, for a study period of three months. Baseline clinical assessment included skin prick test to aeroallergens, spirometry, and Childhood Asthma Control Test. Asthma severity and level of control was based on the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program’s Expert Panel 3 (EPR-3) and the Global Initiative for Asthma Guidelines 2018, respectively. Patients were randomized and half of them received L. reuteri 26.5 mg/chewable tab (at least 100 million colony forming units) once daily for 30 days, while the other half did not. Spirometry and C-ACT test were conducted at the start of intervention as baseline, after one month, two months, and three months post intervention. The results of patients from the experimental group were compared to results of patients in the control group.


The FEV1 of patients in the L. reuteri group was significantly higher than those in the control group (= 0.045). The median FVC of the two groups significantly differed from each other through time (= 0.007), with the L. reuteri group having significantly higher FVC than the control group. There were statistically significant improvements in ACT scores between patients in the L. reuteri and control groups, particularly at two months and three months of treatment. Among polysensitized patients, there were significant improvements in the FEV1, FEF25–75, and FVC between the L. reuteri and control group.


The use of L. reuteri as an adjunct was associated with significant lung function improvement and asthma symptom control amongst newly diagnosed asthmatic children.

Key Words: Lactobacillus reuteri, Probiotics, Asthma, Children

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