Elimination diet and intestinal permeability in atopic eczema: a preliminary study


Dr Carlo Caffarelli, Clinica Pediatrica, Via Gramsci 14, 43100 Parma. Italy.


We measured small intestinal permeability to lactutose and rhamnose in 18 healthy children and in 15 children with atopic eczema, before and after a 14-day elimination diet. The children with atopic eczema had higher initial urinary lactulose/rhamnose ratios than the controls. After dietary restriction, there was no overall change in permeability. Dietary therapy did however result in a large reduction in permeability in three of the nine children whose skin disease was improved, but a statistically significant decrease in permeability was not observed in the diet-responsive group as a whole. Larger studies would be required to confirm that dietary restrictions can reduce intestinal permeability in some children with atopic eczema.