Use of Probiotics and the Impact on the Microbiome in Psoriasis Patients
Inside the body are trillions of microbes which make up what is known as the microbiome. Both the skin and the gut microbiome have an impact on health especially in control immune activity and digesting food. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that imbalances in the microbiome may be related to some autoimmune or inflammatory conditions like psoriasis. Research with the microbiome is still emerging and can be complex since each person's microbiome can be very unique and determining patterns across patients with psoriasis can be difficult.
Research on the microbiome and psoriasis
In a 2015 study which looked at people diagnosed with psoriasis have less diversity in their gut microbiota when compared to individuals that do not have psoriasis. When it comes to the microbiome on the skin a 2018 study found that people with psoriasis have higher levels of diversity in their skin microbiome, but their skin microbiome has less stability compared to individuals that don't have psoriasis.1,2
Taking probiotics for psoriasis
Probiotics are living microorganisms that can occur naturally in some foods and also can be taken in a supplemental form. Consuming probiotics can help with increasing the diversity of bacteria in the gut, which in turn have positive benefits like controlling inflammation with psoriasis patients.
While data is limited on probiotic supplementation in psoriasis patients, what has been documented has been positive. A 2017 study looked at mice with psoriasis who were treated with probiotics (specifically treated with Lactobacillus pentosus GMNL-77), the probiotic treated mice had significantly fewer symptoms such as scaling, erythema, and skin thickening compared to the control group of mice.3 In a 2013 placebo-controlled study with psoriasis patients, patients who received Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 supplementation had significantly reduced inflammatory biomarkers levels than the control group.4
Research looking at whether there is any link between probiotics and inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis is a new frontier but could offer great promise. To date, The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any probiotics for preventing or treating any health problem.
For those considering adding probiotics to their psoriasis treatment plan, you should talk to your doctor who can help decide if adding this is a good option based on your current symptoms and your medical history.
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