alt=A large intestine, colon completely filled with pills.

Understanding Gut Health & Its Connection to Psoriasis

Could managing gut health be integral to managing psoriasis? It's certainly a topic that I've seen growing in the psoriasis community. Research really seems to be ramping up on the role our gut plays in our overall health - including its connection to the autoimmune response.

What does the research say?

For me, a lot of the information has been hard to follow. It becomes a little too scientific for my brain to follow. However, as part of the research symposium report that was given at the virtual National Psoriasis Foundation this past year, this topic was again up for discussion.

Personally, I found it interesting, so I thought I would share it with you. The presentation they gave was not so much on the scientific side of it as it was on what they called transitional research.

What is transitional research?

There has been a lot of research completed around gut health. The natural next step is putting this research to the test within clinical trials. Clinical trials can lead to a potential new treatment or solution.

The goal of translational research is to translate basic science discoveries more quickly and efficiently into practice. In relation to the immune response, a potential healthy bacteria pill could be on the horizon. A bacteria pill that could improve gut health.

I hope that explains to you what transitional research is. There are so many moving parts - this is why I say it tends to be totally over my head. However, when clinical trials were mentioned I could seemingly follow along with that specific piece.

Breaking down clinical trials

I have participated in a clinical trial before, maybe that is why I could process this segment of the research symposium a little easier. In most clinical trials there are 3 stages. The first stage usually consists of understanding participants' lifestyles while monitoring their responses to either a drug or a placebo.

If results from stage 1 yield positive results, then a drug moves on to Stage 2. Usually, in stage 2, all participants ingest the same drug while results are monitored. The final stage, stage 3, is usually the study of the long-term effect stage of participants being on the medicine for longer than just a few months.

Where does this new research stand now?

During this presentation, I was able to learn more details about the current clinical trials monitoring these potential life-changing bacteria pills. This transitional research and its clinical trial are currently in the 2nd stage.

I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Wilson Liao, Professor and Vice-Chair of Research in the UCSF Department of Dermatology when he thought these clinical trials might move on to getting FDA approval. Unfortunately, he was not able to give me a definitive answer on that.

Where to find more information

If this is an area that interests you there are available podcasts on the National Psoriasis Foundation website.

The whole conference from start to finish that was presented on October 2, 2021, is also on their website for you to listen to if that interests you as well. As I end this article, just for curiosity's sake, how many of you would be interested in a healthy bacteria pill? Do you think this is an important area in the fight to find a cure for psoriasis?

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