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Would Probiotics Help In the Treatment of Psoriasis?

Could probiotics have a role to play in the treatment of psoriasis? A recent analysis and review of studies suggests that they might. Psoriasis is a non-contagious, chronic disease affecting about 2 to 4% of the population, and which is characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, itchy, and scaly, and can cover small areas to covering the entire body. There is no cure for psoriasis, but various treatments can help control the symptoms, such as steroid creams, vitamin D3 cream, ultraviolet light, and immune system suppressing medications. 

What did the researchers find? They said that "new evidence suggests that the microbiome may play a pathogenic role in psoriatic disease" - meaning the community of microbes (microbiome) may be involved in this disease. There is dysbiosis of the skin microbiome (microbial community is out of whack) in areas of skin lesions or patches. Areas of skin lesions had a different microbiome ("lesional psoriatic microbiome") compared to healthy skin - and in these skin lesions or patches some microbial species increase which leads to a decrease or elimination of others. Not just differences in bacteria, but also in fungi and viruses.

in psoriasis the microbial community of the gut is also out of whack (dysbiosis of the gut microbiome). And the gut microbiome is different in those with psoriasis limited to just skin patches, and those with complications of psoriasis (e.g., psoriatic arthritis) - and several studies found that these shifts in the gut microbiome occurred before the psoriatic complications became evident. That suggests that probiotics might help. But which ones?

The researchers state: "Other changes observed in gut microbiome studies include a decrease in Actinobacteria. This may suggest a protective role of Actinobacteria, a phylum which includes Bifidobacterium species that have been shown to reduce intestinal inflammation, suppress autoimmunity, and induce Tregs." They go on to state that one 2013 study by Groeger et al demonstrated that eating Bifidobacteria infantis 35,624 for 6–8 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial reduced inflammatory markers (plasma CRP and TNF-a) in psoriasis patients. Bifidobacterium species, including B. infantis, are commonly found in many multi-strain supplements. So I wonder, what happens if people with psoriasis take them over an extended period? Will the skin psoriasis skin patches improve? This is currently unknown. But...If you've had success with probiotics as a  psoriasis treatment - please let me know. What microbes? And for what symptoms of psoriasis?

From Current Dermatology Reports : The Role of the Skin and Gut Microbiome in Psoriatic Disease

Our review of studies pertaining to the cutaneous microbiome showed a trend towards an increased relative abundance of Streptococcus and a decreased level of Propionibacterium in psoriasis patients compared to controls. In the gut microbiome, the ratio of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes was perturbed in psoriatic individuals compared to healthy controls. Actinobacteria was also relatively underrepresented in psoriasis patients relative to healthy individuals.

Summary: Although the field of the psoriatic microbiome is relatively new, these first studies reveal interesting differences in microbiome composition that may be associated with the development of psoriatic comorbidities and serve as novel therapeutic targets.

 Psoriasis. Credit: Medscape

10 thoughts on “Would Probiotics Help In the Treatment of Psoriasis?

  1. Garry

    Before anyone asks I have been on Stellara for about 4 years but I hate it, I struggle to keep weight off while I have been on it. I have always thought my problem was gut related as I became allergic to prawns, got bells paulsy and phsoriasis within a two month period, although my dermatologist tells me Im wrong.
    I started taking Lactobacillus rhamnosus as I had heard they had good results with peanut allergies, well it's been 6 months without an injection (my dermitalogist doesn't know as I'm worried if it doesn't continue to work I'll lose it on Medicare) and I'm basically free from it. Mine was super aggressive and never stopped spreading until either light treatment or stellara, light treatment not practical though as it would come back almost instantly after treatment. Methotrexate and vit D didn't do much good for me.
    I highly recommend this probiotic, no bulshit I am just another guy with this BS condition. Try it! I take 1 tablet twice a day (when I remember, which is about 4 or 5 times a week). It's no instant as you would expect with a gut problem, started to feel less prickely after about a month.

    1. Sima

      Great to hear about L. rhamnosus.
      Have you also tried Bifidobacteria infantis as described by the researchers in the Groeger et al study?

  2. Chris

    I started drinking 1 yakhult drink a day uping my water intake but I'm convinced it was the probiotics drink I had p for years tried everything and now it's just vanished. It had to be that so I'm going to keep on drinking them

  3. Marisa

    Probiotics work no doubt about. I was covered with Psoriasis for 20 years taking medications and steroid creams. Nothing worked. I got fed up, changed my diet, cut alcohol and and added supplements. In a few months I was completely clear, but it is important to follow the right diet and take the right supplements for long enough. Many people give up too soon. Natural healing takes time.

    1. Sima

      What kind of diet and supplements worked for you? Are there microbes that you thought were especially beneficial?
      How about sunlight?

    1. Sima

      I suggest looking for refrigerated probiotics that have a number of Bifidobacterium species in them, including B. infantis. And then try them out. Self-experimentation!

  4. Elena

    My dermatologist prescribed me a cream with cortisone to clear my skin for one week (aprox), then an antiinflamatory cream for around two weeks and once my skin was clean a combination of Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacterium longum, lactobacillus rhamnosus and riboflavin. plus Turmeric with black pepper (an anti inflamatory) for ever after.

    I have been taking the probiotics now for 10 months and my skin is completely clear, not a single patch or redness, nothing, clean healthy skin.

    The combination of probiotics is commercialized (in Spain) under the name Probiasor. It might be available through other brands in other parts of the world or it might be taken separately.

    One important piece of information: I only eat organic products, very little white meat (once a month or less), some fish and very little dairy (sheep yoghurt), whole grains and pulses. Lots of vegetables and fresh fruits. All together a diverse, healthy diet.


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