Can probiotics help with acne or spots?
As a health professional you are probably already aware that acne and spots are caused by toxins in the body. Acne-causing toxins can build up due to factors such as air pollution, overactive hormones, and largely, from dysbiosis.
'Dysbiosis' describes an imbalance of good (probiotic) and bad (pathogenic) bacteria in the gut, and is caused by various environmental factors including stress, and prolonged antibiotic therapy. Symptoms of dysbiosis include low energy levels, Candida overgrowth, sluggish bowels, indigestion, and acne. Learn more about dysbiosis here.
Although evidence remains relatively sparse on the matter of probiotics and skin health, higher levels of probiotics such as acidophilus should a) decrease the body's production of toxins by improving digestion, as well as b) helping to neutralise the toxins which are already present in the system. Whether for an ongoing acne problem or the occasional spot, supplementing the body's levels of good bacteria (probiotics) could therefore have a beneficial long-term effect on skin health.
A comprehensive review written by W. Bowe & A. Logan and published in 20111 examined the link between acne, probiotics, the brain and the gut. This review referred to studies that showed probiotics and prebiotics to reduce systemic markers of inflammation and oxidative stress, as well as the ability of probiotics to regulate the release of inflammatory cytokines within the skin, and in particular reducing interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1-α), a protein linked to acne when found in unusually normal amounts. Reports2,3 have also shown probiotic lactic acid bacteria to provide antimicrobial activity against Propionibacterium acnes (a bacteria causing acne) under in vitro conditions. Bowe & Logan's conclusion states, 'there appears to be more than enough supportive evidence to suggest that gut microbes, and the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract itself, are contributing factors in the acne process', strongly supporting the theory that a healthy gut leads to healthy skin.
I seem to get spots when I'm stressed!
'Whatever is going on in your gut shows on your face. You want to know how to cure acne? Probiotics by the megadose! I met a girl at ABC Kitchen and she had acne all over her face. Somehow it came up that I was a makeup artist and I told her these probiotics to get. She wrote me the other day, saying, 'Oh my God, you've saved my life. My skin is a million times better. There's hardly anything left'. But I told her that you've got to take mega doses; you've got to fix that whole intestinal tract.'
Well known beauty bloggers are also now trying and reviewing probiotics and all love the results:
The proof is in our customer reviews!
To find out more about the link between probiotics and skin health and indeed stress read:
Probiotics & Eczema by Dr Georges Mouton
1. Whitney P Bowe & Alan C Logan, Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis - back to the future? Gut Pathogens, Vol 3, No. 1, 1, DOI: 10.1186/1757-4749-3-1
2. Al-Ghazzewi FH, Tester RF: Effect of Konjac glucommanan hydrolysates and probiotics on the growth of the skin bacterium Propionibacterium acnes in vitro. Int J cosmet Sci 2010, 32:139-42
3. Kang BS, Seo JG, Lee GS, Kim JH, Kim SY, Han YW, et al: Antimicrobial activity of enterocins from Enterococcus faecalis SL-5 against Propionibacterium acnes, the causative agent in acne vulgaris, and its therapeutic effect. J Microbiol 2009, 47:101-9
4. W Bowe and A Logan (2011) Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis - back to the future? Gut Pathogens 2011, 3:1
5. PC Konturek, T Brrzozowski, SJ Konturek (2011)Stress and the Gut: Pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnositic approach and treatment options Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 62, 6, 591-599