The importance of a healthy gut microbiome – is there more than just applying lotions for eczema?

Importance of a healthy gut microbiome in eczema: The gut microbiome plays a critical role in our overall health, including the condition of our skin. In people with eczema, there is also a disturbance in the intestinal microbiome, in which certain beneficial bacteria are reduced and harmful bacteria increase. This imbalance can lead to inflammatory reactions in the body, including the skin, which can worsen the symptoms of eczema.

Restoring the gut microbiome with prebiotics and probiotics are two approaches that can help restore a healthy gut microbiome. Prebiotics are nutrients that stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live bacteria that are added directly to the gut microbiome to restore balance. In this blog we will talk about the gut microbiome in eczema and the role of prebiotics and probiotics. We’ll also take a look at the pros and cons.

Intestinal microbiome

The gut microbiome refers to the community of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, that live in our gut. It consists of trillions of microbes that play an important role in maintaining our health.

Good intestinal bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are beneficial to our body. They aid in digestion, nutrient absorption, vitamin production and strengthening our immune system. These bacteria contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. The gut microbiome has several functions, such as the fermentation of food, protection against pathogens, stimulation of the immune response and synthesis of vitamins.

Probiotic consumption can have positive effects on intestinal health. It can relieve symptoms of lactose intolerance and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut. The gut microbiome, located on the lining of the intestines, plays an important role in immune activity and the production of antimicrobial proteins. In addition, the microbiome stimulates the immune system, breaks down potentially toxic food compounds and produces certain vitamins and amino acids, such as B vitamins and vitamin K.

On the other hand, bad bacteria or an imbalance in the gut microbiome can occur. Factors such as an unhealthy diet, stress, use of antibiotics and other medications, and environmental influences can lead to a disrupted gut microbiome. This can disrupt the diversity and balance of the bacteria in the gut and possibly contribute to the development or worsening of eczema.

In eczema there is often a reduced diversity of good intestinal bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, and an increased presence of potentially harmful bacteria. This can lead to an inflammatory response in the body and worsen the symptoms of eczema.

Restoring a healthy gut microbiome can help treat eczema. The use of prebiotics, nutrients that promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria, and probiotics, live microorganisms that are beneficial to gut health, can help restore balance to the gut microbiome. They can increase the diversity and abundance of good bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Prebiotic nutrition for your gut microbiome

With eczema, promoting a healthy gut microbiome can have a positive effect on symptoms and overall health. Prebiotics are nutrients that feed beneficial bacteria in the gut and can help restore and maintain healthy gut flora. Some examples of prebiotic foods that may benefit the gut microbiome in eczema include:

  1. Chicory root: is a rich source of prebiotic fiber, such as inulin. It may help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and reduce inflammation.
  2. Bananas: Ripe bananas contain resistant starch, a type of prebiotic fiber. They can promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria and contribute to a healthy intestinal flora.
  3. Oatmeal: contains beta-glucans, a type of prebiotic fiber. It can help stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the gut and support a healthy gut microbiome.
  4. Garlic and onions: contain fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic fiber. They may help promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and improve gut health.
  5. Asparagus: Contains inulin, a prebiotic fiber that can help stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut and support a balanced gut microbiome.
  6. Wholesome bread and cereal products, vegetables, fruit, legumes and nuts are beneficial for a healthy intestinal microbiome. Foods rich in enzymes, such as fresh fruits, raw vegetables, sprouts (e.g., alfalfa, broccoli sprouts, and cress), and fermented foods and drinks such as kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, and water kefir, also contribute to a healthy gut microbiome.
Gut Microbiome Prebiotics Probiotics

Adding these prebiotic foods to your diet can help promote a healthy gut microbiome and reduce inflammation associated with eczema. However, it is important to note that the response to prebiotics can vary individually.

Probiotic strains

There are several probiotic gut bacteria that may be beneficial in treating eczema.

  1. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG: Some studies have shown that it may help reduce the severity of eczema symptoms in children and prevent recurrent flare-ups. However, a meta-analysis published in 2018 showed that LGG was not effective in reducing eczema.
  2. Bifidobacterium lactis: This strain has anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. It may help reduce inflammation and strengthen the skin barrier, which may be indirectly beneficial in the treatment of eczema. However, there is no direct evidence that this strain can cure eczema.
  3. Lactobacillus casei: This strain has immunomodulatory properties, meaning it can regulate the immune system. It can help reduce the inflammatory reactions that cause eczema.
  4. Lactobacillus plantarum: This strain has shown anti-allergenic properties in mice and may help reduce allergic reactions that can exacerbate eczema.

Mixes of different strains of probiotics are more promising

A recent study investigated the use of a mixture of oral probiotics in the treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) in children. The 12-week study showed that the probiotic blend was effective in reducing AD symptoms and reducing the use of topical steroids. The probiotic group with Bifidobacterium lactis CECT 8145, B longum CECT 7347 and Lactobacillus casei CECT 9104 showed a significantly greater reduction in the SCORAD index (a measure of eczema severity) compared to the placebo group. While these results are promising, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of these probiotic strains specifically for eczema treatment.

Another study investigated the effectiveness of different probiotic strains in the treatment of atopic dermatitis in children. The results came to a similar conclusion, with certain mixes of probiotic supplements showing benefits in reducing allergy symptoms in children with atopic dermatitis.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of probiotic gut bacteria in treating eczema is still under investigation. The optimal strains, dosages and duration of treatment have yet to be established.

Benefits of prebiotics in eczema:

  • Stimulating the growth of beneficial bacteria: Prebiotics act as a food source for good bacteria in the gut, allowing them to thrive and gain the upper hand over harmful bacteria. This can help reduce inflammation and relieve eczema symptoms.
  • Strengthening the intestinal barrier: Prebiotics can strengthen the intestinal barrier, reducing permeability and preventing potentially irritating substances from entering the body. This can reduce inflammatory responses and improve skin health.

Benefits of probiotics for eczema:

  • Promoting a healthy gut microbiome: Probiotics can replenish beneficial bacteria in the gut and correct the imbalance often associated with eczema. This can help reduce inflammation and improve skin condition.
  • Strengthening the immune system: Probiotics can boost the immune system, which is critical in treating eczema. A healthy immune system can better regulate inflammation and reduce the response to allergens, which can lead to an improvement in eczema symptoms.

Disadvantages of using prebiotics and probiotics:

While prebiotics and probiotics can provide many benefits in treating eczema, it’s important to be aware of potential downsides and precautions:

  1. Individual Variation: The response to prebiotics and probiotics may vary from person to person. What is effective for one person may not work for another. It may take some time to find the right balance and dosage that works best for your specific situation.
  2. Side Effects: Some people may experience mild side effects when taking prebiotics and probiotics, such as flatulence, bloating, or digestive discomfort. These side effects are usually temporary and go away over time.
  3. These side effects are usually temporary and go away over time. It is important to choose products from reliable manufacturers and seek advice from a healthcare professional if possible.
  4. Consult a professional: If you are considering using prebiotics and probiotics to treat eczema, it is recommended that you discuss this with a dermatologist or other health care professional who specializes in skin conditions. They can advise you on the right products and dosages that are suitable for your specific situation.

Applying ointment remains part of an eczema treatment

Treatment of eczema with hormone ointments or hormone-free tacrolimus remains an important option. In addition to this medical treatment, skin care products can also help you get eczema under control. More on hormone ointment how do you spread it properly?

Calming cream with ingredients such as avena sativa, marshmallow root and ectoine, as well as Sensitive cream with avena sativa and Natural Moisturizer cream with vegetable wax, ceramide, squalene and glycerin, are some products that can help reduce the symptoms of eczema. All products have pH 5 acidity, ideal for your skin and skin microbioma

Intestinal Microbiome Scar Care White Spots Vitiligo Facial Massage Calming Cream Natural Moisturizer Sensitive Cream

Using these skin care products can help soothe irritated skin, maintain its natural moisture balance and strengthen the skin barrier. It is important to choose a suitable product that suits your specific needs and to consult a healthcare professional regularly for effective and personalized eczema treatment.

In other words

In addition to applying creams and ointments, it is important to address the underlying causes of eczema. Restoring a healthy gut microbiome using prebiotics and probiotics can be a valuable addition to treatment. They can help reduce inflammation, strengthen the gut barrier and support the immune system. However, it is important to consider individual variation, possible side effects and the quality of products.

Picture of Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu

Dr. Francis Wu, een vooraanstaande dermatoloog, is de drijvende kracht achter Iconic Elements. Hij heeft sinds 2004 zijn expertise ingezet om een veilige en effectieve huidverzorgingslijn te creëren, geschikt voor zowel gezonde huid als huidproblemen. Iconic Elements, opgericht in 2016, is de eerste brede skincare lijn in Nederland ontwikkeld door een dermatoloog. Als medisch specialist streeft Dr. Wu naar het bevorderen van het welzijn van mensen door hoogwaardige en effectieve huidverzorgingsproducten te bieden. De proefdiervrije en vegan producten vermijden schadelijke chemicaliën en bevatten natuurlijke ingrediënten.
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