PROBIOTICS FOR ECZEMA – YAY OR NAY?
Read this before you buy probiotics for eczema
What is the best probiotic to take for eczema?
One of the most common questions about eczema I’m asked is – What is the best probiotic to take for eczema?
I love hearing this question, realising that many parents are becoming aware that good management of eczema should involve more than just creams and the skin itself. That gut health is a key piece of the puzzle to eczema, and that probiotics may help to improve gut health.
Within our gut lies a community of microorganisms, also known as our gut microbiota. A wide diversity of different gut microorganisms is generally associated with better health and research shows that those with eczema typically have low diversity of gut microbiota.
Many parents of kids with eczema, as well as adults who have eczema themselves, want to move beyond just the creams as a band-aid solution to their symptoms and delve deeper into the root causes to seek long-lasting relief.
So, what does the research tell us about probiotics and eczema?
That’s where I love to get involved. I love delving into the research (I’m the research nerd so you don’t have to be) and sharing this evidence-based information on eczema all in the one place, so parents can short cut straight to the bigger picture information and the action plans!
So, probiotics and eczema.
First stop for me, is The Cochrane Collaboration which is a platform for researchers to come together to complete comprehensive reviews on the current body of research on a particular topic – these are called Cochrane Reviews.
Recently, they completed one on probiotics for eczema and the findings were a little disappointing.
The reviewers found that when they pulled the information from all of these studies together, probiotics alone were not effective in improving eczema.
As a parent of a child who used to have eczema, I understand the disappointment at this conclusion.
I have felt the deep desire to find the one solution that will just fix everything.
And I don’t want you to waste money on searching for that one probiotic forsaking all other approaches, when it really may not make a difference on its own.
Not the big difference you’re hoping for.
Because unfortunately it isn’t that simple.
Why not might a probiotic itself not help improve eczema symptoms?
Because our gut microbiota is complex.
Probiotics only remain in our guts for 2-3 weeks maximum, and they do not colonise (start growing and take a hold) in our guts.
We also need to feed our beneficial bacteria in our guts so they can grow, and this can be achieved with diet and other prebiotic supplements.
Sometimes there may be potentially harmful microorganisms in our but that may need to be addressed at the same time.
Research is always evolving, and the science is never ‘solved’.
The world of probiotics is expanding at an exponential rate.
What we can take from other research in eczema and gut health though, is that an overall strategy to improve our gut microbiota diversity and overall health are good places to start, including foods to nourish our health AND our gut microbiota…
…That taking the probiotic is perhaps part of the piece of the puzzle, and nothing works in isolation.
Perhaps more targeted therapy with microbiota testing prior to taking any random probiotic…
Examine the foods that are being consumed, because what we eat, feed our bacteria in our gut.
Feeding the beneficial bacteria may help overcome some of these skin issues, or by feeding the potentially pathogenic (bad bacteria) may make it the skin worse.
And that’s the thing: the myth about gut health and eczema. That poor gut health causes eczema. It’s not exactly true.
Sure, impaired gut health is associated with eczema, however what causes impaired gut health?
Great question (I’m glad you asked)!
Things like antibiotics, reflux medications, the food we eat, chemical exposure.
And then we start to kind of branch out and look at the genetics, the environment, the stress, and all the other key factors of eczema.
These all affect gut health which in turn affect our health.
And these are the pieces of the puzzle for a new, safe and clear way forward for eczema.
If you’re ready to stop treading water and ready to have vital eczema information at your fingertips, so you can do all you can to help with eczema without reinventing the wheel, then get started on The Eczema Roadmap today.
Don’t waste another minute ‘Googling’ for the information.
The Happy Skin Collective for Eczema is where I bring it all together for you – I’ve collected and curated this information and resources so you can have them at your fingertips immediately.
Don’t wait any longer.
Get started today.
Let me know if you have any questions – would love to hear your thoughts.
Makrgeorgou A, Leonardi-Bee J, Bath-Hextall FJ, Murrell DF, Tang MLK, Roberts A, Boyle RJ. Probiotics for treating eczema. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD006135. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006135.pub3