It’s True – Probiotics reduces severity of Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)
Our immune system is responsible for protecting the body from harmful substances. It protects us from diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, toxins and helps the body to get rid of foreign bodies and cancerous cells. Weakening or failure of the immune system leads to greater susceptibility to infections and a constant threat to the health and wellbeing of an individual.
Microbes play an essential role in the education, development and function of the immune system. A microbial imbalance can alter the immune response and is associated with diverse inflammatory condition such as Atopic Dermatitis (AD) commonly known as eczema. AD is characterized by itching, redness, dry and inflamed skin. This condition typically manifests early during childhood and often persists into adulthood. AD is commonly associated with other atopic conditions like allergic rhinitis, asthma and food allergy. AD causes enormous physical discomfort and poses a significant impact on the quality of life as the itching can affect sleep quality. Over the course of time, these symptoms can cause stress and impose huge demands on family time and resources highlighting the need for novel treatment therapies.
The gut and skin have been hypothesized to be closely connected indicating that several conditions that primarily affect the gut also have manifestations in the skin. The use of probiotic bacterial products has recently been explored as a therapeutic option for AD. The rationale for this approach is based on the well-recognised effects of bacteria on cellular immune responses. It is also known that the gut microbiota of atopic individuals is different in quality and quantity from that of healthy individuals.
Conventional therapies cannot effectively address the root cause of the problem in the gut. Given that the bacterial flora is significantly different in AD patients, the concept of adding back the healthy beneficial bacteria through probiotics is compelling. These findings prompted the idea that specific multi-species beneficial bacteria capable of restoring health could be used as potential alternative strategy in the management of AD.
Conventional therapy here includes moisturizers, topical steroids, topical calcineurin inhibitors, and antihistaminics.
In this context, a 12 week, randomized double blind evaluation of efficacy of oral supplements of probiotics, namely Lactogut and Lactogut Kidz, on Atopic Dermatitis in Adults and Children was conducted at Cutis Academy of Cutaneous Sciences in Bangalore, India.1
IgE is an immunoglobulin molecule, Eosinophil is a type of white blood cells. High levels of both indicate allergic inflammation that in turn portrays the extent of eczema.
SCORAD is a clinical tool used to assess the extent of eczema and takes into consideration area of eczema, intensity and subjective symptoms.
The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of probiotics in the treatment of atopic dermatitis and to determine the association of the SCORAD index, serum IgE levels, and Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) which are indicators of severity of AD.
Control arm is a standard against which improvement by probiotic treatment is measured in the treatment arm.
70 patients (20 adults and 50 children) with moderate to severe Atopic Dermatitis were randomized into control arm- given only conventional therapy, and treatment arm- given conventional therapy & probiotics.
The findings of the study concluded that conventional therapy in combination with probiotic supplements demonstrated effective control of SCORAD score and Absolute Eosinophil Count levels in children suffering from Atopic Dermatitis. The reduction in SCORAD, IgE and AEC level indicates improvements in symptoms of AD. For children with both conventional and conventional and probiotic therapy, IgE levels between baseline and at 12 weeks demonstrated effective reduction.
Adults in the treatment arm showed effective control of SCORAD score, IgE levels and AEC values. In addition, the patient satisfaction score and quality of index demonstrated marked improvement after the introduction of Lactogut and Lactogut Kidz probiotic therapy in adults and children respectively.
Lactogut being a multi-strain probiotic restores the gut microbiome with beneficial strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and regulates local and systemic immunity which is responsible for reducing the severity of AD. With no adverse events reported, the study also establishes the tolerability and safety profiles of Lactogut and Lactogut Kidz for adults and children respectively.
Reference: ChandrashekarBS, AgarwalR, NayakPB, VijayaraghavanS, DeshmukhAA. A 12 weeks, randomized and double-blind evaluation of the efficacy of oral supplements of probiotics (Lactogut and Lactogut Kidz) on atopic dermatitis in adults and children. Int J Res Dermatol 2020;6:604-15