Probiotic strains in prevention of skin aging

Probiotic strains in prevention of skin aging

Probiotics are known for broad health benefits established by many animal as well as human studies and continuing evaluation. Data also showed efficacy of probiotic strains in prevention of skin aging. Some probiotic strains help in maintaining skin hydration, prevent wrinkle formation and also help in prevention of premature aging.

What causes your skin aging?

Aging of the skin is commonly associated with increased wrinkling, sagging, and increased laxity. Both external or environmental factors like toxins, Ultra-Violet (UV) irradiation and internal factors play important roles in skin health and biological aging. The main biochemical, molecular, and cellular changes underlying skin aging process that include alterations of skin-associated microflora, skin pH or alkalinity increase, reduced ceramides lipid levels, abnormal oxidative stress, collagen level reduction, and altered immune responsiveness. (1,2)

Probiotics and immune response

Chronic inflammation resulting from chronic activation of the innate immune system is the leading factor in cells death as well as development of most chronic diseases. Immunomodulatory properties of probiotics could help in two main aspects of aging as gradual deterioration of the immune system and chronic low-grade inflammation with aging.(3)

The mammalian intestinal tract is the largest immune organ in the body and comprises of various cells and is also a residence for trillions of microbes. Both microbiota and host immune system communicates with each other to mutually maintain stable equilibrium state.  Further, the host innate and adaptive immune systems cooperate and compensate each other to maintain the equilibrium of a highly complex gut ecosystem in a stable and stringent fashion. Any imbalance due to innate or adaptive immune deficiency or aberrant immune response may lead to dysbiosis and low-grade to robust gut inflammation, finally resulting in diseases. (4)

Probiotics regulate the functions of systemic and mucosal immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells and thus help to maintain homeostasis. Therefore probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related or autoimmune diseases.(5) Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus plantarum had shown to reduce markers of inflammation.(6)

Probiotic strains in prevention of skin aging

Immune modulation of probiotics beyond the gut in skin

Beyond immune modulation in gut study with randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design shown that oral supplementation of probiotic (Bifidobacteria infantis 35624) , once daily for 6–12 weeks (1 × 1010 CFU) had showed reduction in chronic inflammation (blood C Reactive Protein levels and inflammation signalling) in individuals with psoriasis. (7)

In another RCT study supplementation of L. plantarum IS-10506 (1010 cfu/day) twice daily for 12 weeks showed reduction of immune response resulting in clinical improvement in children with dermatitis. (8) Similarly oral administration of Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92 had shown reduction in inflammation in patients with dermatitis by regulating immune system in other placebo-controlled double-blinded randomized, clinical studies.(9,10)

Probiotics and antioxidant defense

All biological structure including cells of human body undergo the detrimental action of free radicals. The free radical theory of aging proposes that aging results from accumulation of oxidative damage over a lifetime due to excess reactive free radicals. Sources of free radicals include not only the body’s biochemical processes but also many external factors like environmental toxins, radiation and toxin generating food sources, chemicals, pesticides, medications also contribute for the same. Reactive free radicals also cause damage to lipids, proteins including collage, and DNA and also influence deterioration of cells. (1)With ages people loses antioxidant defense to fight with free radicals.

Probiotics supplementation improves antioxidant defense as well as reduces reactive free radicals-confirmed in meta analysis.(11,12)

Probiotics and also when combines with prebiotics has shown to increase serum glutathione level in human and thus improves antioxidant defense. (13, 14) Also probiotics are emerging as an exciting therapeutic option or adjuvant treatment for acne.(15) Probiotics supplementation lowers the genotoxic activity of faecal water in dermatitis in RCT. (16) Lactobacillus acidophilus 145 and Bifidobacterium longum 913 had shown to reduce DNA damage to cells. (17)Probiotics has shown to improve skin health by numbers of ways. (18)

May help in reducing MMPs activity

You may heard about collagen the main structural protein of connective tissues that holds the skins or muscles together, promotes elasticity. You may also imagine that what will happen to our skins and muscles when we are losing collagen. Two important factors regulate collagen. One transforms growth that promotes collagen production. And the other a transcription factor that inhibits collagen production and up-regulates collagen breakdown by up-regulating enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases or MMPs. MMP activity increases with age resulting to dramatic increase of levels of degraded collagen. Data suggest that probiotic treatment(L. brevis, L. rhamnosus and L. acidophilus) also could decrease skin aging-associated with increased MMP activity.(1)

May help in maintaining ceramides lipid levels

Ceramides are lipid molecules and is major component of the outermost layer of human skin and can participate in a variety of cellular signalling. And reports also showing the efficacy of a selected probiotic extract in increasing ceramide levels in vivo, of healthy young and old people as well as in dermatitis patients. And thus reduces dryness, loss of tone, fullness, and water loss. These opened a new strategy against aging skin associated with a reduced amount of the ceramide. As ceramide is a major water-holding molecule in the extracellular space of the horny layer.(1)

Improve glucose metabolism

Impaired insulin sensitivity or glucose metabolism can lack of energy at cellular level and also lead to cell death. (19,20) Probiotics strains from family like Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus had improved glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism as well as insulin sensitivity in RCT, Meta analysis.(21, 22)

Skin hydration, appearance

Fabbrocini G et al. had conducted a pilot, randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study on 20 adult people (14 females and 6 males) with acne with liquid oral supplementation Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 (LSP1) once daily for 12 weeks, 3 × 109 CFU/day. They found Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 normalises skin expression of genes involved in insulin signalling and improves the appearance.(23) Better insulin signalling indicates better glucose uptake in cells that leads to better health of cells.

Lee DE et al from Korea had conducted Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo-Controlled clinical study on effects of Lactobacillus plantarum on Skin Aging. Participants in the probiotic group consumed 2 g daily of a powder containing 2 g daily of a powder containing Lactobacillus plantarum  (1× 10(10) CFU/day) for 12 weeks and other group was placebo. After 1 week supplementation researchers found significant reduction in wrinkle depth and significantly improved skin gloss(17%) and skin elasticity(22%) in probiotic group than placebo. They also noticed greater improvement in hydration in the face and forearm in the probiotic group at week 12.(24)

Bottom Line

An unhealthy gut have impacts on overall health. Unhealthy gut bacteria critically influence the health with increased risk of diseases and mortality specifically in older people. Inflammaging an age-related chronic inflammatory process due to weak defense as people ages can lead to several age related disease. Interestingly, imbalanced intestinal microbial community has been suggested to contribute to inflammaging. By reducing inflammation probiotics can help in preventing diseases as well as early aging. (25, 26)

Probiotics exert many health beneficial effects. We can also aspect improvement of skin health and anti aging benefits from probiotics. In present this is mainly attributed to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families. Bacterial world in connection to human health yet to be discovered more. Probiotics is appears as extremely safe in oral consumption. However you should not use probiotics during critical illness.   

Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information 
for educational purpose only,  not intended to provide one to one 
health consultation or replace practice of a qualified 
practitioner. Different people may have different health 
condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence 
it has been advised to consult with health care provider before 
application of any of above information.
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Bikramjit Konwar

Author: Bikramjit Konwar


2 Responses

  1. Interesting article. To some extent, digestion in gastro intestinal tract plays important role in maintaining a healthy body, including a healthy skin.

    1. Science is now understanding how gut health plays roles in overall health. Thanks you found interesting

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