Your cart is empty.

Shop All
This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalized service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our Cookie Notice for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.
Accept and Close


The Gut And Probiotics For Psoriasis – What You Need To Know!

January 10, 2023

Share this article

If you have psoriasis, you know it’s more than a skin condition. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes red, scaly patches on the skin. In addition, recent studies have shown a connection between the gut and psoriasis. 

In this blog post, we will explore the gut-skin relationship and how probiotics can help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis.

Probiotics and Psoriasis

Probiotics are also called good bacteria
Fig. 1. Probiotics are also called good bacteria.

Did you know? Aside from inflammatory bowel disease, probiotics have been found to also help patients with psoriasis.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the good bacteria that are found in our gut microbiome. Probiotics have many health benefits, including improving digestive health, boosting immunity, lessening the formation of skin lesions, and reducing inflammation. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut. They can also be taken as dietary supplements.

Recent studies have shown that probiotics can help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis. For example, one study showed that patients who took a probiotic supplement for 12 weeks had a significantly lower Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score than those who did not take probiotics. The PASI score is a measure of the severity of psoriasis. Another study showed that patients who took a specific probiotic strain for 8 weeks had a reduction in inflammation and itching. In addition, probiotics can also help improve the quality of life for psoriasis patients by reducing stress levels.

Several studies have examined whether probiotic supplements can help treat psoriasis symptoms. For example, one study examined people with mild-to-moderate psoriasis who were not responding well to treatment with topical corticosteroids. The participants were given a daily dose of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) or a placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, those who had taken LGG probiotic treatment showed significant improvements in skin clearance and quality of life compared to those who had taken the placebo.

Another study examined 100 people with psoriasis taking part in light therapy treatments. The participants have given Lactobacillus Plantarum or a placebo for 8 weeks while continuing their soft therapy treatments. At the end of the study, those who had taken Lactobacillus Plantarum showed significantly more significant improvements in skin clearance than those who had taken a placebo.

The Gut-Skin Connection

Gut health is linked to skin health
Fig. 2. Gut health is linked to skin health.

There is a strong connection between the gut and the skin. This is partly because both are lined with a type of tissue called epithelial tissue. This tissue is permeable, meaning substances can pass through it from one side to the other. So, for example, certain drugs and toxins can enter the bloodstream through the gut lining and reach the skin. Plus, the gut is responsible for absorbing nutrients and eliminating toxins from the body. So when the gut functions correctly, it leads to better overall health—including skin health.

In addition, gut microbes play a role in regulating immunity. The gut modulates host inflammatory processes and can affect immune cells in other body parts, including the skin. Decreased bacterial diversity characterizes an imbalance that can cause symptoms of different illnesses to appear, including psoriatic arthritis. The balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut is vital for maintaining healthy skin and reducing the triggers of chronic skin inflammation. Probiotic strains may help to promote a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

The gut-skin connection is the communication between the digestive system and the skin. There are several ways in which the gut and skin communicate with each other. One way is through the nervous system via two main pathways: autonomic nerves and humoral immunity.

Autonomic nerves are part of the nervous system that controls involuntary functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion. There are two types of autonomic nerves: sympathetic and parasympathetic. Sympathetic nerves stimulate a “fight or flight” response, while parasympathetic nerves stimulate a “rest and digest” response. Studies have shown that sympathetic nerve activity is increased in psoriasis patients while parasympathetic nerve activity is decreased. This imbalance between sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves has been linked to inflammation in psoriasis patients.

Humoral immunity is mediated by antibodies circulating in our blood to fight infection. One type of antibody, called immunoglobulin G (IgG), is increased in psoriasis patients. IgG binds to antigens on bacteria and kills them through a process called opsonization. Opsonization is when antibodies coat bacteria so that they can be more easily recognized and destroyed by phagocytes. Phagocytes engulf and destroy foreign bodies such as viruses and bacteria. Studies have shown that psoriatic plaques contain an abundance of IgG antibodies. This suggests that there is an overactive immune response in psoriasis patients.

The overactive immune response seen in psoriasis patients may be due to dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is an imbalance between good bacteria and harmful bacteria in our gut. An imbalance in our gut flora has been linked to inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Studies have shown that probiotics can help restore balance to our gut flora, which may help reduce inflammation in people with psoriasis.

How Probiotics Can Help Improve Psoriasis Symptoms

Probiotics can improve gut health and have been found to improve psoriasis symptoms
Fig. 3. Probiotics can improve gut health and have been found to improve psoriasis symptoms.

There are a few different ways that gut health can impact skin health. First, the gut houses a large part of the immune system. This means that when the gut is unhealthy, it can increase inflammation levels throughout the body—including in the skin. Second, the gut also contains good bacteria (known as probiotics). These good bacteria can help reduce inflammation levels and improve overall gut health.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), probiotics may help reduce inflammation, a common symptom of psoriasis. In addition, an altered gut microbiota containing a good amount of probiotics may also help reduce the severity of psoriasis flares by strengthening the skin’s barrier function and reducing the overgrowth of skin cells characteristic of psoriasis. A strong gut barrier prevents harmful bacteria and toxins from entering the bloodstream.

Probiotics can help reduce symptoms by restoring balance to our gut flora and reducing inflammation throughout our body via the autonomic nervous system and humoral immunity pathways. If you suffer from psoriasis, consider adding probiotic-rich foods to your diet or taking a dietary supplement.

Side Effects and Risks. 

Probiotics are generally safe and well tolerated by most people. However, some people may experience side effects, such as gas or bloating. Probiotic supplements can also interact with certain medications, so you must speak with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.

It’s also important to note that probiotics are live microorganisms and should be treated like any other perishable food. They should be appropriately stored and kept refrigerated to maintain their potency. 

Probiotic Foods To Eat And Avoid If You Have Psoriasis

Eat fermented foods that are rich in probiotics
Fig. 4. Eat fermented foods that are rich in probiotics.

If you have psoriasis, you know certain trigger foods can worsen your symptoms. These include sugary foods, dairy products, glutenous grains, processed meats, and alcohol.

Probiotic-rich foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, tempeh, and kombucha. Also, opt for anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables rich in antioxidants like berries and tomatoes, healthy fats like olive oil and avocados, and nuts and seeds. If you have psoriasis, you should regularly include these foods in your diet. Also, be sure to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. 

You should also avoid taking antibiotics unless necessary, as they can kill off harmful and good bacteria in your gut flora, leading to an imbalance that could exacerbate psoriatic symptoms. If you need to take them, get plenty of probiotic-rich foods during and after treatment to replenish any bacteria that might have been lost.

Gut-related Changes In Your Lifestyle That Can Help Improve Your Overall Health 

If you have psoriasis, changing your diet and lifestyle that promote gut health could help improve your symptoms. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Eat more fiber.

Fiber helps keep things moving along in your digestive system and encourages healthy gut bacteria growth. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. 

  • Avoid processed foods.

Processed foods are high in unhealthy fats and sugar, which can contribute to inflammation. They can also contain additives that can be difficult for your digestive system to process. 

  • Eat fermented foods.

Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut are rich in probiotics—live organisms that promote gut health by supporting the growth of healthy bacteria in your intestines. 

  • Reduce stress levels.

Stress has been shown to contribute to inflammation, so reducing stress could help to decrease inflammation throughout your body—including in your skin. Taking yoga or meditation, spending time in nature, or even taking time each day can help lower stress levels and promote relaxation. 

  • Exercise regularly.

Exercise has many benefits for overall health, including reducing inflammation and promoting a healthy gut microbiota composition. A moderate amount of activity is the key here—too much exercise can have the opposite effect!

Making changes to promote gut health is one way that you can improve your psoriasis symptoms. However, these suggestions are just a starting point—talk to your doctor or dermatologist about other lifestyle changes that might be right for you based on your needs and health conditions.

In addition to eating a nutritious diet and taking probiotic supplements or eating fermented foods rich in good bacteria, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to improve your gut health which will, in turn, help reduce psoriatic symptoms. Some lifestyle changes include:

  • Quitting smoking 
  • Managing stress through yoga or meditation
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Using a humidifier

Making these lifestyle changes can improve not only your gut health but also your overall health, thus reducing the severity and frequency of psoriasis flares.

Medovie – An Alternative To Probiotics For Psoriasis

The link between the gut and psoriasis tells us the best way to manage the symptoms of psoriasis and similar chronic inflammation is to do it both from the inside and outside. And for that, we created Medovie to address skin problems from the inside out.

Medovie is a different kind of science-oriented company. We combine the wisdom from traditional Chinese medicine with advanced research to provide long-lasting and holistic comfort for those who suffer from restless skin problems like psoriasis. For example, the ground-breaking 3HX™ formula has proven astonishing benefits to the skin by supporting healthy cell production inside and out. It took us 10 years to perfect this formula, and now it’s at the heart of all our products.

Try Medovie skincare products today and experience safe and effective results.

Shop Now