Instead of spending a fortune on creams to maintain the beauty and health of your skin, perhaps you should visit the probiotics section at the supermarket more often. But read the entire column before you go shopping.
Do you stretch your budget to the maximum to buy expensive facial creams in your desire to keep your skin in good condition? You can possibly achieve good results for much less money: simply by consuming one probiotic a day for four weeks.
Probiotics (these are live bacteria, known as “good bacteria”) are microorganisms that exist in some foods such as yogurt, and that may be beneficial to health in healthy adults, if taken in appropriate amounts. Although more research is still required when it comes to taking them in supplements or when they are added to food and it is always convenient to check with a doctor before taking them.
Probiotics are often associated with, among other things, better digestion and intestinal function. But in addition to their health benefits, they could also help to keep the skin in good condition.
A 2013 study published in Medical News Today had revealed that probiotics could be useful in treating some skin conditions. The study found, for example, that a probiotic called Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 might be effective in treating psoriasis , an autoimmune disease characterized by red, scaly skin.
And recently, another study was conducted in Japan with the purpose of evaluating the effects of probiotics on the skin of young and healthy women.
The study, led by Hiromi Kimoto-Nira of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science (NILGS) in Japan, was published in the Journal of Dairy Science .
The researchers set out to determine the benefits of fermented milk for the skin, using the H61 strain of the Lactococcus lactis bacterium, which had been used in Japan for 50 years in the production of fermented milk products.
The study looked at 23 healthy young women, ages 19 to 21, who were randomly divided into two groups. Once a day for four weeks, one group ate H61 fermented milk, while the other ate regular yogurt.
The researchers did not know which participants consumed one of the products and which the other. The participants also did not know which product they consumed. Blood samples were taken from all participants before the start of the study and at the end.
When examining the participants’ cheeks and inner arms at the end of the study, the researchers took into account skin hydration, melanin levels, and elasticity. The sebaceous content of the skin, that is, the oil secreted by the sebaceous glands, was measured only on the cheeks.
The result: Although hydration levels had increased in both groups, the participants who consumed H61 fermented milk had significantly higher sebaceous levels than the others. This is considered a sign that this group achieved greater protection for their skin. No other differences were found between the two groups.
What is the researchers’ recommendation? They recommend that you include probiotics in your daily diet. However, although side effects are not common, if you have a problem with your immune system (if it is weakened), if you have been hospitalized or sick recently, it could be very dangerous for you to take probiotics and if you have an allergy to yeast or are lactose intolerant , you could be allergic to some types of probiotics or intolerant to others. Not all probiotics are the same. It is always better to consult with your doctor before taking them.