While the causes of psoriasis are unknown, it is believed to be an auto-immune disease which causes the rapid turnover of skin cells leading to the plaques associated with this chronic skin disease. But what triggers this malfunction in the immune system is generally unknown.
So what do probiotics have to do with the immune system and are probiotics good for psoriasis? Well, the majority of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and improving the function of the digestive tract can enhance the immune function which can have a positive impact on psoriasis. This is why you need to get your hands on the best probiotics for psoriasis which will be discussed further here.
The GI tract and your health
An unhealthy gut can cause so many health issues and one of the best ways to deal with an unhealthy gut is with the help of probiotics which means “for life” and represent friendly bacteria (live organisms) that are found in the gut as opposed to the bad disease-causing bacteria that you need to eliminate and an abundance of friendly bacteria can help with this task. So do remember that not all bacteria are bad for you even though when you think of bacteria, you think of something bad.
The friendly bacteria found in the GI tract play a very important role in the development and function of the mucosal immune system which is found in the digestive tract. Friendly bacteria also enhance the production of antibodies (proteins that fight infection) to combat pathogens (agents of disease).
Another of the many functions of friendly bacteria is to train the immune system to be able to make a distinction between pathogens and non-harmful antigens and then respond accordingly which helps to prevent the immune system from overreacting to non-threatening antigens which helps to prevent food allergies.
In addition, research has shown that poor intestinal health leading to leaky gut as well as excessive amounts of Candida albicans (yeast) can worsen many skin issues such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, etc. The two most common types of probiotics that are found in the gut are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium.
Lactobacilli can help improve nutrient absorption and prevent leaky gut which causes toxins to be deposited into the blood stream from the gut. Bifidobacteria on the other hand produces B-complex vitamins and inhibits nitrates which may increase the risk of cancer development. B vitamins are thought to be crucial for skin health.
There are so many other functions that probiotics perform besides these and really, for whatever is troubling you health-wise, there is probably a probiotic that can help and it is very easy to incorporate probiotics into your lifestyle with the help of foods that contain live cultures such as yogurt or use various supplements.
The best probiotics for psoriasis natural treatment include the various strains of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium including the following;
- L. acidophilus
- L. rhamnous
- L. rhamnosus (Type B, Bifidus)
- L. Lactis
- B. longum
- B. bifidum
- S. thermophilus
These bacteria are also naturally occurring organisms in yogurt which is the easiest probiotic-rich food to incorporate into your lifestyle if looking for the best probiotics for psoriasis, but they can also be found in other foods, powders, tablets, drinks, etc. You can also find them in sour milk, sauerkraut, many pickles, and so on and so forth.
While yogurt is more easily accessible compared to other foods, unfortunately many if not most of what’s found in the grocery stores does not contain sufficient amounts of the live cultures that are required to repopulate the flora in the gut in order to help eliminate many conditions such as psoriasis.
To be beneficial for the body, the yogurt or other products or supplements used should contain at the very least 1 billion and at most 6 billion organisms daily. In addition to ensuring that you get adequate amounts of these live cultures, these healthy bacteria should also be resistant to bile in the body so that they are able to attach themselves to the gastrointestinal lining in order to begin forming a colony of friendly bacteria.
It is both a waste of time and money if the product you buy containing these live cultures passes through the body without disintegrating. The live cultures should also be able to survive the passage through the stomach by avoiding bile produced by the liver to prevent the live cultures from turning it into something else.
If you do decide to use yogurt to repopulate friendly bacteria, avoid the fancy types of yogurt (containing fruits, low-fat, etc). Reach for simple plain yogurt with live cultures. Since bacteria are destroyed by heat, make sure that you eat it cold.
You also need to ensure that it is fresh as this kind will usually contain at least 100 million bacteria per gram. Yogurt that spends too much time on the shelf will result in the destruction of most of these bacteria so the fresher the yogurt is the better.
Yogurt that is refrigerated is best to ensure that most of the live cultures are able to survive. If at all possible, try to buy yogurt that is less than a week old which is usually the freshest and still contains most of the live cultures that are beneficial. The most beneficial yogurt will usually be found at health food stores and not in ordinary grocery stores.
Using probiotic supplements
When you are searching for the best probiotics for psoriasis, probiotic supplements can also be effective. Some people don’t like the taste of yogurt or other foods containing probiotics such as sauerkraut, sour milk, etc, which is why probiotic supplements are the next best thing if not the best thing. Make sure that you purchase these probiotic supplements from a reputable seller. Important tips for purchasing and using probiotic supplements to keep in mind include;
- Ensuring that the supplements come in a dark glass container with a guarantee that the organisms are potent up to a certain expiration date that is clearly marked on the label. This is usually the best quality. The label must also state that refrigeration is required to ensure that the live cultures remain potent and in great quantities.
- Avoid probiotic supplements that contain various other lives cultures besides Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidum bacterium and their various strains unless you know what additional live cultures you need. Purchasing supplements that contain these additional cultures may just be a waste of money in addition to making the product one of a lower quality.
- Avoid tablets and liquid probiotics and try to stick to powdered supplements because the manufacturing process destroys or reduces the ability of the live cultures that can colonize when tablets and liquid probiotics are produced.
- Ensure that the live cultures were not grown anywhere near dairy if you have a sensitivity to dairy.
- In order to treat a particular disease or condition, it’s important to get specific strains of the live cultures.
- If you do purchase more than one live culture, try to ensure that they are separated as they may not be compatible with each other if they are placed in the same container unless the manufacturing process uses a special process to keep them in the same container but separate from each other.
- Do read the instructions on the label very carefully and make sure that you monitor how you react to the products after you first start using them. You may suffer from some bloating or gas which should usually go away after a day or so.
- To see any benefits from probiotics usage, do use steady doses daily for at least a week.
- You also need to ensure that you stop using or doing anything that may be creating the perfect environment for disease such as antibiotic use (eliminates both good and bad bacteria), smoking, chronic stress, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, etc.
- While probiotic usage poses few risks, do avoid them if you have a weakened immune system or are critically ill.
Do probiotics help psoriasis? Probiotics are an important natural way to fight psoriasis in addition to many other diseases and conditions. Now you know what the best probiotics for psoriasis are as well as how to use probiotics properly so do take advantage of this information by putting it into practice.
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