The Effect of Probiotics on Immune Regulation, Acne, and Photoaging
Mary-Margaret Kober Whitney P. Bowe
Probiotics are live micro-organisms that provide a health benefit to the host. The role of probiotics in the management of disease, as well as immune modification, has recently experienced a renewed interest in society, as probiotics can be found in products ranging from yogurt to facial creams. In this article, we discuss the role of probiotics in the development of the immune system, the treatment of acne and rosacea, and protection against aging and photodamage.
The earliest report on probiotics dates back to 1907, when Elie Metchnikoff described a correlation between the ingestion of lactic acid–producing bacteria in yogurt and enhanced longevity (Gordon, 2008). During the past few decades, there has been renewed interest in probiotics not only in regards to digestive health, but also in the management of inflammatory diseases. The term probiotic has been defined as “living microorganisms which, when consumed in adequate amounts, confer a health effect on the host” (World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2001). Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have emerged as two of the most commonly used probiotics (Ouwehand et al., 2002), although newer strains such as Bacillus coagulans are being investigated with positive results (Benson et al., 2012).