We’ve talked about atopic dermatitis on the blog before, because more and more evidence is linking this autoimmune disease with the microbiome. In fact, a few weeks ago we wrote about a strong connection between Staphylococcus aureus and atopic dermatitis, which suggests this bug is the culprit behind the disease. If atopic dermatitis does have a microbiome cause, then it makes sense that shifting the microbiome could help alleviate the disease. This past week researchers investigated whether probiotics, specifically Lactobacillus casei, could help treat this disease in mice. They published their results in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.
Scientists induced groups of mice to have atopic dermatitis by shaving their skin and challenging them with a molecule called trimellitic anhydride (TMA) on various days over the course of two weeks. During that time, the scientists orally administered the probiotic to some of the groups of mice. Over the course of the study the scientists measured various things like the changes in the microbiome and the amount of various immune-activated molecules, as well as dermatitis indicators, such as skin lesions and the amount of itching. They discovered that the mice that took the probiotic had less severe symptoms than those that did not. What’s more, is that this reduction of symptoms occurred in a probiotic dose-dependent manner, i.e. the more probiotic administered, the better the symptoms. These symptoms included a reduction in the inflammatory response, as well as a desensitization of the TMA, as evidenced by less itching. As for the microbiome, treatment with TMA decreased abundance of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli, and an increased abundance of Clostridia. Probiotics on the other hand, increased the abundance of Lactobacilli and Bacteroides and decreased the abundance of Clostridia.
This study is not the first to show in a health improvement through the administration of Lactobacillus, which we have written about before. It seems this bug is almost always associated with health, except in the case of respiratory diseases. Overall, it seems that you can’t get enough Lactobacilli, so the next time you are considering having a second serving of yogurt for breakfast, go right ahead.