Could Gut Bacteria Hold the Key to Psoriasis Treatment?

by Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Writer

Everyone seems to be talking about gut health. There is good reason. According to the National Institutes of Health, the health of our gut plays an important role in our overall health. The complex community of bacteria and other microbes that live in our stomach and intestines are known to help with our digestion, but more recently are suspected of influencing our health in other ways.

Gut Bacteria and Our Immune System

For starters, gut bacteria may influence our immune system. There is a lot of interaction between the body’s immune system and bacteria in the gut, according to Johns Hopkins University. Our immune system plays an important role in keeping our body healthy by providing a delicate balance between the elimination of invading pathogens and maintaining beneficial bacteria. Diverse gut bacteria teach the cells of the immune system that not everything is bad.

Psoriasis and the Gut

Within our trillions of gut bacteria, there are about 1,000 different species according to Harvard Medical School. Everyone’s gut is different but research published in Scientific Reports demonstrates that there are certain combinations that may be unique to those of us living with psoriasis.

This latest research may point to the critical role that gut bacteria may play in future psoriasis treatments.

In the first time attempting to discover the gut microorganism composition of those living with psoriasis, it was uncovered that there is a distribution of intestinal microbes that clearly differs from that present in a healthy population. Out of 52 participants with plaque psoriasis, a “psoriatic core microbiome” was discovered and compared to the microbiome of 300 healthy individuals. Differences were observed. The psoriatic microbiome was found to have a difference in diversity when compared to the healthy population.

Looking Ahead

We know that psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder influenced by an overactivation of our immune system. This latest research may point to the critical role that gut bacteria may play in future psoriasis treatments.

It is possible that in the future, the bacteria in stools of those with psoriasis could be used as an indicator to detect the severity of an inflammatory response. Psoriasis treatment might then include antibiotics, probiotics, and prebiotics to address the imbalance of gut bacteria.

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.
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Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

Davenport is the founder of Using the latest scientific research, she helps people live their healthiest lives via one-on-one coaching, corporate talks, and sharing the more than 1,000 health-related articles she's authored.