IS PROBIOTICS EFFECTIVE IN REMOVING DANDRUFF?
Is it possible to use probiotics for dandruff?
You might have heard the word ‘probiotic’ thrown around, sometimes wondering what it really is. You’ve definitely heard that it’s healthy for you and might have even tried it. But what is it exactly?
Probiotics are live microorganisms, made up of good bacteria and yeast that lives within your body. If infections are bad bacteria, probiotics are good bacteria that can balance the system. This comes in various forms such as foods, supplements and even drinks.
There are trillions of microbes in your body, which can be good, neutral, or bad for you. All of these collectively make up your microbiome. This is important in how your body responds and behaves in every situation. It can be affected by your diet, surroundings, exposure to chemicals, stress, hygiene, medications, etc. Probiotics introduce the bacteria that can be helpful to your body.
Benefits of Probiotics
Some of the benefits of probiotics are:
Digestive tract –It can help with digestion and regulating your gut health, by directly supporting the gut lining cells.
Immune system –Probiotics can boost your immune system and help it fight off infections.
Bad bacteria –It is a direct counter to the negative effects of bad bacteria and can reduce their impact.
Cholesterol –Some studies have shown that probiotics can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Eczema –People have used probiotics to help manage their eczema symptoms, which is a skin ailment.
Medications –Probiotics can potentially assist in breaking down medications.
But what about probiotics and dandruff?
There are certain factors that you need to understand before using probiotics for scalp dandruff. The cause of dandruff is a fungus known as Malassezia Globosa, which can break down any excess oil secreted by the sebaceous glands on your scalp. This yeast is found naturally on your scalp and is not of concern to half the people in the world.
But if your body is sensitive towards the oil breakdown, it can trigger severe itching , redness and white flakes of dead skin cells. The flaking is a robust response by your immune system to the perceived ‘irritant’ on your scalp. It causes a build-up of skin cells which start to shed and fall down as flakes on your shoulder.
When it comes to using probiotics as a dandruff treatment, it depends on the probiotic that you’re using. Not all probiotics can be used as a dandruff solution.
Lactobacillus Paracasei is a probiotic that has shown to be effective in reducing dandruff on your scalp. A study revealed that this probiotic induced a faster recovery of the skin barrier function, regulated the skin immune system, reduced scalp greasiness, and most importantly reduced the Malassezia yeast population on the scalp.
What about probiotics food for dandruff?
Some people pour probiotic drinks on their head or apply oils to the scalp, as a means on how to remove dandruff. But this can be a tricky option as you don’t really know what bacteria and yeast are in play.
You’re better off consuming probiotics through foods or supplements, which can balance out your immune system. There are various types of probiotic foods which have their own benefits.
Some of these are:
- Yogurt or buttermilk
- Kombucha (fermented drink)
- Kefir (fermented drink)
- Kimchi (fermented vegetables)
- Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
- Tempeh (fermented soybean)
- Miso (Japanese seasoning)
- Cheese or Cottage cheese
These probiotic foods also contain a host of beneficial elements, such as antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, fibres or minerals. But mainly all of them contain healthy bacteria.
Are there any risks involved with probiotics?
Probiotics have been around for a while and are generally not considered harmful. Even if you want to use probiotics food for dandruff, it isn’t going to cause you that much trouble.
But there are always some concerns to be aware of:
Bacteria –Using probiotics for dandruff is pure experimentation, as every person has a unique microbiome with different bacteria.
Topical application –It can be risky to apply probiotics on your scalp directly.
Reactions –These are always possible with probiotics, especially if you decide to apply it topically onto your scalp.
Digestion -Excessive consumption of probiotics can cause issues within your stomach.
Illness –It is recommended that you don’t consume probiotics if you’ve just recovered from a critical illness.
Healthy bacteria already exist in your system, you don’t need to add them separately unless your diet is extremely poor. But when it comes to dandruff, you’re better off consuming probiotics and using an anti-dandruff shampoo simultaneously. Use a trusted product like the Head and Shoulders Neem to clean your scalp and get rid of the dandruff causing germs. If you have the time to try probiotics as one of the many dandruff home remedies, you could. But know that there are other options available.