Why good gut health is important for eczema: prebiotics, leaky gut and more

Before reading this, please note I am not suggesting eczema is caused by leaky gut. From my personal experiences, these are my views.

So what are prebiotics?

I had heard of probiotics before however prebiotics were new to me. I searched the web for some info and here are the basics:

Probiotics are the good bacteria found in our bodies. Prebiotics on the other hand can be classed as the food source of the body’s good bacteria.

So what is good bacteria?

Yakult explain it in simple terms here with the main part being about our gut flora:

“The gut flora helps to neutralise some of the toxic by-products of digestion, reduce harmful substances (such as toxins and carcinogens), and discourage ‘bad’ bacteria and yeasts. It also helps to stimulate the digestive process and aid the absorption of nutrients, as well as producing vitamins including B and K. In addition, the by-products of the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut help regulate the growth of the gut cells and keep them healthy.”

Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in our gut and can therefore help to strengthen our gut flora to aid in ridding of toxins, reducing harmful substances and lots more.

I really like this post here on Wellness Mama’s site about our gut,  bacteria and so forth as it offers ways to help keep the gut healthy which is always good! Probiotics can be a great way to replace good bacteria after antibiotic use for example and ptebiotics then help to feed this bacteria so it develops and strengthens our gut.

Studies with rodents have shown:  prebiotic consumption can protect against pathogens, reduce the risk of colon cancer, enhance mineral absorption and influence lipogenesis (Conway,  2001- read full article here )

The healthy bacteria in the gut strengthen the bowel wall, improve mineral and aid in the regulation of hormone production. Prebiotics feed and nourish the good bacteria as they stifle production of the bad bacteria This can help with: obesity, diabetes, bone density, cancer, heart health and anxiety.

Sounds good right!  When I read up about then I couldn’t believe I had never heard of them before! 

After reading about antibiotics,  yeast infections and other information about our gut and what weakens it I realised mine had had quite alot of torture over the years! I have suffered from such issues and at one stage I thought I had Candida.

Leaky gut. ..

I had also read about leaky gut syndrome and it’s connection with eczema so strengthening my gut lining seemed appropriate….The basic idea is that a leaky gut allows toxins to travel to our blood stream and other parts of our body causing inflammation, our immune system to activate and can be pretty stressful on the body no doubt. Now I have always thought eczema is my body’s way of ridding of toxins, it’s way of coping with too much and that’s why leaky gut to me seemed plausible.

Note the NHS wouldn’t agree,  just read their thoughts on this here! Now I’m not saying I’m not a believer in standard medical care but sometimes the doctor doesn’t know best otherwise Eczema would have a cure wouldn’t it? What I do know is the affects that changes in my diet have on my own body, on my own skin. Something a doctor cannot tell me.

Here are some symptoms of leaky gut which may be relevant to you and definitely some are to me!

Chronic fatigue
Recurrent bladder Infections
Mood swings
Heart burn
Swollen lymph glands
Recurrent skin rashes

For more info , click here.

I read about leaky gut here as well and liked this article’s plain language to explain it! Now for me, I think my gut appears to be leaky (I feel many of the symptoms) and strangely my new eczema routine includes many things this article and the leaky gut website suggest to helps to strengthen your gut lining so I definitely think it is plausible (though my doctor would shrug it off no doubt!) as not only has my skin improved but so have my energy levels and I haven’t been ill and my bowels are more regular.

So what now? 

I began to get eczema at the age of 16. Something set it off and I wouldn’t rule out leaky gut syndrome. The key to treatment is also good nutrition so it is nothing harmful or with bad side effects.

Now I currently don’t take probiotics. I took a months worth at the end of last year but don’t now. I do take Molkosan-Vitality once daily before bed (read me review here). Many people take probiotics but prebiotics feed the good bacteria in your gut and can help to multiply it in numbers. They feed the good bacteria your gut already has rather than add to it like probiotics.  The BBC ran a study with cowboys where half were on a prebiotic diet and the other half were on a probiotic diet and the prebiotic diet showed significantly increased good bacteria in the gut in comparison to the probiotic group so hey I think prebiotics are fine.  Perhaps a dose of probiotics to increase good bacteria and then prebiotics long term to feed this can be a good solution as I feel taking both is abit much. ..Obviously probiotics may be more necessary when taking antibiotics which kill off our good bacteria when they fight the bad…But these can help strengthen the gut no matter what your choice of supplement.
Good diet can also help and I do minimise my sugar,  processed food and Gluten/dairy as well as take omega 3 which are all known to help fight a leaky gut and hey my skin is calmer (review of particular supplements I take to follow).

So what do you think? Do You take prebiotics or probiotics?  Do you have any symptoms of leaky gut? Did your eczema come on suddenly and unexpected?

I will post my updates regularly. My eczema care routine which seems to be helping calm my skin coincidentally is very similar to the leaky gut treatment. … Is it coincidence? We’ll see!

3 Responses to “Why good gut health is important for eczema: prebiotics, leaky gut and more”
  1. Niki says:

    Really informative – thanks for this! I haven’t taken prebiotics before but have taken probiotics (in conjunction with the antibiotics I was in for my eczema-but stopped as soon as I was off them). Can’t wait to read your supplements review. I’ve been taking Omega 3 fish oils and Evening primrose – so far not sure whether there has been an impact as I’ve been making so many different changes. I’m definitely interested in learning if vitamin D3 has had a positive effect – might be the next thing on my list to try as my skin is always much better in the sunshine!


    • Literally just posted about vit d3 😀 like you not sure how much omega 3 and EPO have helped but honestly, vit d3 has been noticeably more effective! If general sun exposure helps your skin I’d really say try vit d3!

      And I think probiotics in conjunction with prebiotics can help. Then I just use prebiotics alone 🙂


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  1. […] Before and After photos from 2 weeks of my new NATURAL eczema skincare routine Why good gut health is important for eczema: prebiotics, leaky gut and more → January 19, 2014 · 12:39 AM ↓ Jump to […]


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