Clinical evidence of benefits of a dietary supplement containing probiotic and carotenoids on ultraviolet-induced skin damage

Br J Dermatol. 2010 Sep;163(3):536-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.09888.x. Epub 2010 Jul 26.


Background: Lactobacillus johnsonii (La1) has been reported to protect skin immune system homeostasis following ultraviolet (UV) exposure.

Objectives: To assess the effects of a dietary supplement (DS) combining La1 and nutritional doses of carotenoids on early UV-induced skin damage.

Methods: Three clinical trials (CT1, CT2, CT3) were performed using different UV sources: nonextreme UV with a high UVA irradiance (UV-DL, CT1), extreme simulated solar radiation (UV-SSR, CT2) and natural sunlight (CT3). All three clinical trials were carried out in healthy women over 18 years of age with skin type II-IV. In CT1, early markers of UV-induced skin damage were assessed using histology and immunohistochemistry. In CT2, the minimal erythemal dose (MED) was determined by clinical evaluation and by chromametry. Chromametry was also used to evaluate skin colour. Dermatologists' and subjects' assessments were compiled in CT3.

Results: A 10-week DS intake prevented the UV-DL-induced decrease in Langerhans cell density and the increase in factor XIIIa+ type I dermal dendrocytes while it reduced dermal inflammatory cells. Clinical and instrumental MED rose by 20% and 19%, respectively, and skin colour was intensified, as shown by the increase in the ΔE* parameter. The efficacy of DS was confirmed by dermatologists and subjects under real conditions of use.

Conclusions: Nutritional supplementation combining a specific probiotic (La1) and nutritional doses of carotenoids reduced early UV-induced skin damage caused by simulated or natural sun exposure in a large panel of subjects (n=139). This latter result might suggest that DS intake could have a beneficial influence on the long-term effects of UV exposure and more specifically on skin photoageing.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lactobacillus
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Skin / drug effects*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Aging / drug effects*
  • Skin Aging / pathology
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Carotenoids