Photoprotective effects of Bifidobacterium breve supplementation against skin damage induced by ultraviolet irradiation in hairless mice

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2012 Dec;28(6):312-9. doi: 10.1111/phpp.12006.


Background: Probiotics have been considered to affect not only the gut but also the skin. This study aimed at examining whether oral administration of live Bifidobacterium breve strain Yakult (BBY), a typical probiotic, could exert photoprotective effects in hairless mouse skin.

Methods: BBY cell suspensions and fermented milk containing BBY (BBYM) were orally administered to hairless mice for 9 and 14 days, respectively. Mice were irradiated with ultraviolet (UV) light daily for the last four consecutive days. Twenty-four hours after the final irradiation, skin elasticity, appearance, elastase activity and interleukin (IL)-1β levels were evaluated in the dorsal skin.

Results: BBY and BBYM significantly prevented UV-induced deleterious changes in skin elasticity and appearance. BBY suppressed the increases in both elastase activity and IL-1β levels in the skin. There was a significant negative correlation between elastase activity and the ratio of elastic recovery to total deformation and a significant positive correlation between elastase activity and the area ratio of furrows, independent of UV irradiation or BBY administration.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that oral administration of probiotic BBY has the potential to prevent UV-induced skin damage, supporting the hypothesis that probiotics are beneficial not only to the intestine but also to the skin.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Elasticity / drug effects
  • Elasticity / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Hairless
  • Pancreatic Elastase / metabolism
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Pancreatic Elastase