Probiotic 'glow of health': it's more than skin deep

Benef Microbes. 2014 Jun 1;5(2):109-19. doi: 10.3920/BM2013.0042.


Radiant skin and hair are universal indicators of good health. It was recently shown that feeding of probiotic bacteria to aged mice rapidly induced youthful vitality characterised by thick lustrous skin and hair, and enhanced reproductive fitness, not seen in untreated controls. Probiotic-treated animals displayed integrated immune and hypothalamic-pituitary outputs that were isolated mechanistically to microbe-induced anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 and neuropeptide hormone oxytocin. In this way, probiotic microbes interface with mammalian physiological underpinnings to impart superb physical and reproductive fitness displayed as radiant and resilient skin and mucosae, unveiling novel strategies for integumentary health.

Keywords: Lactobacillus reuteri; inflammation; probiotics; regulatory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Interleukins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Oxytocin / metabolism*
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Skin Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena*


  • Interleukins
  • Oxytocin