Dandruff is a common persistent, relapsing inflammatory condition affecting the scalp. An imbalanced proportion of the major bacterial and fungal populations colonising the scalp, a skin barrier dysfunction, and hyperseborrhoea are three main etiological factors of dandruff. The efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC 2461 ST11 (ST11) to manage dandruff and to restore a balanced scalp microbiome was assessed. Sixty healthy male volunteers aged 18 to 60 years with moderate to severe dandruff consumed on a daily basis a sachet containing ST11 (1×109 cfu) or a placebo for 56 days. Clinical efficacy (free and adherent dandruff, erythema, scalp seborrhoea, global clinical score), subject self-assessments, safety reporting as well as scalp microbiota assessments were performed every two weeks (day 1, 15, 29, 43, 57 and 64/follow-up). Free and adherent dandruff, erythema and the global clinical score improved significantly (all P<0.05) over time in the ST11 group and as compared to the placebo when day 57 was compared to day 1. Self-assessments paralleled these findings. ST11 enhanced restoring the scalp microbiota after 56 days of supplementation when compared to the placebo. No adverse events were reported. Regular intake of ST11 over 56 days is safe and reduces significantly the severity of signs and symptoms of moderate to severe dandruff. Its efficacy is potentially due to its positive impact on the skin barrier and skin immune system.
Keywords: Lactobacillus paracasei; Malassezia restricta; dandruff; probiotic.