Prebiotic combination shows metabolic benefits for adults with acne: Pilot data

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / Obencem
© Getty Images / Obencem
A combination of fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) prebiotics may improve glycemic and lipid metabolic measures in women with acne, suggests a small study from Italy.

The study’s preliminary findings could have significance for the increasing number of women affected by adult female acne (AFA). Up to 50% of women over 25 may suffer from the skin disease, but its pathogenesis is not well understood.

Some data from observational studies have revealed associations with metabolic syndrome and high glycemic index caused by elevated blood level of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which may promote inflammation of oil glands in the skin.

New data published in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology​ suggests that prebiotics may help, but the small size of the study requires that additional studies are conducted to further explore the potential benefits.

Scientists from the University of Catania and Cantabria Labs Difa Cooper in Italy report that three months of supplementation with the FOS plus GOS combination led to improvements in fasting blood sugar levels.

Significant reductions in total cholesterol levels and triglycerides were also observed in the 12 women (average age of 35) who participated in the proof-of-concept pilot trial.

“The results of our study support the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with some prebiotics, in particular FOS and GOS, may improve some blood parameters of sugar and lipid metabolism in women with AFA,”​ they wrote.

“Some limitations should be taken in account while evaluating our results. This was an open, uncontrolled trial performed in 12 subjects. The sample size was small. However, we wanted to enroll subjects with specific inclusion and exclusion criteria to reduce confounding factors (no diabetes, no polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc), and these aspects have substantially reduced the eligible population. Therefore, our study should be considered as a pilot trial.

“Further controlled comparative studies are warranted to better evaluate these effects in a larger population of AFA subjects,” ​they concluded.

Source: Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology
2018; Volume 11, pp. 445–449. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S179627
“Effects of oral supplementation with FOS and GOS prebiotics in women with adult acne: the “S.O. Sweet” study: a proof-of-concept pilot trial”
Authors: F. Dall’Oglio et al.

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