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Is the use of probiotics effective to treat eye diseases?

Is the use of probiotics effective in treating eye diseases?

Probiotics are foods or supplements with very marked characteristics, which differentiate them from other gastronomy products. Specifically, they contain microorganisms living destined to maintain or improve the bacteria ‘good’ of the body. That is to say; its consumption contemplates a series of benefits for the organism.

In this sense, a new study reveals the potential use of probiotics to balance the ocular microbiota and prevent different ocular pathologies, such as AMD (age-related macular degeneration), uveitis, chronic conjunctivitis, or glaucoma.

Specifically, it is an editorial recently published in’ Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today Europe.’ This document has been prepared by Dr. Carlos Vergés, medical director of the Quirónsalud Dexeus Ophthalmological Institute, and Dr. Verónica Ribas, head of the Ocular Surface Unit at the same center.

Probiotics to preserve eye health

Must take into account that about 500 types of different microorganisms coexist on the ocular surface. However, just keeping a balance between 30 of them is enough to maintain good health for the lame.

yogurt probiotic foods eye diseases
Probiotic food

In this regard, Dr. Vergés points out that “numerous scientific studies show that changes and imbalances in the microbiota of the ocular surface could play a key role in the health of our eyes. From there, we must ask ourselves if the use of probiotics, either orally or through drops, can be a therapeutic complement to treat these pathologies.

In this sense, it is necessary to explain that the set of microorganisms that inhabit our body is known as the microbiota. Most of them are found in the intestine (intestinal flora), although they are also found in other body areas, like the mouth, skin, or even the eyes.

Thus, the composition of the microbiota of any human being begins to form from the moment of birth. What’s more, by crossing the birth canal, the baby acquires the mother’s microbiota.

To gain an in-depth understanding of the microbiota composition, important DNA sequencing techniques have emerged in recent years. “Thanks to these techniques, we now know that on the ocular surface there are twelve types of bacteria that are repeated in almost 95 percent of people in different proportions that generate a particular microbiota for each individual as if it were a fingerprint,” explains Dr. Carlos Vergés.

Use of probiotics in ophthalmology

Although there are still studies, research, and analysis to be carried out in this regard, it seems that the use of personalized probiotics can constitute an ideal treatment for the eyes’ health and prevent different diseases.

On this, the specialist Verónica Ribas points out: «Given this evidence, at the Quirónsalud Dexeus Ophthalmological Institute, we are conducting various studies on the effects of probiotics in various eye diseases, mainly in patients with dry eye syndrome. When we tailor dietary prebiotics and probiotics to each patient, the results are encouraging. However, the results are highly variable by prescribing a more general treatment, and despite some improvement, we cannot speak of significant benefits ».

Therefore, Dr. Ribas explains that “the personalized formulation of probiotics will be necessary either orally or through drops, according to the genetic sequencing of the patient’s microbiota.”

Lucia Manzanares 96x96 1
Lucia Manzanares Crespo
Multi-skilled and bilingual journalist with extensive experience in investigative journalism on diverse topics such as health, economics, technology and entrepreneurship.
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