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Is the use of probiotics effective to treat eye diseases?


The probiotics They 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 the magazine ‘Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today Europe’. Said 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

It must be taken 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.

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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 areas of the body; 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.

In order to know in depth the composition of the microbiota, 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 the 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 health of the eyes and prevent different diseases.

On this, the specialist Verónica Ribas points out: «Given these evidences, 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, we have seen that, by prescribing a more general treatment; the results are highly variable 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.”

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