Tags: Digestive Problems | probiotics | toenail fungus

Toenail Fungus and Probiotics: What You Need to Know

By    |   Thursday, 05 Nov 2015 12:10 PM

Alternative health websites frequently promote the use of probiotics in the fight against toenail fungus, but medical research has not yet verified these beneficial bacteria as a way to tackle this common problem.

The connection between probiotics and toenail fungus in alternative health probably lies in the basic causes of the infection. According to WebMD, three different types of fungus are responsible for most fungal infections related to nails. One type, dermatophytes, grows on hair, skin, and nails and is the most common cause of toenail fungus.

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Probiotics — the introduction of live bacteria that have a beneficial effect on the body — have been studied in relationship to their effects on fungal and bacterial infections like athlete's foot. Studies are being done to determine how probiotics work to fight athlete's foot, including one being done at James Madison University.

Professor Reid Harris has been working to determine how introducing good bacteria may affect athlete's foot through an unusual avenue, The Breeze reported. Amphibians around the world have been dying because of a fungal infection that is like athlete's foot, and Harris and his team have been using probiotics to successfully treat the fungus in frogs.

"Looking at current products for treating some infections, drugs are not 100 percent effective at fighting some infections," Harris told The Breeze. “The idea of probiotics are augmenting a good antifungal bacteria that we already have on our skin. This produces a very effective molecule that could fight off fungus."

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Other studies have shown potentially positive effects of using probiotics to combat fungal and yeast infections, and that is probably the reason for the proposals that probiotics can treat toenail fungus too.

But there are few, if any studies, showing the effects of probiotics on the treatment of toenail fungus. Still, anecdotal accounts online are plentiful.

"Probiotics are particularly recommended for people with internal yeast infections. Toenail fungus is not the same species of fungus that causes yeast infections, but many practitioners believe that a person who is susceptible to one is likely to get the other as well," according to GrannyMed.com. "They recommend finding an appropriate topical treatment for the toenail, but also encourage their patients to work on bringing the bacterial populations in their bodies into balance by taking probiotics."

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Alternative health websites frequently promote the use of probiotics in the fight against toenail fungus, but medical research has not yet verified these beneficial bacteria as a way to tackle this common problem.
probiotics, toenail fungus
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2015-10-05
Thursday, 05 Nov 2015 12:10 PM
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