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Genestra - HMF Hair & Scalp Probiotic

Genestra - HMF Hair & Scalp Probiotic

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Info: 60 Vegetarian Capsules

At first blush, an oral probiotic might seem a surprising approach to treating dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, given that topical antifungal and/or anti-inflammatory agents are the most common approaches. But on closer inspection, there is not only a good scientific rationale for it, but clinical evidence it can work.

Sorry, this product is temporarily unavailable, as the manufacturer is renovating and expanding its production facility.

Product Notes:

The rationale here is fairly straight-forward: An overgrowth of a type of fungus or yeast is at play here, and there's been at least one major precedent in oral probiotics being able to help control yeast infections - Candida - soit's believedthat approach can work here, too.

A more lengthy explanation would begin by noting that dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis are on a continuum, with the former being the milder form. Both involve patches of a dry, itchy scalp, with the release of either white or yellow flakes of skin, which can progress into the development of slightly greasy looking scales with increased itching, redness, swelling, and inflammation, and an over-production of skin and oils in those areas.

And although their etiology is still not quite pinned down and there appear to be a number of contributing risk factors, one well-established common feature is a higher than normal prevalence of a type of fungus called malassezia, which is also associated with several other skin conditions such as pityriasis versicolor (or PV, which is also called Peter Elam's disease in some parts of the world).

These malassezia feast on the lipids (which are primarily fatty acids) in the sebum that the sebaceous glands beside our hair follicles emit to lubricate the skin and maintain the integrity of the skin barrier, leave deposits that can make the skin yellow, and can undermine the integrity of the epidermal barrier, leading to dryer skin, and more itching and more bacteria getting in.

Consequently, since probiotics have helped with other types of fungal infections (most notably, for Candida albicans or thrush) by 'crowding out' an unwanted overabundant type, researchers explored which probiotic strains might be most promising to help with skin conditions like this, and hit upon and tested one particular strain called Lactobacillus paracasei (ST 11) - one that's derived from humans, and thus is eligible to become part of Genestra's HMF line (which is short for Human-based MicroFlora).


Each capsule contains:

Lactobacillus paracasei (ST 11): 10 billion Colony Forming Units (guaranteed potency through to expiration date)

Non-medicinal ingredients: Cellulose, hypromellose, plus several ingredients to maintain the viability of the probiotics (maltodextrin, sodium ascorbate, L-alanine, L-lysine, L-cysteine hydrochloride monohydrate).

Genestra HMF Hair & Scalp is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans, and contains no FOS, Soy, or GMO ingredients, and is also dairy-free and gluten-free.

Suggested Usage:

Adults: Take one or two capsules daily with a meal, at least 2 to 3 hours before or after any antibiotics you might be taking, or as recommended by your healthcare practitioner. Use for a minimum of 8 weeks to see beneficial results.

Shelf stable formula, no refrigeration necessary.

You might also want to use a shampoo or conditioner that contains apple cider vinegar, which can help loosen up and break down the scales.


Do not use HMF Hair & Scalp probiotic formula if you have an immune-compromised condition (e.g. AIDS, lymphoma, patients undergoing long-term corticosteroid treatment). If you have fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhoea or severe abdominal pain, consult a healthcare practitioner prior to use.

Discontinue use and consult a healthcare practitioner if symptoms of digestive upset (e.g. diarrhea) occur, worsen and/or persists beyond 3 days [a standard caution for probiotics, which are generally taken for digestive issues].

Health Canada Natural Product Number: 80105087.

Supporting Science:

Clinical studies have found that L. paracasei (ST 11) can indeed significantly reduce both the proliferation of the malassezia itself and the associated symptoms of moderate to severe dandruff after about two months of use (including itchiness, redness, skin sensitivity), and increase how quickly the skin barrier recovers. There have also been some lab studies showing it can improve the skin's immune response and reduce its inflammatory reactions.

Benyacoub, J., et al. “Immune modulation property of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 (ST11) strain and impact on skin defences.” Beneficial Microbes, 2014.

Grimshaw, Sally G et al. “The diversity and abundance of fungi and bacteria on the healthy and dandruff affected human scalp.” PloS One, 2019.

Gueniche, Audrey et al. “Advances in Microbiome-Derived Solutions and Methodologies Are Founding a New Era in Skin Health and Care.” Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 2022.

Li, Lin et al. “Probiotic Supplementation for Prevention of Atopic Dermatitis in Infants and Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2019.

Reygagne, P et al. “The positive benefit of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 ST11 in healthy volunteers with moderate to severe dandruff.” Beneficial Microbes, 2017.

Wikramanayake, Tongyu C et al. “Seborrheic dermatitis-Looking beyond Malassezia.” Experimental Dermatology, 2019.

UPC / Barcode: 883196156191