What is gut health and how can it affect your skin?
A lot of the time we treat skin concerns from the outside, but your gut health could be the true key to having flawless skin. When your gut is unhealthy, it can have a huge impact on your skin, this connection is known as the gut-skin axis. There is scientific evidence that suggests a close bidirectional connection between your gut and your skin. This is linked to three common skin disorders: acne, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
The Gut-Skin Axis
Many skin conditions are caused by gut issues and vice versa. A study found that a higher number of patients with rosacea also tested positive for a gut condition called small intestine bacterial overgrowth. When treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth, 70% of the patients was an improvement in their rosacea, demonstrating a strong association between the two: treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth alone improved the skin. Inflammatory bowel disease is also associated with a greater risk of inflaming the skin in conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, or rosacea. This relationship is likely due to the fact that both inflammatory bowel disease and skin conditions like psoriasis have similar inflammatory pathways that may begin in the gut. Research has also found that there is a strong association between gut health and acne with several studies linking an imbalance in gut bacteria with a high prevalence of acne. Therefore, healing the gut is one of the best ways to treat chronic inflammatory skin issues.
Diet and Gut Health
The imbalance of the gut microbiome is known as dysbiosis and can cause the immune system to suffer while also increasing skin inflammation. Gut bacteria regulate many functions in the body including fat metabolism, intracellular signaling, and cell growth. When bad bacteria outweigh the good, it can disrupt these pathways and cause inflammation. Diet is the major culprit in a poor microbiome, processed foods, sugar, alcohol artificial sweeteners, and low fiber can all negatively impact the gut. Stress, poor sleep, and environmental toxins also play a role in disturbing the gut-skin axis.
Improving the Gut
For improving skin health, focus on a fiber-rich diet. Research shows that a wide variety of plant-based foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds can improve the diversity of your gut bacteria. For additional support, probiotics can be used to help balance the gut-skin connection, 80% of participants showed clinical improvement after using probiotics as they help boost the immune system and reduce oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. In addition to probiotics, prebiotics is also key for a healthy gut. Prebiotics are foods for the probiotics in your guy; for healthy skin, both are key. Prebiotic foods are rich in fibers your gut bacteria ferments. Bananas, onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, apple skins, and beans are all great prebiotics.
To treat chronic inflammatory skin issues, healing the gut is one of the best ways to do that. Follow these simple guidelines and you should see an improvement in your skin, however, this is subjective to each person depending on the severity of their skin concern.