There is a connection between your gut microbiome and your skin.
The anecdotal concept of a gut/skin connection has been around for centuries. Remember the height of our acne prevention years? We were told that greasy pizza and chocolate are the likely culprits for pimples.
Many food allergies and sensitivity reactions begin with some sort of a skin reaction such as hives, itchiness, or tingling in the mouth. These symptoms can also progress to more severe reactions, like swelling of the throat and tongue and airway obstruction.
When we think back to what we know about the body’s immune system, we know that the integumentary system is the first line of defense in keeping foreign invaders at bay. Remember, this includes the skin lining the GI from top to bottom as well as the outside skin. We also know that the gut microbiome is heavily involved with immune system regulations,. So, is it any surprise to find that the gut and skin are very connected as well?
Gut bacteria and the metabolites they produce are involved in the regulation of receptors on the surface of many cells in the innate immune system. This can trigger a cascade of events that link the innate (non-specific) and the adaptive (acquired/developed) immune system through various signaling pathways, ultimately manifesting itself in the skin.
Skin cells undergo a veritable butterfly transformation as they begin as basal cells -> spinous cell -> granule cell and finally then into corneocytes that make up the outermost layer of the epidermis. Because the gut is involved in the regulation (think message sender) to the skin, it’s important to take care of the original source.
It’s also important to note: if you have taken antibiotics, or use an abundance of antibacterial soaps and cleaners, remember than antibiotics do not discriminate. They kill not only the harmful bad bacteria, but the beneficial good bacteria as well. A bacteria imbalance may play a role in some common skin woes.
If you’re unsure if your microbiome is in balance, consider changing things up a bit to improve your skin health. Healthy skin begins on the inside! Take steps to spruce up your diet by replacing refined sugars and processed foods with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits filled with prebiotics that feed the microbiome. Needless to say, most American teenagers are not filling their plates or pizzas with kimchi, sauerkraut, or nattō. You may also consider adding an ultra-concentrated dose of beneficial bacteria to your daily routine. Check out all-natural Flourish living probiotics and include this simple task in your daily proactive health To Do list.
It’s true. A balanced microbiome is crucial to skin health… because good health begins in your gut!
Salem, I., Ramser, A., Isham, N., & Ghannoum, M. A. (2018). The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01459
Written by Lorilyn Van Dyke & Lynn Haak, Entegro Health