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Want good skin? Assess your gut health first

Have you heard of the gut-skin connection? Turns out, there's an intricate relationship between our gut and skin.

Previously on this blog, we talked about the gut-brain axis and why the gut is known as the "second brain." While this axis is currently widely discussed, there are multiple other "gut-organ" axes. Let's focus on the gut-skin axis. 

Our gut and skin are intricately connected: Microbial communities residing in these two ecosystems interact and influence each other, impacting overall health.

Here's what CBS News writes about the gut-skin axis: 

  • Similar to the gut, the skin has its own microbiome. Like the gut microbiome, the skin microbiome hosts bacteria that contribute to barrier function, immune surveillance, and protection against pathogens.

  • Maintaining a symbiotic balance among these microbiomes is crucial for skin health. Microbial imbalance (known as dysbiosis) in either the gut or skin microbiome can trigger immune dysregulation and inflammation, leading to the development or exacerbation of skin conditions.
  • Studies have highlighted a bidirectional relationship between gut health and skin conditions. Just like disruptions in the skin microbiome can lead to skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and acne vulgaris, dysbiosis in the gut has been associated with an increased risk of inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
  • Research shows that individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of developing skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Conversely, interventions targeting gut microbiota composition, such as probiotics or dietary modifications, have demonstrated efficacy in improving certain skin conditions.
  • These connections underscore the importance of considering the gut-skin axis in management and prevention of skin conditions. 
  • You can promote a healthy gut-skin axis by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. 
  • Furthermore, supplementation with prebiotics and probiotics, optimizing hygiene practices, and minimizing exposure to environmental triggers can help. These approaches seek to restore microbial equilibrium and support immune homeostasis, thereby potentially mitigating the onset or severity of skin disorders.


Image by Freepik

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