September 23, 2019
Remember the old advice from your teenage years - avoid acne by avoiding fried food? That was never exactly true (unless you actually got the grease on your face!) but long ago, science began to showed us that there is an important connection there that we should understand. Research has clearly shown the relationship between skin health and gut health. So, while burgers and fries are not the direct cause of skin issues, your gut microbiome might be.
Your microbiome is a collection of trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa that live in your gastrointestinal system and play a major role in maintaining your health. They normally work together to achieve a delicate balance in the body, but if that balance is thrown off by infections, antibiotics, or dietary issues, the effects can be felt throughout your entire body.
What do your skin and your gut have in common? They both act as your body’s primary contact with the outside world. And that’s no coincidence. Anything that goes in or on you interacts with your skin or gut, and science says that the two are more connected than you’d think. Your skin and your gut both play important roles in your immune system and work together to protect your body from the outside in, and the inside out.
Your skin’s most important job is to act as your body’s first line of defense - keeping toxins, chemicals, and pathogens out. It acts as a barrier. In similar fashion, your gut acts as a barrier from the inside - selects and absorbs what the body needs in the way of nutrition, and passes the rest through. But it goes a step further and also works to keep your skin healthy.
Do you notice that you skin gets dry when you haven’t been drinking enough fluids? It makes sense when we acknowledge that, by weight, the average adult is made up of 60% water. Water isn’t the only substance transported between your gut and your skin. Your microbiome, all those trillions of microbes in your gut, communicate with all your body systems, including your skin. They support your immune system, help your body use amino acids, peptides, minerals, vitamins, and produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA) that are important for your muscles, systems and help prevent disease.
And that interconnectedness between your gut and your body might be why some foods appear to aggravate conditions like rosacea and psoriasis, or why probiotics are sometimes effective in reducing the inflammation of eczema.
So, while you probably don’t need protection from fries or chips, you do need to promote a healthy gut to maintain healthy skin.
Sometimes the signs of an unhealthy gut are obvious: stomach issues - gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn are familiar symptoms of an upset gut.
But skin issues like acne, eczema, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis can be connected to the gut too. Food allergies or an unhealthy diet can cause inflammation that allows certain proteins to leak out into your body where they can cause skin irritation and conditions like eczema. Because your microbiome communicates with your endocrine, immune, and nervous systems, it plays a role in both preventing and treating many conditions, including those skin conditions.
The connection between gut and skin is unique to each individual so eating one food may contribute to skin inflammation and irritation in one person, and that same food may be perfectly fine for someone else. If you’re suffering from skin problems, start reading about common foods that cause skin inflammation. WebMD indicates that there are eight common foods to be alerted to when considering irritants, allergies and intolerances - cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts. When trying to manage skin problems, people often try eliminating most, or all, of those foods for a number of weeks and check to see if there are improvements in skin conditions at that point. Then one food at a time is chosen to add back into the diet to see if it causes a reaction. This process must be done methodically to isolate offending food culprits.
Another possible avenue to solve some skin problems, is the addition of high-quality marine collagen peptides to your diet. Marine collagen peptides are also known to help calm an over-reactive immune system and reduce the expression of inflammatory cytokines (these cause inflammation in the body). DeepMarine’s 100% Canadian-Made collagen works very well to help to reduce skin inflammation, improve skin health and improve the skin’s hydration.
While research on gut health is ongoing, treating your gut to probiotics, prebiotics, DeepMarine Collagen and a healthy diet of whole foods seems a promising way to keep your skin healthy and glowing. And the rest of your body benefits as well.
There is no downside to a healthy diet, and the evidence keeps adding up. Feed your gut right and it will take care of you, inside and out.