How can gut health affect your skin and why?
February 21, 2019
Thousands of years ago, Hippocrates, the father of medicine said, “All disease begins in the gut”.
More than 80 percent of the body’s immunity is in the gut and we all have hundreds of naturally occurring bacteria in our gut. Some of these are harmless ‘good’ bacteria that help with digestion, while others are not so harmless ‘bad’ bacteria, which may contribute to causing diseases.
Bacteria can affect your behaviour and is often referred to as our second brain.
If you have an unhealthy gut it can have a big impact on our overall health and especially the appearance of your skin, including spots, inflammation, eczema and rosacea. The gut microbiome is the bacteria found in your intestines that influences your overall health, especially your skin.
Inflammation is common if you have a bad gut and usual presents itself with symptoms including bloating/cramping, diarrhoea and sometimes blood in the stools.
Can conditions like acne, rosacea and eczema be a result/worsened/improved by bad/good gut health?
What you’re putting into your body in terms of food and nutrients can have a huge impact on your gut and if you suffer with anxiety and/or depression, this again can have an impact on gut health and exasperate problems.
What you eat isn’t just nutrition for you, it also feeds the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut.
And how is that? Is it bacteria imbalances/inflammation?
Your diet is the most important factor to getting a clear complexion because the gut microbiome, which is the bacteria living in your digestive system and intestines, influences your overall health which ultimately improves your skin.
- Every person is different, but diet plays a huge role. People should try and have a balanced diet including lots of plant-based foods, food which is rich in fibre, because fruit, vegetables, pulses, nuts and wholegrains feed healthy bacteria.
- Highly processed foods should be avoided as they often contain ingredients that either suppress ‘good’ bacteria or increase ‘bad’ bacteria.
- Being exposed to harmful environments, can have an impact on your gut health.
- Probiotic foods, such as live yoghurt, might encourage more microbes to grow.
- Extra-virgin olive oil contains the highest number of microbe-friendly polyphenols.
- Artichokes, lettuce, chicory, leeks, shallots, onions and garlic are all helpful to gut bacteria.
- Exercise promotes movement of the gut.
- Try not to get too stressed or anxious.
How can we improve our gut health? Some ideas (would be great to get comments on the below):
Probiotics – can this work/how?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Everyone’s body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
Antibiotics – important to take probiotics when taking them? Why in terms of health/skin health?
Antibiotics kill ‘good’ bacteria as well as ‘bad’. If you need antibiotics, make sure you eat lots of foods that boost your microbes afterwards.
Without probiotics, antibiotics can sometimes wipe out the protective gut bacteria, resulting in diarrhoea, which can then lead to bad skin.
Eating/drinking fermented food/drinks?
The good bacteria found in fermented products has been linked to improving digestion, boosting immunity and promoting a healthy weight.
Fermented foods include products such as yogurt, pickles, are rich in probiotics and the bacteria grow during the fermentation process.