How the Gut-Skin Axis Affects Your Skin
Think your gut health and skin health aren't connected? Think again! The connection is real, and it's called the gut-skin axis. In case you need a little convincing, you might have seen this connection in action when a food allergy caused someone to break out in hives.
To understand this gut-skin axis a little better, let's look at what the gut and the skin have in common:
Both the gut and the skin work as "bodyguards" to keep pathogens from causing harm to the body.
Both the gut and the skin communicate with the brain through the neuroendocrine messaging system. This is why the gut-skin axis is also referred to as the gut-brain-skin axis. (Mental health conditions like stress and anxiety also affect the gut and the skin, big time.)
Both the gut and the skin have their own, intricate microbiome systems that impact overall health.
Examples of Gut-Skin Axis in Action
Rosacea & SIBO (small intestine bacteria overgrowth)
Psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, rosacea & IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
A subset of celiac disease (dermatitis herpetiformis) shows up as skin issues
Acne and dysbiosis
Acne and diet
Probiotics Save the Day
People have turned to probiotics to influence gut health for a long time, but let's take a look at how probiotics (in the gut) influence skin health.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG has been found to help with atopic dermatitis.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been found to help with eczema.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1 has been found to help with acne.
Bifidobacterium breve has been found to offer UV protection.
Kefir (with probiotics) has been found to promote wound healing.
The 5 R's to a Healthier Gut-Brain-Skin Axis
If your gut health isn't perfect, follow these 5 steps to help balance your gut-skin axis for healthier, clearer skin:
Remove. Get rid of anything that could be causing inflammation (sugar, stress, etc.)
Replace. In this step, it's important to replace enzymes that properly facilitate digestion and absorption.
Reinoculate. Good bacteria is reintroduced to the gut.
Repair. The gut gets repaired by a diet high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients (specifically zinc, antioxidants, fish oil, and glutamine)
Rebalance. Think about how stress and sleep affect your gut and skin, then make adjustments to create calmer, more restful environment for yourself.
In the Kitchen
A healthy gut-skin axis starts in the kitchen with a well-rounded diet full of these goodies:
Vitamins A, C, E, and D. Carrots, broccoli, kale, spinach, citrus fruits, kiwi, mangoes, nuts, seeds, eggs, salmon, milk, cheese, yogurt, and many more!
Anti-oxidants. Dark chocolate, blueberries, strawberries, kale, beetroot, apples, carrots, to name a few.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel; salmon; chia, hemp, & flax seeds; walnuts; avocado, so chow down!
Protein, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, selenium, copper. Lean meats, beans, nuts, fish, dairy, bananas, leafy greens. Yum!
Skin health is so much more than simply using the right serums (as important as that is). It's about a holistic approach to a whole body and whole mind that is happy, healthy, and well-nourished.