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The Impact of an Unhealthy Gut on Your Skin

Posted by Anna Mitsios on

The human gut is made up of ten trillion bugs - bacteria, viruses and fungi, which weigh over one kilo and outnumber human cells in your body by a ratio of over 10:1. When you consider this, there is definitely no underestimating the importance of looking after your digestive system and the inner gut microbiome. More and more evidence has been showing the intricate link between our microbiota and our health including our immunity, our predisposition to inflammatory disease, our brain function, along with our mood and our skin. Read on to find out how a healthy gut can impact your complexion and how Gut Replenish can help you to balance your gut microbiome and achieve healthy, radiant skin. 

Before we delve into the importance of a healthy gut for radiant skin, it is important to understand how the ecosystem of microbes in our digestive system function. A healthy gut contains a spectrum of microbial species, with those known as Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes accounting for more than 90% of all of your gut microbes. When this bacterial ecosystem is upset it results in “dysbiosis”. This is an imbalance of the species of microbes in your gut which occurs when Firmicutes outnumber Bacteroidetes.

The result is everything from decreased immunity, sluggish metabolism, a decrease in synthesis of feel-good hormone serotonin and an increase in inflammation, allergies, and an imbalance of hormones.

For your skin this can mean:

  • A predisposition to acne;
  • Skin redness;
  • Rosacea;
  • Eczema; and
  • Accelerated ageing.

When there is an upset balance of microbes in the gut inflammation and mal-digestion quickly follow. This leads to low energy, wreaks digestive havoc (bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence and other unwanted symptoms), and also means you are not absorbing all of the nutrients from your food, which are critical to nourishing your body, maintaining your energy and are essential for an inside-out glow.

Having an imbalance of gut flora, or a “leaky gut” results in certain proteins penetrating through the gut wall, which is normally intact. This can disrupt the gut microbiome in the skin, creating inflammation along with:

  • An increase in skin sensitivity along with conditions such as eczema and rosacea.
  • A decrease in the integrity and the protective function of the skin barrier leading to accelerated ageing and a lack of skin firmness.
  • An imbalance of hormone clearance resulting in increased sebum production which is directly linked to acne.

An unhealthy gut can result in maldigestion and the malabsorption of proteins, fats, and carbs, as well as vitamins. SIBO can lead to nutritional deficiencies including vitamin B12, as well as vitamins A, D, E, and K (fat-soluble vitamins) which are all critical for optimal skin health and overall good health. Expect accelerated ageing, a decrease in collagen production, and a weak and sagging skin barrier!

Reduced Toxin Clearance
An overgrowth of bad bacteria, yeast and fungi fed by processed and sugary
foods along with a lack of fibre results in a build-up of toxins in the gut. This ultimately leads to increased load on the liver and a reduction of hormone and debris clearance which ultimately results in toxins leaking through into the skin, which manifests as skin eruptions and breakouts.

How to Achieve Radiant Skin via a Healthy Gut

As a naturopath I was wanting to design a product which would assist my customers in achieving a balance of good and bad bacteria in their gut. Whilst there are many products designed to "heal" the gut lining, few products facilitate the balancing of gut bacteria to "weed" out the bad guys and facilitate the proliferation of "good" gut bacteria.  For instance, probiotics provide untargeted strains of microbes to your gut which may not be needed whilst prebiotics may be fuelling unwanted strains of microbes. Antibiotics may be exterminating both good and bad bacteria without replenishing.

Enter polyphenols! In my mind they are the missing link in achieving a healthy gut. They are found in the peels, skins and seeds in our fruits and vegetables yet have been largely irradiated from our modern diet. Polyphenols contain mild-toxins which in nature repel bugs and insects from the sugars of fruits, but in our belly they work to starve off bad gut bacteria and provide good bacteria with a healthy environment to grow.

Gut Replenish  contains polyphenol-rich superfoods such as cacao, carob, berries and grape seeds. These compounds provide a balancing-biotic function in the digestive system, not only replenishing but also restoring the harmony of the gut bacteria ratios. If you have tried other digestive supplements with lacking results, polyphenols may be the missing ingredient you need that works with your gut to restore optimal healthy balance of your microbiome.

Read my post here for ten steps to achieving clear and radiant skin, by looking after your gut.

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