The Gut/Skin Connection Explained

You may have heard the saying 'good skin begins in the gut.’ The key role that the digestive system plays in skin health is a growing area of interest, with the link between the two being seen as very significant. 


The gut and skin are organs with important immune and neuroendocrine roles with unique associations. The gastrointestinal system appears to participate in the development of many inflammatory conditions. If all that sounds too science-y, in essence the research suggests that gut disorders are often accompanied with various skin manifestations. 


Now... let’s GUT started on how it all works...


The role of the gut microbiome

The gut microbiome is a collection of bacteria, fungi and viruses all living in our gastrointestinal system. The gut flora are responsible for the breakdown of indigestible complex carbohydrates and are crucial for the production of certain nutritional components. The gut protects against the invasion of toxins and by triggering an immune response.


The role of the skin

The function of the skin includes protection, temperature regulation, water retention and more! As an organ that undergoes constant repair and renewal, the process in which the skin regenerates is vital to maintain this state of optimal function.


Mechanism of the gut / skin axis

The link between the gut and the skin involves a complex and multifactorial interaction between the nervous, immune and endocrine systems in conjunction with environmental factors like diet and medication. 


Studies show that the intestinal bacteria produce neurotransmitters in response to stress that can regulate skin function. These neurotransmitters cross the intestinal tissue, enter the blood and produce the effects. The gut also releases short chain fatty acids which result from fibre fermenting in the gut, and are shown to play a role in influencing the skin’s immune defense mechanisms. 


Research

In cases of an intestinal barrier dysfunction, gut bacteria has been shown to access the blood, gather in the skin and disrupt the normal functioning of the skin. There are a few mechanisms in which a disturbed gut microbiome manifests itself in disturbed skin function such as in conditions like acne, dermatitis and psoriasis. 


Probiotics

Given the gut’s influence on inflammatory conditions, probiotics can help to modify the microbiome therapeutically. Administering live beneficial bacteria has a promising role in the prevention and management of various skin conditions due to their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and immune supportive effects. You can try our Probiotic+.


Skin + Digestion Vitamins

The Skin + Digestion formula contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant rich ingredients that assists with facilitating collagen production, supports connective tissue, and reduces breakouts from acne and pimples.



References:

Shah KR, Boland CR, Patel M, Thrash B, Menter A. Cutaneous manifestations of gastrointestinal disease: part I. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Feb;68(2):189.e1-21; quiz 210.


Forbes JD, Van Domselaar G, Bernstein CN. The Gut Microbiota in Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases. Front Microbiol. 2016 Jul 11;7:1081. 


O'Neill CA, Monteleone G, McLaughlin JT, Paus R. The gut-skin axis in health and disease: A paradigm with therapeutic implications. Bioessays. 2016 Nov;38(11):1167-1176. 


Krutmann J. Pre- and probiotics for human skin. J Dermatol Sci. 2009 Apr;54(1):1-5.