Beauty Connection: Your Gut is Giving You Wrinkles
8 minute read
Many have discussed the gut-brain connection but few realize that the relationship is actually triangular. The missing piece of the puzzle is your skin. As far back as the 1930s, researchers suspected a link between gut and skin health and recent studies are proving them right. To truly have glowing, healthy skin, you first need to have a healthy gut.
Your Gut and Your Skin
Evidence exists showing that association between digestive problems and skin disorders. Small intestine bacterial overgrowth occurs when an inappropriate amount of bacteria live in the small intestine. This is ten times more prevalent in people suffering with rosacea and acne.
Additionally, people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are more likely to have skin manifestations than those who do not.
A number of factors can contribute to the imbalance of gut flora. Physical, mental and emotional stress can all cause internal changes. The gut can register changes too. Poor diet, poor digestion and food sensitivities also cause damage. Food allergies can tear holes in the gut lining through increased inflammation to the area. Poor digestion means that more toxins are created and present in the gut for pathogenic bacterial strains to thrive on.
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition where the intestinal lining has small holes. Because particles are able to pass through into the bloodstream, they are identified as foreign, triggering an inflammatory response. This systemic and local inflammation contributes to skin disease.
| Related: Probiotics Give Your Immune System A Big Boost |
Recent studies show that increased intestinal permeability is a big issue for a large number of patients with acne. Over time, untreated leaky gut syndrome allows many particles and toxins to enter the bloodstream, which eventually compromises our immune system.
Not only can you get a leaky gut but you can get leaky skin. Your skin's main purpose is to serve as a physical, chemical and antimicrobial defense system. Stress, as well as gut inflammation, impairs the integrity and protective function of the epidermal layer of your skin. What this means is that your skin is easier for bacteria and other microbes to cross.
Once through the skin barrier, these foreign organisms trigger more inflammation. Psychological stress has been shown to have a great impact on skin permeability, appearing as precursors to serious skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Your Gut and Wrinkles
Beauty companies make a fortune on creams and salves for your skin because nobody likes getting wrinkles. Once you understand the link between your gut and your skin, there are cheaper ways to keep your skin tight, firm and irritation-free.
Similar to the ecosystem in your gut, your skin houses millions of bacteria and yeasts. The healthier the concentration is of the good strains, the healthier your skin is. There actually is no need to rub all those expensive perfumes, lotions or potions on your skin. The best way to enrich the ecosystem in your skin is to first enrich the one in your gut.
Diets rich in vegetables, legumes and olive oil provide more protection against skin damage from sun exposure than diets high in meat, butter and sugar. In fact, too much sugar and unhealthy fat in the diet has been linked to premature aging.
The most toxic foods for your skin are sadly the ones that are the most addictive; those made from processed carbohydrates such as wheat and sugar. When sugars combine with proteins, the product is advanced glycation end product (AGE), which damages both collagen and elastin. Low levels of collagen and elastin cause skin to droop, sag and/or wrinkle.
Working From the Inside Out
Advertisers want you to believe in the healing powers of prescription medications and creams to heal your skin, but the reality is that these are just toxins. You cannot fix a problem caused by toxins by adding more to the mix. You simply have to look inside to find the problem and the solution. Even if you discover that you have a parasite or bacterial infection, don't start throwing antibiotics at it; that only makes it worse.
Probiotics are the ideal way to tackle any gut issues or imbalances. As a supplement, you can restore balance to the gut flora and allow the gut to heal. Probiotics have the ability to also stop inflammation and neutralize free radicals which cause premature aging.
While fermented foods are preferred because they also supply vitamins, minerals and proteins, a multi-strain probiotic capsule will work just as well. In conjunction with a probiotic supplement, you can also take turmeric. The key ingredient in this spice, curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers, making it a great sidekick for helping the gut to heal.
| Related: Health Benefits and Clinical Evidence for Turmeric |
As your gut begins to heal, it is time to provide the nutrients your skin has been missing. While your digestive processes were hindered, nutrients from your food were not properly absorbed and essentially wasted. The right additions to your diet will ensure that your skin gets the essential nutrients that it needs.
Tomatoes: Packed with vitamin C, which helps build collagen, your skin will benefit in terms of improved firmness and elasticity.
Berries: All berries are full of flavonoids, polyphenols, antioxidants, and vitamins which make it their mission to find and destroy free radicals that cause premature aging.
Yogurt: As a natural source of probiotics, yogurt can help to restore balance to your gut flora. Additionally, probiotics help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that are known to cause acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Fish: Full of omega-2 fatty acids (the healthiest of fats), fish helps to provide your skin with natural oils to keep it from drying out. It is a way of moisturizing from the inside out, and you don't need to spend a ton of money on potentially toxic creams.
Green tea: In order for skin to look younger for as long as possible, cells need to regenerate. The antioxidant power of green tea combined with its EGCG content help cells to grow properly and maintain a healthy life cycle.
Nuts: Nuts deliver omega-3 to fight inflammation as well as vitamin E, which keeps skin smooth and supple.
Avocados: Apart from being a source of the good fat, avocados contain glutathione, which is a powerful anti-aging compound. Not only does glutathione help to detox your body and flush toxins, but it also helps prevent wrinkles and acne, as well as slowing the development of some cancers.
Honey: This sweet treat is anti-viral and anti-inflammatory. Although it is technically a sugar, it does not cause inflammation the way regular sugar does, so is a perfect alternative to use for sweetening.
The Bottom Line
Your gut health and your balance of good and bad flora can impact your skin, leading to numerous dermatological conditions and even wrinkles. There are steps you can take to improve your gut health, leading to a smoother and more radiant complexion, protecting your skin from the inside out.
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