The relationship between gut health and skin health has been investigated more and more prevalently over the past several years, and we are beginning to really understand just how closely linked the two really are. So why is it that our gut has such an impact on the health and appearance of our skin? Let’s explore just some of the key ways.
When we ingest food, key nutrients are absorbed through our digestive tract, which then make it into the bloodstream and are distributed throughout our vital organs for use, storage, or filtration. Our skin really is a reflection of the health of our internal organs and functions, so if our diet is lacking in nutrients or any functions are restricted, this will materialise on the skin.
Even if your diet contains adequate nutrients for optimal physiological health and function, the health of your gut can still impact their absorption and, in turn, the quantities you actually absorb and utilise. If bad bacteria or, a tummy bug for example, is detected; your digestive tract will try to empty its contents in an effort to rid itself of unwelcome microbes. This means most of the nutrients you’ve consumed will be lost before they can be absorbed.
At the same time, lots of water will also be lost, leading to dehydration. This is why it is particularly important to consume plenty of water and use electrolytes when you experience diarrhoea or an upset tummy.
Keeping a positive balance of good and bad bacteria is a great way to nurture this environment and improve digestive health, keeping your nutrient absorption optimal. In addition to consuming probiotics (actual good bacteria) it’s also beneficial to consume prebiotics. This term relates to foods that good bacteria feed on, keeping them thriving in your gut. Fibre is a good example of this.
One of the key health reasons behind steering clear of processed foods and refined sugars is their significant inflammatory effects on the body. This starts in the stomach and continues through the digestive tract. Not only does inflammation produce excess free radicals, which damage tissue, lipids and proteins, but increased inflammation leads to cell permeability. The cells of your digestive tract should be tightly sealed together, creating an impenetrable lining that keeps nutrients and water in, and dangerous microbes out. When inflammation occurs and these normally-tight junctions become loose; irritation, infections, and leaky gut symptoms can occur. In fact, chronic inflammation in the digestive tract is the root cause behind crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
We hope this sheds some light on the importance of gut health in relation to your complexion, and help you understand how you can use these secrets to success when establishing your perfect skin, health and lifestyle regime.