News

The gut skin connection: skin problems and poor digestion

The gut skin connection: skin problems and poor digestion

Researchers back as early as the 1930s suspected a link between skin problems and poor digestion, and modern research has now confirmed the importance of this. Recent research shows that Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is ten times more likely in people with rosacea than those with healthy skin and when the SIBO was resolved it led to a significant improvement in the rosacea.

Skin problems and poor digestion

Intestinal permeability or "leaky gut", which is a side effect of poor digestion in many cases, causes widespread inflammation in the body, which contributes to skin problems. Studies suggest that increased intestinal permeability is an issue for many people with skin problems. Stress and gut inflammation can also lead to "leaky skin" where the skin barrier is impaired. This then leads to a decrease in the skins own anti bacterial defences causing increased inflammation. Gut flora also influences the skin. Substance P is a neuropeptides produced in the gut that plays a major role in skin conditions. Unbalanced gut micro flora promote the release of substance P in both the gut and the skin. A Russian study found 54% of acne patients have significantly unbalanced gut flora.

Using Probiotics to improve skin problems and poor digestion

Probiotics have been shown to reduce leaky gut and reduce inflammation. In a recent study of 56 patients with acne given a probiotic beverage led to measurable clinical improvements. Oral probiotics also reduce markers of inflammation and regulate inflammatory chemicals called cytokines within the skin. 

Sources:

Chris Kresser: The gut skin connection Strickler A, Kolmer JA, Schamberg JF: Complement fixation in acne vulgaris. J Cutaneous Dis 1916, 34:166-78. Zhang H, Yu L, Yi M, Li K: Quantitative studies on normal flora of seborrhoeic dermatitis. Chin J Dermatol 1999, 32:399-400. Siver RH: Lactobacillus for the control of acne. J Med Soc New Jersey 1961, 59:52-53.