The gut-skin axis. Have you ever heard of it? It refers to the direct relationship our gut shares with our skin and it's because of this relationship, that what goes on in our gut, almost always shows up on our skin. It’s the reason why our skin breaks out when we consume copious amounts of sugar and alcohol during the holiday season, yet it looks so plump and glowy when we are at the peak of our health kick.
Our skin is our biggest organ that protects us from the outside world as it acts as a physical barrier. It’s the same barrier that our body excretes waste products from in the form of sweat and bacteria. If our gut is full of toxins, inflamed and suffering from a damaged gut lining, then you best believe it's going to pass through to our skin and can cause skin irritation along the way. This irritation can show up as skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris or eczema, to name a few.
When we have an inflamed gut, we are also more likely to have inflamed, irritated skin. Our gut is responsible for breaking down nutrients and distributing them throughout the body via our blood stream. Our skin may be the biggest organ but it’s also the least important in comparison to organs like our liver, kidney and heart and so, if our gut can’t pull enough nutrients from our food then it will prioritise our other organs first. This means our skin becomes under nourished, whilst also becoming overly inflamed.
However, if our gut microbiome is being kept happy with an ample amount of fibre from fibrous food sources such as fruit and vegetables, our gut lining is being nourished with the amino acid collagen, our gut bugs are being fed good bacteria from sources like fermented foods and we are limiting things like alcohol, sugar and excessive amounts of caffeine then our skin will thrive just as much as our gut. Why? The less inflammation in the gut and the more good bacteria we have in there, the more our skin can thrive. Not only this, if our gut is being served quality nutrients, while steering clear of inflammatory foods that will disrupt our gut microbiome then our gut is more likely to absorb more nutrients from our food and have enough to support our skin health as well as the health of our other organs. To further nourish the link between our skin and our gut, consuming collagen peptides, particularly marine collagen, can aid in not only reducing gut inflammation but also increasing skin elasticity and plumpness. This is due to the amino acids within the marine collagen that are easily absorbed by the gut.
Whilst the relationship between our gut and skin may be somewhat complex, it can be nurtured through simple nutrition and lifestyle modifications. Incorporating more fruit, vegetables, good fats, complex carbohydrates, lean cuts of protein, staying hydrated and consuming fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut is a great place to start. Reducing refined sugar, overly processed foods, excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol as well as avoiding smoking will also help to improve your skin's complexion. For extra added support, our X50 Pure Collagen - Marine Collagen will also work to improve skin complexion, tone and texture as well as nourish the gut lining.