In this article we cover:

  • The gut and skin have many things in common including a microbiome that regulates immunity, hormones, levels of inflammation, barrier integrity and much more

  • There is a bidirectional relationships between the gut and skin via the gut-skin axis; poor gut health results in poor skin health and conditions

It was over 2,000 years ago when Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut”.

The gut and skin are very unique in their relationship in terms of their purpose and function; they both comprise a dense blood circulatory and nerve system possessing both crucial immune and hormonal roles.

They both represent the primary connection to the external environment that makes both systems critical to physiological balance. Many studies have demonstrated or shown a complex, integrally linked bidirectional relationship between the gut and skin that makes skin balance and health dependent on the health of the GI tract and this is nowhere more evident in the gut microbiome and how it relates to skin manifestations like acne, psoriasis, alopecia, dandruff, excema and even skin cancer.

Both the gut and skin environments are completely immersed with microbes with the skin estimated to have about 1012 microbial cells while the gut has around 1014 microbial cells. The microbiome provides a plethora of benefits to the host, such as forming the immune system, protecting against microbial invaders, breaking down multiple types of metabolites and maintaining healthy gut barrier integrity. In fact the structure of the gut and skin is very similar and a great example of this is how they are both lined with epithelial cells.

The bidirectional link between gut dysbiosis and skin imbalances often manifests in numerous inflammatory disorders. You can read about the causes of gut dysbiosis , its consequences and strategies for improving gut health at the blog, “Pomegranate and digestive health”.

It’s not just skin that is affected by gut dysbiosis, but also just about every bodily system and area of health; for example autoimmune diseases including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and much more.

Leaky gut or breach of the guts’ intestinal wall is not only one of the biggest culprits of skin disorders, but a plethora of health issues in general. This is caused by a dysregulated microbiome that causes inflammation and subsequent damage to the intestinal wall, allowing microbes and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. This deprives the body and skin of nutrients as well as forcing the immune system to launch an attack on a continual basis to deal with these microbes and undigested food particles, forcing the immune system to be on continual high alert, and by association a chronic inflammatory state that can damage all organ systems and lead to autoimmunity.

So this is good news because Skin+Beyond via multiple mechanisms can protect and boost gut barrier integrity;

  • POMx boosts the proliferation of a protective bacteria, akkermansia muciniphila(1)
  • POMx shows further prebiotic activity by boosting Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains(2)
  • POMx induces the production of the gut metabolite, urolithin A(3)
  • POMx boosts anti-inflammatory activity protecting the gut barrier from permeability(4)
  • Glycine protects the gut from inflammation and consequent damage(5,6)

NB Akkermansia muciniphila is a novel probiotic microbe with wide ranging health boosting effects including weight loss and prevention of obesity; see blog, “Skin+Beyond enhances weightloss”.