BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
Did you know there’s a close relationship between the health of your gut and the health of your skin? There are many different microorganisms, including bacteria, that reside in the gut and which are often simply referred to as “flora”. Balanced gastrointestinal (GI) flora provides support for the immune system, nutrient absorption, and removal of toxins from the body through regular healthy bowel movements. Combined, these processes help balance flora on the skin (yes, there’s flora on your skin!), which promotes clear and healthy skin.
What is a flora imbalance? When your body does not have enough “beneficial” bacteria, “harmful” gut bacteria can thrive and take over the gut environment. Flora imbalances can be caused by poor diet, illness, use of antibiotics, and stress. All of those things show up in the health of the skin: how dry/oily it is, type and severity of acne, and risk for autoimmune-related skin disorders. Symptoms of imbalance can include persistent gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. To maintain or rebalance GI flora, consider adding probiotics to your diet.
Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to the beneficial microorganisms naturally found in the gut. There are many types of bacteria classified as probiotics. Among the many health benefits of probiotics are the following:
- boost the immune system by enhancing the production of antibodies
- support the synthesis of vitamins and other nutrients
- provide relief or treatment for constipation, diarrhea and other GI tract illness
When it comes to the skin, keeping the gut flora in balance
- helps organ systems (including the integumentary system) to efficiently absorb nutrients
- strengthens the immune system
- helps clear toxins from the body
You can boost the presence of helpful GI flora by taking a probiotic supplement as well as eating fermented foods. There are many varieties of probiotics on the market –not all are created equal and some are better suited to different health needs. Your holistic health provider can advise you on the type of probiotic supplement that is best for your skincare concerns.
With so much Love,
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