February 04, 2022 5 min read
The gut or gastrointestinal tract (GI Tract) is the foundation of youthful and healthy skin. Coupling dermis functionality with the GI track may seem unorthodox, but in truth, your health begins in your gut.
The gastrointestinal track bears the responsibility of optimizing body functions, and the skin’s condition can be reflective of the internal happenings within the body.
So exactly what is the GI tract?
The GI tract begins in the mouth and ends at the rectum. So in essence, your food choices are at the forefront of proper gut/ body functionality.
Your diet either helps or hurts the balance of microbes in the gut. The trillions of microbes in the intestinal tract are critical to digestion. They wage war against the bad bacteria consumed through everyday food and drink.
Believe it or not, the community of microbes or microbiota has GENES. These complete set of genes are known as the microbiome. Each individual harbors his or her own distinctive pattern of bacterial composition
determined partly by the host genotype and your initial colonization at birth.
In fact, the genes in the microbiome outnumber human genes by a ratio of 100:1. It is safe to conclude the microbiome is the vital hub to proper body functionality.
Ponder on this for a moment: seventy percent of immune system cells reside in the gut. With a compromised or suppressed immune system, disease, infection, and lack of nutritional absorption is imminent. In fact, many studies have shown that populations of colonizing microbes differ between healthy individuals and others with disease or unhealthy conditions.
In particular, not excreting waste daily, is a telling sign of an unhealthy or compromised gut.
Another issue of a compromised gut that can reck your health is low stomach acid. This problem is often overlooked, but issues such as excessive gas, bloating, heartburn, bad breath, and bowel movements that warrant a gas mask, can be signs of low stomach acid.
When stomach acid levels are low, proteins sit in the stomach and ferment. Without the proper breakdown, amino acids and essential minerals found in protein are not absorbed.
This causes mineral and vitamin deficiency in the body. As a result, some women develop hair loss or premature aging, with no idea that low stomach acid is the culprit.
According to the World Gastroenterology Organisation, the long-term relationship between microbiota and the person can be optimized with nutritional interventions.
Although the microbes digest foods, and aids in waste excretion, gut bacteria also make some vitamins like Vitamin b7, also known as biotin.
Biotin is essential for cell renewal, healthy nails, and skin. Gut bacteria also generates vitamin B12. B12 is responsible for carrying oxygen to the blood, thus providing the skin with a radiant youthful glow. Microbes also aid the body in manufacturing vitamin k. Vitamin K helps prevent calcium from attaching to elastin fibers and this keeps the skin supple and resilient.
Bacteria protects the gut lining responsible for fighting inflammation. Inflammation speed up the aging process. Gut bacteria protects the body of toxins, UV light, and pollution. Acne problem? The gut plays a huge role in that as well.
Gluten, dairy, alcohol, and sugar throw the gut out of balance and cause inflammation in the body. These ingredients are the staples in comfort food but cause gut disruption.
For example, it is clear that modern-day wheat is not as nutrient dense and beneficial as it was decades earlier. More people or being diagnosed with celiac disease, in large part to the modified wheat. Evidence suggests gluten interferes with the reproductive hormone prolactin. People diagnosed with celiac disease, a condition that causes an intolerance to gluten, the inflammation response causes a rapid release of the stress hormone cortisol.
In an effort to cut his patient’s blood sugar, Dr. William Davis, preventive cardiologist and author of the New York Times bestseller Wheat Belly, asked his patients to remove all wheat products from their diet based on the simple fact that foods made of wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods. Yes, that’s true for even whole grains. Wheat raised blood sugar more than table sugar and even more than a Snickers bar. “Organic, multigrain, sprouted–it makes no difference.”
Glycation is the bonding of a sugar molecule to a protein or lipid molecule without enzymatic regulation. The proteins in skin most susceptible to glycation are collagen and elastin. When those proteins attach to sugars, this shows up on the skin’s outer most layer in the form of lines, dullness, and loss of skin resilience. When the body can’t burn the over-consumption of sugar quick enough, the body stores the sugar as fat. Fat is also stored in the liver, however, the liver functions without interference from fat to detoxify the body leading to glowing skin.
The liver processing alcohol is laborious. As a result, the liver’s function of processing the body’s hormones is interrupted. Recent research also suggests alcohol can influence the gut bacteria. Alcohol abuse can change disrupt the intestinal environment. Not only does alcohol abuse alter the gut bacteria, it can cause leaky-gut syndrome. This condition, which is damage to the intestinal lining, does not allow nutrient absorption. The gut lining lets nutrients out into the bloodstream and prevents toxins from entering the bloodstream and instead enter the bowels.
Alcohol also increases the body’s levels of insulin and decreases the enzyme known as Delta-6 desaturase. Delta 6 is responsible for converting plant-based Omega 3 into inflammation fighters. The higher amount of this enzyme, the less inflammatory your body will the slower your body will age.
Dairy can be a trigger for inflammation. Research connects cow’s milk to acne. The estrogen in the milk alters the hormone balance. You may be thinking but what about yogurt and the many strains of probiotics in yogurts. It’s all the rave. The truth is, many of these yogurts are loaded with artificial sweeteners and contain low-grade probiotics. There are two strains the body needs for overall gut wellness:
Are probiotics only found in dairy? What exactly are these probiotics?
Not chewing your food reduces saliva’s interaction. A tendency to eat on the run, means optimal digestion of nutrients like vitamin c, antioxidants, beta-carotene, which nourishes the skin, is compromised. Lack of chewing also slows down digestion in the stomach.
Next are antibiotics. Antibiotics are powerful against bacterial infections. They have saved millions of people from death. Although this super drug is a lifesaver it has a catastrophic and vicious impact of the good bacteria in your gut. Antibiotics destroy the good bacteria. While the body will rebuild it the count of good bacteria, the microbiome is permanently altered. Without the right kinds of bacteria how the body processes hormones are affected and lead to hormone imbalance. Hormone imbalance causes acne, wrinkles, dry skin, and the list goes on.
Please be aware of what your body is telling you about your gut. Following the signs that your gut may be compromised and resolving those is the foundation to optimizing your health. Everything from premature aging, hormone imbalance, hair loss, and more chronic health conditions, begins in the gut. Your gut health is in your control.