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The Gut - Skin Axis

ย By: @dermahealthnutrition

ย 

The gut-skin axisย refers to the interactions between the gut and skin microbiome, and it contributes to the pathophysiology of inflammatory facial skin diseases such as acne and rosacea. A possible connection between the gut and the skin was first suggested in 1930 by two dermatologist, John H. Stokes and Donald M. Pillsbury.ย 

ย 

The microbiome is defined as the total of all microorganisms and their genes in an individual, with the largest portion represented by bacteria. This dynamic system is individually unique and it can adapt to changing environments within a few hours.ย Aside fromย cultural heritage, birth, environmental factors, sleep and physical activity, diet is believed to have the greatest influence on theย gutโ€™s microbiome diversity.

ย 

A varied, plant-focused diet with a high content of dietary fiber is key for a diverse and balanced gut microbiome. A dysbiotic microbiomeย may have a significant impact on the immune system and thus on the development of skin diseases. If the gut microbiome or gut barrier is compromised, harmful metabolites can enter the blood-circulation, alter the skin microbiome, and compromise the integrity of the skin barrier.ย 


Acne patients seem to have an imbalanced microbiome compared to healthy individuals. They may not only present with a disrupted skin microbiome with an overpopulation of the bacteria Cutibacterium acnes, but may also suffer from a disturbed intestinal flora with an overpopulation of other species of bacteria. In this context, future studies are needed to define the potential of an oral probiotic supplementation in the treatment of certain skin disorders. Until then, nutritional recommendations to increase the protective microorganisms in the gut and to alleviate skin symptoms include pulses, seeds, nuts, roots, vegetables, and fruit.


References:
1. De Pessemier, B., et al. Gut-Skin Axis: Current Knowledge of the Interrelationship between Microbial Dysbiosis and Skin
Conditions. Microorganisms 9(2021).
2. Stokes JH, Pillsbury DM. The effect on the skin of emotional and nervous state: III. Theoretical and practical consieration of a
gastro-intestinal mechanism. Arch Derm
Syphilol. 1930; 22(6): 962โ€“93.
3. Polkowska-Pruszynska, B., Gerkowicz, A. & Krasowska, D. The gut microbiome alterations in allergic and inflammatory skin
diseases - an update. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 34, 455-464 (2020).
4. Gentile, C.L. & Weir, T.L. The gut microbiota at the intersection of diet and human health. Science 362, 776-780 (2018).
5. O'Neill, C.A., Monteleone, G., McLaughlin, J.T. & Paus, R. The gut-skin axis in health and disease: A paradigm with therapeutic
implications. Bioessays 38, 1167-1176 (2016).
6. Dreno, B., Bettoli, V., Araviiskaia, E., Sanchez Viera, M. & Bouloc, A. The influence of exposome on acne. J Eur Acad
Dermatol Venereol 32, 812-819 (2018).
7. Lee, Y.B., Byun, E.J. & Kim, H.S. Potential Role of the Microbiome in Acne: A Comprehensive Review. J Clin Med 8(2019).
8. Daou, H., Paradiso, M., Hennessy, K. & Seminario-Vidal, L. Rosacea and the Microbiome: A Systematic Review. Dermatol Ther
(Heidelb) 11, 1-12 (2021).
9. Fitz-Gibbon, S., et al. Propionibacterium acnes strain populations in the human skin microbiome associated with acne. J Invest
Dermatol 133, 2152-2160 (2013).
10. Desai, M.S., et al. A Dietary Fiber-Deprived Gut Microbiota Degrades the Colonic Mucus Barrier and Enhances Pathogen
Susceptibility. Cell 167, 1339-1353 e1321 (2016).

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