Your ‘gut microbiome’ is made up of the trillions of microorganisms and their genetic material that live in your intestinal tract. These microorganisms, mainly comprising bacteria, are involved in functions critical to your health and wellbeing. These bacteria live in your digestive system and they play a key role in digesting food you eat, and they help with absorbing and synthesising nutrients too. Numerous studies have linked the gut microbiome with skin health, this is referred to as the “skin-gut axis”.
Our gut microbiome heavily influences our immune system and, through complex immune mechanisms, the gut microbiome can affect the wellbeing of distant organs such as the skin. Essentially, gut health issues, such as intestinal dysbiosis, a state of microbial imbalance, can cause inflammation elsewhere in the body that can then turn into ongoing skin problems. Intestinal dysbiosis has the potential to negatively impact the skin microbiome and its basic function. This can contribute to common skin disorders such as acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and rosacea. Environmental factors, diet and psychological stress can influence the gut microbiome, which can directly or indirectly affect your skin.
Look after your gut microbiota and your skin will flourish. Supporting the gut-skin axis requires a multi-faceted approach. There are many things that can affect gut health, and therefore skin health, including:
- dietary choices such as consuming refined sugar, excess carbohydrates and fat, alcohol and coffee
- nutrient insufficiencies, including omega-3, zinc, vitamin A and fibre
- Certain medications
- illness or infection
- psychological stress
As a result, there are many things that can also be helpful for supporting gut health, including:
- dietary fibre (especially prebiotics)
- digestive enzymes
- nutrients such as glutamine, vitamin A, D, zinc and omega-3
If you’re looking for ways to support your gut microbiome, then increasing your dietary fibre and prebiotic intake is a great place to start. Prebiotics are a type of dietary fibre that humans cannot digest but play a vital role in your digestive health by feeding the trillions of live beneficial bacteria that live in your gut fuelling their growth, diversity and activity.
Ellactiva is the only supplement range combining prebiotic fibre with essential micro-nutrients and high performing protein peptides in a delicious soft chew format.