Microbiota and skin health

Microbiota and skin health

  • Gut Health

  • By Vanessa Daigle, Nutritionist-speaker and content creator

    If you’re suffering from a skin problem, whether temporary or permanent, chances are you’re looking for a solution. Often, the key to an effective solution lies in understanding the problem and identifying its source! Of course, there are many causes of skin pathologies, some of which remain unexplained. However, recent studies have shown that the intestinal microbiota plays a key role in skin balance. Yep, it’s that microbiota again! As I’ve often said, this famous microbiota plays an impressive role! Let’s take a look at the impact of microbiota on your skin. 

    Science and Skin Diseases 

    Before going any further, I’d like you to know that studies concerning skin health and the microbiota involved (yes, we have several, including a skin microbiota!) are still in their early stage. To date, there seems to be a link between gut microbiota diversity and atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and psoriasis. We still need more research to understand the intricacies fully surrounding the interactions between bacteria and our skin. 

    Atopic Dermatitis

    Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammation of the skin characterized mainly by lesions, redness, and itching. There are currently a few studies that deserve our attention. 

    • Prospective studies show that children with low intestinal microbial diversity are more likely to develop AD;
    • The type of bacteria present in the intestinal microbiota is also linked to the same risk. The bacteria S. aureus and clostridia have effectively demonstrated this potential;
    • Cohort studies have finally demonstrated a higher risk of developing AD after seven (7) years in subjects colonized with clostridium difficile in the first year of life, and an equally higher risk of AD at two years old if they were colonized with E. coli.

    While this avenue remains relatively unexplored to this day, the treatment and prevention of atopic dermatitis through probiotic supplementation have shown moderate efficacy, particularly in children and pregnant women. 

    Rosacea

    Rosacea is an inflammatory disease that manifests itself mainly as redness in the center of the face (cheek and nose).

    • Several studies have explored the link between gut microbiota and rosacea, notably via the presence and treatment of H. Pylori. However, the results remain contradictory, which prevents us from drawing a definite connection between the bacteria, its treatment and rosacea.

    Stay tuned! Clearly, the relationship between gut microbiota and rosacea is of interest to researchers! 

    Psoriasis

    Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease characterized by over-activation of the immune system.

    • A study comparing the gut microbiota of individuals with psoriasis to healthy subjects has revealed a significant decrease in the presence of Akkermansia muciniphila among those affected.
    • Two groups observed a decrease in the presence of Actinobacteria compared to healthy subjects.
    • Another group showed a positive correlation between the PASI score and an increase in the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio. 

    In any case, all the research seems to share a common point: the anomalies always appear to be correlated with an increase in inflammation.

    Inflammation: The Common Denominator?

    You've probably noticed the direct link between inflammation and skin health. In this regard, the intestinal microbiota, which houses nearly 75% of our immune cells, is also heavily involved in the inflammatory process.  Could it be through this connection that the intestinal microbiota plays a role in skin diseases? We still have much more to learn on this subject. That being said, preventing and treating skin diseases through the gut flora is definitely an interesting avenue to explore. In this regard, here are five recommendations for reducing inflammation in the digestive tract.

    1. Include as many plants as possible on the menu! Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes: they’re all welcome (within your tolerance, of course). 
    2. Make polyphenols the star! Consume green tea, cocoa, turmeric and berries daily.
    3. Maximize the presence of omega-3s. Include fatty fish in your diet 1 or 2 times a week. What’s more, add chia seeds, flax seeds or camelina oil to the menu.
    4. Limit the intake of red meat, alcohol, added sugar and ultra-processed foods
    5. Add a little extra with probiotics: taking Bio-K’s Daily Care+ 25 Billion probiotic capsules daily, combined with healthy habits, will give you the upper hand!

    Proof that holistic care can really help!  

    References

     

  • Ellis SR, Nguyen M, Vaughn AR, Notay M, Burney WA, Sandhu S, Sivamani RK. The Skin and Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Common Dermatologic Conditions. Microorganisms. 2019; 7(11):550. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7110550
  • Md. Rayhan Mahmud, Sharmin Akter, Sanjida Khanam Tamanna, Lincon Mazumder, Israt Zahan Esti, Sanchita Banerjee, Sumona Akter, Md. Rakibul Hasan, Mrityunjoy Acharjee, Md. Sajjad Hossain & Anna Maria Pirttilä (2022) Impact of gut microbiome on skin health: gut-skin axis observed through the lenses of therapeutics and skin diseases, Gut Microbes, 14:1, DOI: 10.1080/19490976.2022.2096995
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    Vanessa Daigle Nutritionist-speaker and content creator
    About the author
    Vanessa is a member of the “Ordre des diététistes - nutritionnistes du Québec”. She works daily in private clinics and as a self-employed communication specialist. As passionate about people as she is about nutrition, she takes great pleasure in sharing her knowledge on a larger scale, via her blog, her podcast Zone Grise, but also through radio shows and conferences.
    View all articles by Vanessa Daigle
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