Throughout my learning as a Dermal Clinician I have come to realise that not all acne skins can be cured with products and treatments. Nutrition and diet is extremely important, especially in those who are non-responsive to these methods.
The western diet is considered to be pro-inflammatory! Very high in sugar, fibre, the wrong kinds of fat, dairy and even rice. These cause the blood sugar to rise which in turn causes the body to release insulin which causes cells to open and take in glucose which induces blood sugars to drop. As insulin is a hormone which produces its own processes in the body such as testosterone spiking, therefore contributing to acne.
Refined carbs fuel acne breakouts. A recent study found that when a 47 man cohort cut sugar in the form of refined carbs from their diet. Nearly half of them saw a dramatic change in their acne in just 1 week!!
The foods involved in the western diet set up an inflammatory cascade in the body that turns on a lot of disease that we associate directly with these sorts of foods. Farmed animals, poultry, fish etc all contribute to a bad gut microbiome as they are fed grains to fatten them up as it allows the animal to gain weight very quickly, and it is also very pro-inflammatory. One tip: Dont be fooled when you go the supermarket and it says “grass-fed beef” it can also mean grain-finished, they finish it on grain so they can be fatter. You want to make sure your meat is “grass-fed and also grass-finished”. When it comes to FISH you want to make sure that it is “wild-caught”. Unfortunately all salmon in Australia is farmed.
When it comes to our fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately they are sprayed with pesticides which leads to antibiotic resistant micro-organisms and side effects to gut health.
One of the most important dietary factors that influences inflammation in the body is our omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid. (which I will save for another blog post)
Intestinal permeability: Also known as “leaky gut” When the junctions of our cells open up this causes increased intestinal permeability which allows the passage of un-screened molecules, including undigested food particles, toxic molecules as well as disease-producing bacteria to flow directly into the blood stream. How does this occur?? Prolonged medication and antibiotic use, Over-consumption of calorie dense foods rich in saturated fat, sugar and starch, chronic stress, imbalance of microbiome and environmental contaminants.
How can you tell if you have leaky gut? do you suffer from bloating, IBS, Crohns disease… all of these have an association with a leaky gut.
What is the first thing that I suggest for someone with a leaky gut?? GLUTAMINE! There is no point taking probiotics, fermented food etc if you have a leaky gut. We want to repair the lining of the gut first!
Glutamine- This is found in bone broth! Glutamine repairs the tight junctions which make the gut membrane nice and permeable again. Zinc is another supplement that also reinforces the gut wall. Once this is done, you can then re-inoculate the gut wall by eating fermented foods and drinks such as kombucha and saurkraut. Restore digestive health by getting hydrochloric acid and digestive enzyme level back to normal.. Suggestions for this are apple cider vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon (be careful about the enamel on your teeth, so try to use a straw) and green juices.
For myself personally, my gut health plays a vital role in my skins appearance. One of the most essential aspects of gut health would have to be pre and probiotics. The probiotics found in the gut need prebiotics to ensure the gut is kept healthy and thriving. We need fibre to feed the good bacteria!
The main causes of an unhealthy gut can be caused by antibiotics- Antibiotics actually destroy all bacteria in your gut and are not able to avoid the good bacteria!
Fun fact: When you are craving sugar and chocolates and lollies you are feeding your bad gut bacteria!!
Solution: Clean up the diet to reduce inflammation in the body. Try to eliminate grains and cereals, starches and refined carbohydrates, milk, potatoes, fried foods. ALL of these feed pathogenic bacteria! Limit fruit intake (a lot of fruit a day is not good, 2 pieces a day is suffice), eat good fats- nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish. Eat lots of colourful vegetables- These feed the good bacteria!