Although it is a well-known speculation that dairy has a negative affect on skin appearance, a recent article on the gut microbiome shows it as far more involved in skin health.
Both the skin and gut are key players in maintaining physiologic homeostasis. This is the regulation of blood glucose level and pressure, core body temperature, etc. to keep the body functioning. Researchers believe this connection in physiologic homeostasis is reasoning as to why there is a direct connection between the gut microbiome and skin disorders.
There are many different ways the gut microbiome may affect skin. First, indigestion and buildup of bad bacteria in the gut microbiome may lead to problems in retaining nutrients, therefore discoloring and drying skin. Secondly, the gut microbiome contains mass amounts of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa, all of which infiltrate the gastrointestinal system. When intestinal barriers are disturbed, bacteria and microbiota enter the bloodstream, therefore disturbing skin homeostasis. This directly links with Psoriasis – a skin condition in which cells build up on the skin surface, forming scales and red patches. Lastly, fiber fermentation – digestible fiber which is broken down into short chain fatty acids and gases – may determine the severity of acne one experiences.
Although the gut microbiome can negatively affect skin appearance, it is also capable of improving skin health. In a 2013 study, mice were exposed to Lactobacillus reuteri supplements, allowing for an increase in skin thickeness and fur shininess. In a second study performed in 2o14, mice with exposure to Lactobacillus brevis, displayed a decrease in nerve tone and increase in blood flow, ultimately positively influencing water retention and skin appearance. Finally, a human study involving Lactobacillus paracasei supplements showed decrease in skin sensitivity.
Whether positive or negative, it is clear the human gut microbiome has an affect on skin appearance. To learn more click here.