The Link Between Acne & Gut Health

Jun 01, 2018

Not only is our skin the largest organ in the body, it reflects our internal state in a very visual way!

Acne is just one of many signs that our body is not getting the nutrients it needs to manufacture healthy hormones, and is often the result of one of the following:

  1. Low Essential Fatty Acids in our Diet

Our hormones are manufactured from the fats in our diet, and our gut health is dependent on healthy fats and oils to aid digestion and help control inflammation.

The Mediterranean diet is often touted as one of the healthiest diets out there and for good reason, it contains high levels of healthy fats and oils.

Watch how European’s add olive oil to their bread, and pasta, not only does this process slow down the release of sugars from carbohydrate rich foods, it naturally suppresses the bodies inflammatory response, and helps to make healthy hormones.

Acne, PMS, skin that burns very quickly (sunburn), inflammation and low immunity are all signs of low EFA’s.

Solution: Eat good fats like your health depends on it!

  1. Include plenty of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) in your diet. Think Omega 3’s found in oily fish, nuts and seeds and Omega 9’s found nuts and seeds.

  2. Increase the quality of other “good” fats in your diet. Think avocados, coconut oil, butter from grass-fed cows, or ghee if you are lactose intolerant.

  3. Take an Omega 3 fish oil supplement – such as Nordic Naturals

  4. Imbalanced gut flora 

Sugar, antibiotics, processed foods and alcohol can all lead to an imbalance between “good” and “bad” bacteria:

  • Bacteria thrives and multiplies on sugar
  • The “bad” bugs also enjoy feasting on processed food
  • Antibiotics wipe everything out, including the good bacteria that’s vital for optimal health

Unfortunately, most people opt for “sweet” foods when given the choice, which is partly due to how we are weened in the West…

Think carrots, bananas, bread, and pasta – these are all sweet (high carb) foods that can lead to a sweet tooth from infancy.

The solution:  Balance your gut with a mixture of sweet, sour, and bitter foods.

  1. Learn to read food labels, if sugar is one of the first three ingredients eat with caution or avoid entirely!

  2. Incorporate bitter foods:
  • Vegetables: radicchio, chicory, arugula, endive, cauliflower, artichokes, broccoli.
  • Citrus fruits: grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes.
  • Cereals: Amaranth, Millet.
  • Spices: ginger, pepper, cardamom.

  1. Go easy on the white stuff: that’s bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. These all turn into sugar very quickly once ingested due to their high sugar content.

  2. Take a probiotic, especially after taking antibiotics!

These will all help to keep your gut flora in check, so that your body can properly metabolize your food and extract the nutrients that it needs to keep your skin smooth and glowing!

  1. Low Stomach acid

    Think GERD, reflux, indigestion…these are all signs that our pH balance is out of kilter and we are either too alkaline or too acidic resulting in low stomach acid.

    When our stomach acid levels are too low nutrients cannot be properly extracted from food.

Food can also sit too long in the gut where it begins to ferment and create high levels of toxicity which can start to express itself through the skin.

When this happens, it’s a sign that the liver is also involved as it struggles to detoxify the heavy load – this is known as acne rosacea.

 Solution: Support Your Digestive System

  1. Test your stomach acid levels – drink or eat beets and watch for pink pee – known as beeturia which is a sign that your stomach acid and gut flora maybe compromised as they both play an important role in breaking down the pigments in food.

  2. Decrease acidic foods such as sugar, alcohol, meat and grains

  3. Increase fruits, vegetables, and water intake

  4. Apple Cider vinegar, and lemon juice both are both great for balancing our pH levels

  5. It’s time to take out the trash and replace processed foods with nutritious whole foods – this means eating foods that have not been denatured (processed) in anyway.

  6.  Learn to renew on the run, so that you don’t have to go on a major detox, by eating well 80% of the time, that way the body can deal with the occasion blow out without going into overdrive.

  7. Take a digestive enzyme, especially when eating protein to ensure your food is fully digested.

  8. Leaky gut…

Is basically when the integrity of the gut gets disrupted due to undigested food irritating the lining of the gut, you know this is happening when you get bloating and gas after every meal.

If this goes on for too long the gut becomes permeated and starts to allow undigested food to enter the blood stream creating food intolerances to any and everything that passes through the holes in the gut.

 Inflammation is a result of leaky gut as the body (immune system) desperately tries to deal with undigested food particles that enter the blood stream before they have been broken down into their individual nutrient.

Example: a piece of carrot enters the bloodstream, which the body does not recognize since it’s expecting beta-carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A.

 Speaking of vitamin, A signs of deficiency include:

1. Frequent and persistent skin infections
2. Acne, dry and scaly skin
3. Throat infections or mouth ulcers
4.Dandruff and dry hair
5. Sore eyelids and in extreme cases poor vision in the dark (night blindness)

 Important Note: An intolerance is not the same as an allergy! It can be fixed by removing in inflammatory (trigger) foods which are as follows:

  • Wheat/gluten
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Eggs

Unfortunately, these foods are on the list due to the genetic modification, since the body cannot recognize foods that have had their DNA tampered with!

 If your questioning how eggs got onto this list it’s because chickens are now being feed GMO grains, when they should be eating weeds, grubs and worms. This new “diet” is resulting in less than healthy eggs that contain barely any Omega 3!

Solution: Remove Trigger Foods

Keep a food journal for 30 days to track and monitor your symptoms, so that you can figure out your trigger foods (if any) and create a food plan that works for you. This is important because when we stop throwing gasoline on the fire our symptoms subside. 

B-Complex - B vitamins are vital for liver detoxification, consider taking a good quality supplement, especially if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Book a personal nutrition consultation and follow a gut healing protocol which includes supplements such as probiotics, L-glutamine, and colostrum.

Got questions, or wondering when or how to start?

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