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Digestive Wellness|Issues & Conditions

The Gut-Skin Axis: How Gut Health Affects Your Skin

It’s no coincidence that your skin may feel drier after you get too happy at happy hour, or that pizza night may be followed by a breakout in the morning. What’s in your gut is directly tied to the appearance of your skin, thanks to a little something called the gut-skin axis. Here’s everything you need to know about this connection between your gut and your skin, and how improving your gut health can do wonders for your complexion.

First, let’s be clear on what the gut is.

You might hear “gut” and think of a potbelly, but we’re actually referring to the entire gastrointestinal tract. This includes the gut microbiome—the trillions of microorganisms in your gut that contribute to digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, and even immunity. (Your gut microbiome accounts for over 60 percent of your immune system!) 

Your skin is one of these parts of your body that can be influenced by what’s going on in your gut. This connection is referred to as the gut-skin axis. 

But sometimes the microorganisms in your gut aren’t the friendly kind. Studies have shown that, when your gut microbiome is unbalanced with too many bad bacteria and not even good ones, other parts of your body can be affected by means of a super complex immune response.

What is the gut-skin axis?

Your skin is one of these parts of your body that can be influenced by what’s going on in your gut. This connection is referred to as the gut-skin axis. While it’s widely researched, there’s still a lot to be understood about it. What we do know without a doubt is that gut health can affect your skin.

OK, so how exactly does gut health affect my skin?

When your gut microbiome is unbalanced with too much bad bacteria, your body responds with inflammation. This can aggravate your skin, leading to acne breakouts, rosacea, eczema, redness, sensitivity, dry skin, and a breakdown of collagen that can lead to wrinkles.

While you can get more fiber in your diet with fruits and vegetables, it’s hard for most people to consume the amount that the FDA suggests—only 5 percent of Americans do. 

Yikes. So, how can I improve my gut health?

One of the best ways to improve your gut health is with fiber. Eating the FDA-recommended amount of fiber (25 grams for women, 38 grams for men) can nourish the good bacteria in your microbiome and prevent the bad ones from interfering with your health. 

While you can get more fiber in your diet with fruits and vegetables, it’s hard for most people to consume the amount that the FDA suggests—only 5 percent of Americans do. That’s where we come in: just one serving of Bellway’s fiber supplements gets you a whopping 18 percent of the fiber you need in a day. And, unlike other brands, it’s made with no sugar or artificial ingredients to be even better to your gut—and skin.

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