Sep 23 2018

When it comes to clearing acne, think Probiotics

Published by at 10:06 am under probiotic supplements

When it comes to clearing acne, think Probiotics.*

The health of your gut will be reflected in the health of your skin. *

Acne is a real nuisance. If you don’t have it, you probably don’t give it a second thought. But if you are one who suffers from it, it is constantly on your mind. Every time you look in the mirror, it is the first thing you see. It makes you self conscious, can affect self esteem and can be downright painful.

Acne affects people of all ages. It can be especially alarming when you have never had it before and it shows up in your 20s, 30s or 40s, with no apparent cause. Late life acne affects many adults, more women than men, and is on the rise, according to dermatologists. It is believed that high processed diets and more stressful lifestyles are underlying causes for the spike in cases. It can be difficult to pinpoint why it appears and varies from person to person.

Acne occurs when the hair follicles, which are connected to oil glands that secrete the oily substance called  sebum, get clogged with excess sebum and dead skin cells. This build up creates a soft plug which creates an environment for bacterial growth. This plug  becomes infected and inflamed. Puberty is a major time for acne to occur, as the changing hormones can cause an increase in sebum production. Changes in birth control and hormones can have the same affect.1*

For years, treatments have involved a variety of topical treatments that contain retinoids and benzoyl peroxide, combined with topical antibiotics. For more severe cases, oral antibiotics or a drug called Accutane are used. Accutane comes with many side effects and can be hard on your liver. And we know antibiotics have a wide range of side effects, especially when used for a prolonged period of time. The most commonly prescribed tetracycline and erythromycin are broad spectrum antibiotics which wipe out good and bad bacteria, creating an unbalanced, unhealthy gut and weakened immune system. (1,2)*

While antibiotic use may help clear up some cases of acne, it leaves behind an imbalance in the microbiome. This can cause damage to the intestinal lining, a disruption that can allow miniscule particles that are normally digested to leak into your bloodstream, which triggers the immune system and can cause inflammation throughout the body. Among this inflammation is skin inflammation and redness such as acne. If the skin’s microbiome is further aggravated by harsh cleansers and other abrasive skin care products, it can further add to breakouts. (1,2)*

While antibiotics may help clear up some cases of acne, they make the underlying cause worse if it s an unhealthy gut. But by supplementing our diet with probiotics and eating diets high in fiber and foods which feed the good bacteria, we can help clear up skin conditions, or minimize their severity. According to Whitney Bowe, MD, FAAD and board certified dermatologist and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York., “…Oral probiotics – sold as daily supplements containing Lactobacilli and/or Bifidobacterium or in yogurts containing live cultures – could influence skin conditions such as acne and rosacea by affecting what is known as the “gut-brain-skin axis.” Both these strains are in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.

According to the gut-brain-axis theory, stress alone or in combination with processed comfort foods that lack fiber can slow digestion. This in turn changes the balance of bacteria that live in the gut to more unhealthy bacteria. Eventually, the gut lining becomes leaky and toxins are released into the bloodstream causing inflammation throughout the body. “…People who are predisposed to acne or rosacea can experience flares as a result of this shift in gut bacteria and subsequent inflammation…”, according to Bowe.(4,5)*

This gut-skin connection isn’t a new idea. “… In 1961, a case report found that of 300 acne patients given a probiotic, 80% had clinical improvement. But the notion captured a lot more attention lately. Recent studies conducted in Russian and Italy found that probiotics help acne patients heal better and faster…” (3,4)*

Another probiotic strain that provides benefits for those suffering from acne is lactobacillus rhamnosus SP1, (also found in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™.) “…In a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study, 20 adult subjects who had acne consumed either LSP1 at 3×109 CFU/day (75 mg/day) in a liquid formula for 12 weeks, while the control group consumed a liquid without the probiotics. The researchers took skin biopsies prior to the treatment and at the end of the 12 weeks to look for insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) gene expression. There was a 32 percent reduction in acne in the treated group, and they also had a 65 percent increase in the IGF1 and FOXO1. The placebo group experienced no changes…”(L. Rhamnosus is found in Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™. 5*

“All of this research is in the early stages, but there is mounting evidence to suggest that oral probiotics and dietary modifications will absolutely play a major role in the future of acne therapy,” said Bowe. “I believe it will ultimately be a combination approach that is most successful.” (1,2)*

Other lifestyle factors that can help your good bacteria flourish include lowering your stress levels, getting good, regular sleep, exercising, and taking time to relax, meditate and restore. Of course if you are plagued by acne, seek advice from your health care practitioner. Everyone is different and the triggers and treatment for one person may be different from the next. But a healthy gut is one thing we can all benefit from, and it will reflect in your skin. (1,2)*

Healthiest Wishes,



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