Skin and nutrition

By Professor David Russell in partnership with Charlotte Harbour, Registered Nutritional Therapist

It’s interesting to think that our skin is our biggest organ – or even an organ at all! It just doesn’t fit our general paradigm of what a human organ should be (inside, squishy and perhaps, not that nice to look at!). Our skin is an amazing organ – it covers approximately two square metres and is made up of around 35 billion cells (we have around 725 trillion in our whole body). It is responsible for important jobs such as regulating temperature, absorbing precious vitamin D and makes up a large part of our immune systems, known as barrier immunity.

When studying nutrition at university, you often begin in the gut and quickly make links between the microbiome and other bodily systems. One of the most interesting links is the effect our guts can have on our skin’s appearance and health. Typically, healthy skin is soft, radiant and free from build-up. That’s not to say the occasional spot isn’t normal – it is!

Many scientific papers have reviewed literature and discovered the links between probiotics and skin health, with the mechanisms behind this being the modulation and enhancement of the immune system. Up to 80% of our immunity is located in the gut and by optimising this, we are able to influence other organs such as the skin. This is particularly useful for autoimmune skin conditions (where the immune system mistakes our own healthy cells as invaders) such as psoriasis.

Furthermore, we are able to support challenging conditions such as acne through nutritional and lifestyle recommendations. Balancing blood sugar, enjoying healthy fats, staying hydrated, looking after the gut, exercising, eating plenty of vegetables and getting enough vitamin D are steps to get started.

We’re delighted to now be offering 1-to-1 private nutrition clinics via Thrive Nutrition and Wellbeing. Do call to book in! 020 7046 7885.

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