Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?

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The title of this article has been taken directly from the journal Gut Pathogens January 2011, and can be accessed for free at This article tells the story of the gut connection. As we have been preaching for years, there is good evidence of a connection between gut bacteria and most (if not all) of the body organs, including the skin and brain.  What’s more, the above article presents much new, refined information, but the basic information is included from published references from 80-90 years ago!

Read, and be informed of the following concepts presented:

1.  The regular consumption of fat, sugar and simple carbs low in fiber, will decrease the beneficial bifidobacteria and other probiotic species in the colon and terminal small intestine (the end of the small intestine).

2.  Low  bifidobacteria allows increases of other bacteria that may promote colonic lining (epithelium) inflammation, with increased free radical damage and oxidative stress that leads to increased intestinal permeability (IP), or leaky gut.

3.  Increased IP leads to the passage (or translocation) of partially digested food particles, bacterial toxins, and other bacterial byproducts including fat (or lipids) from dead bacterial cell walls.

4.  Bacterial cell wall lipids known as lipopolysaccarides (LPS), or also bacterial toxins, are easily measured in the blood, and are important indicators of how much overactivity will occur in the immune system.  Elevated LPS is very likely to occur after eating your favorite ice cream, or even too much bacon and eggs with toast and jelly (high fat, high sugar, and low fiber).

5.  Elevated blood levels of LPS cause the immune system to increase production of inflammatory markers (pro-inflammatory cytokines). These markers can cause many negative reactions, including decreased insulin receptor sensitivity, and thereby elevate blood sugar and insulin levels.

6.  Chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin promote increase in blood lipids, and  increase in inflammation which can contribute to acne, anxiety and depression, among other conditions.

Here is the good news,  a  high-fiber diet found in vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, with some low glycemic fruits (especially berries) will promote high-normal levels of bifidobacteria. Taking prebiotic fibers was also shown in this article to increase bifidobacteria, and supplementing with bifidobacteria probiotics or fermented foods will definitely have overall beneficial effects on the body, including the skin and the brain.


  • suefrancia

    I watched the KCTS 9 program (Seattle) – it was wonderful! I was preparing to order a test based on the information given on the show stating that the test result would be followed up with a consultation on how to treat the problems found. The Lab states that no consult is provided and that you are referred to your doctor. Please tell me how the follow up information is obtained.
    Thanks, SF

  • Suzin

    Sue Francia: I feel your frustration as I too have gotten my blood tested only to reach a dead-end. The problem, as I see it is that most practicing doctors are not into PREVENTIVE/PREVENTION and are merely mindless drones and drug pushers, with no regard for humanity. I’ve been thru every doctor in my area that accepts poor people’s insurance (Medicaid) and all of them are nitwits who then get offended when you don’t want to take yet another pill that only serves to cover-up and make worse the original symptom. The state of healthcare in America sucks, big time and quite frankly I’m sick and tired of being told to “ASK YOUR DOCTOR.”

    My journey to wellness has been a wake-up call that the doctors don’t know shit and that it’s truly up to us to be proactive and find the needed knowledge and information on our own.

    And PBS has been a tremendous value toward that end with experts such as Dr. Amen, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Brenda Watson, Dr. Wayne Dyer, etc. When PBS ends, it’ll be sorely missed. I’m already beginning the mourning process.

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