Seeing as it’s National Eczema Week, I thought it would be an opportune time to take a closer look at how eczema and other skin conditions can be managed through diet and supplementation.
Anyone that has an auto-immune related skin issue, especially eczema and psoriasis, should take a probiotic and get plenty of natural, anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids from Omega 3s. My recommended protocol is one Live Bacteria probiotic capsule twice daily and one Omega 3 capsule a day.
It’s also important to make sure your diet includes lots of good fats from sources such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, fatty meats, fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon). Let’s not forget the humble egg too. Eggs are rich in nutrients that can help improve skin health. The proteins in eggs, particularly albumin, can help tighten and tone the skin, reducing the appearance of pores. Eggs contain amino acids that contribute to the production of collagen, which is important for maintaining the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Eggs also contain biotin, a B-vitamin that is often associated with healthy skin, hair, and nails. Eggs are a great source of vitamins A and E and these help to promote healthy cell turnover and moisturise and hydrate the skin. No wonder they call eggs a complete superfood! When I was a young girl, we would put egg white on our faces to help tighten our skin. Ridiculous really, as I was around 15 at the time and didn’t need my skin tightening. The things we do for vanity!
Fix your constipation to fix your skin!
When constipation is present, the food we eat is not completely broken down and digested. This leads to toxins being released into the body, creating an environment that encourages inflammation and can cause irritating skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and even rosacea.
Endotoxins from retained wastes build up in the bowel and the body subsequently tries to eliminate them away from vital organs, and push them out of the body via the skin. Other problems in the skin such as dark circles and under-eye puffiness can also be due to constipation.
The best way to address these skin issues is to focus on relieving constipation. The first step is to assess what diet, lifestyle and supplementation protocols you can adopt – increasing water intake, eating foods that are high in fibre, eating five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables a day can help move waste through the colon more efficiently. And don’t forget the probiotics and omega 3s we’ve already mentioned!
Start preventative measures young!
If children have had antibiotics, they need probiotics, not just to help prevent the risk of getting digestive and gut issues later on, but auto-immune skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. One study found that infants who took probiotics (including the strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus which you will find in my Live Bacteria capsules) every day for 6 months were less than half as likely to develop eczema during that time as those who didn’t take the supplements. A review of seven other studies found that children whose mothers took Lactobacilli probiotics during pregnancy had a lower chance of developing eczema between the ages of 2 and 7. These findings suggest that probiotic supplements may reduce the risk of developing eczema if taken at a young age.
I am often contacted by people wondering if it’s safe to give their children probiotics. Absolutely! From the age of 2, open up a Live Bacteria capsule and mix the powder into milk or yogurt.
When my now 3-year-old granddaughter Jessie was a baby, she would occasionally get constipated so we’d give her the powder from one of our Live Bacteria capsules and it sorted it pretty quickly. However, she’s as regular as clockwork now. If she has a hard poo very occasionally, I will sometimes put half the powder from a capsule into a cold drink for her. If we put too much in, her stools get too loose.
Foods that boost gut health can help with eczema too
Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and aged cheeses — like cheddar and parmesan — are naturally rich in probiotics that are good for your gut health.
Eating significant amounts of fermented foods appears to be linked to a lower risk of having eczema as an adult. One study with almost 10,000 participants from Korea found that adults who ate a diet high in fermented foods were significantly less to have eczema.
However, it’s worth noting that the positive outcomes of the studies came about after eating fermented foods an average of at least three times a day over the course of a month. This is a big challenge for most people, which is where daily probiotic supplementation comes into its own.
Supporting these results, a study in Japan showed that the babies of mothers who had eaten natto (fermented soybeans) every day during their pregnancy were less likely to have developed eczema than those whose mothers ate it only two to three times per week.
Read how Karen was able to resolve her skin issue through supplementing with probiotics and Omega 3s.
If you would like to know more about a supplementation protocol or have any questions about a digestive and gut health issue, please get in touch.