The human body contains 11 major organ systems that work together to keep the body safe and healthy. With such a complex and interconnected arrangement, there are often unusual, and sometimes unexplained, interactions between the systems in the body.
There are also often links between seemingly unrelated conditions and diseases too. Skin problems can cause stress, for instance, and stress can cause stomach upset. Psoriasis and type 2 diabetes can also affect each other.
Psoriasis causes overgrowth of skin cells that results in red, raised patches covered by silvery scales, known as plaques. It can also affect the immune system increasing the risk of diabetes. Underactive immune systems increase the risk of infection, but an overactive immune system can worsen insulin resistance.
Beneficial bacteria, known as probiotics, improve health from the inside out and from the outside in. Probiotics can improve skin, boost mood, and even help reduce the risk of diabetes by changing the relationship between psoriasis and the immune system.
Diabetes is a condition where body cells cannot pull sugar, also known as glucose, from the bloodstream for energy. Type 2 diabetes often involves insulin resistance, which means cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, so they do not absorb sugar. About 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Psoriasis affects about 7.5 million Americans, and these people are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than are those without the skin condition. Those with severe psoriasis are at higher risk for diabetes than are those with mild psoriasis. In fact, research suggests that people whose psoriasis covers 10 percent or more of their body are 64 percent more likely to develop diabetes.
Psoriasis can also cause a type of inflammation that promotes insulin resistance. Any type of injury, even the overgrowth of cells associated with psoriasis, can cause inflammation. This inflammation promotes healing by supporting the growth of blood vessels that bring in white blood cells to repair the wound. One type of white blood cell, T-cells, kills invaders but also secretes cytokine proteins that cause even more inflammation. Cytokines also play a role in diabetes by increasing insulin resistance.
There may also be a genetic link between psoriasis and diabetes. In one study, researchers examined the health records of 33,588 twins; 4.2 percent of study participants had psoriasis and 1.4 percent had diabetes. The scientists found that those who suffered with psoriasis were nearly twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes as were those without psoriasis.
Trillions of bacteria, known collectively as microflora or the microbiome, inhabit the digestive tract. Some bacteria can cause disease while other bacteria support digestion and help prevent infection. Probiotics also regulate glucose and affect immune system activity. Research shows that consuming probiotics can improve blood sugar control by reducing blood glucose levels and decreasing insulin resistance.
The brain has a direct connection to the gut, known as the gut-brain connection. This connection is why stress can cause an upset stomach and other digestive issues. Bacteria in the gut can affect the brain.
The gut-brain connection is a two-way street; the gut also affects the brain. In fact, recent research shows that gut bacteria may interact with various brain regions to affect mood and behavior in healthy humans.
A connection between the gut, brain, and skin allows interaction between the three organs it also allows mood and skin problems to affect each other. Psoriasis can cause stress, for example, and stress can cause psoriasis. The gut-brain-skin connection also means that probiotics can support positive moods and healthy skin from the inside out.
Probiotics can help consumers stay healthy from the outside in. Skin is the largest organ of the body and it has its own microbiota. Like bacteria in the gut, probiotics provide health benefits to the skin.
Routine skin care can reduce the population of beneficial bacteria there, though, and this can lead to skin problems affecting the rest of the body. Probiotic face masks can restore populations of beneficial bacteria, improve health of the skin and, because of the gut-brain-skin axis, benefit other organs of the body by alleviating stress, supporting digestive health, and boosting the immune system.
Natren’s recommendation for truly healthy skin is an active combination of a daily probiotic taken internally – either Healthy Trinity, or Healthy Start System (specifically, Natren DigestaLac from the Healthy Start System), coupled with topical use of Natren Probiotic Face Mask, for healthy skin from the inside-out and the outside-in.
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