I just came across Chris Kresser’s latest episode of Revolution Health Radio discussing the gut-brain-skin axis, which as a plastic surgeon, I found extremely interesting.
First of all, I’ve been following Chris’ podcast and blog for the last year. He is a pretty smart dude, and his podcasts, in particular, are very intellectual, informative, and quite dense–even for a medical professional. I always learn something from them, and I appreciate his commitment to science. I am not sure why he never became a doctor, as it obvious to me, that he has the smarts to get through medical school. With his commitment to health and prevention using hard science, I think he could have become a huge force on the inside promoting change in the current medical system. Plus, his skills at using the internet to promote himself and more importantly, the important and valuable information he has to share is a lesson for so-called ivory tower intellectuals. They should shudder a bit when they see these new ways of transmitting information, which lessen their tight ‘expert’ hold of dogma and policy.
In any case, the gut-brain axis is something that I have been interested in quite a bit lately because it seems that the the more and more we look at it, a healthy gut may be a one of the most important aspects to a health, and it is sorely overlooked in modern medicine. In fact, many of the drugs and foods that we ingest work against promoting a healthy gut.
But what’s more interesting to me is that the gut itself has more neurons than the spinal cord, and plays a huge role in not only regulating what goes into your body, but what goes into your brain and how it interprets what is going on in your body. There is a great book that talk about the evolution of the gut and brain, and how they occur inversely and synchronously called Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human, which goes over this in detail. it is a very interesting read, for sure.
Interestingly though, it seems humans have known about this connection of the gut and the brain for some time as the terms “I feel it in my gut” or “gut” feeling suggest, and the idea of Chakras in Eastern philosophy seem to suggest a deep connection between the gut and the brain.
Now, in his latest post Kresser has presented some interesting finding regarding how the skin may be involved too. He links a very intersting review article that goes over the ideas behind the gut-brain-skin axis, and how some diseases that involve the gut and brain (such as migraines and depression) also affect the skin. The heartbreak of psoriasis, may in fact, involve a very real heartbreak that you feel in your brain and gut…
In any case, one of the interesting ideas in the review article was the use of probiotics, such as the bugs found in yogurt, ie lactobacillus, to help restore the health of the gut, and subsequently the brain and the skin. There was also mention of probiotic skin creams as well for the treatment of acne, for instance.
Wouldn’t that be interesting if there was a Kefir skin cream?
I am going to really study this topic, as I think it would be wonderful (and safer) to give people high doses of yogurt rather than tetracycline, which permanently stains your teeth, promotes antibiotic resistance, and upsets your stomach, or worse yet use acutane, which is toxic and teratogenic (causing birth defects) and require that the patient be on birth control during the time of its use.
No thanks…I’ll take the yogurt please!