(Natural News) The human body is more than the sum of its parts. While mainstream medicine often tends to view each organ as its own “independent” system, the truth is that your body is an interconnected organism — and the health of one organ can very well affect that of another.
As newly published research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirms, there is a relationship between the health of your skin, gut and immune system. That relationship is so strong that having eczema can actually influence your risk of food allergies — and much more.
While modern medicine is loath to admit it, treating the body as a “whole” rather than a selection of parts is key to maintaining long-term health and wellness.
Itching and allergies
A new study led by researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and supported by NIAID has investigated the links between skin health and food allergies. Based on their findings, it appears that your skin, gut and immune system are more closely associated that previously thought.
Atopic dermatitis, also known as “eczema” is a major risk factor for food allergies — but the exact relationship between the two has long puzzled scientists.
The researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital say that based on their research in animal models, it appears that scratching the skin causes changes in the intestines which can induce food allergies.
As a press release from Science Daily explains further:
The researchers found that some cells in the skin respond to scratching — simulated by applying and removing small strips of tape on the skin of mice — by producing a cell-signaling protein called IL-33, which enters the bloodstream. When IL-33 reaches the gut, it works in concert with IL-25, a protein secreted by cells in the lining of the intestine, to activate type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s). Activated ILC2s make two additional cell-signaling proteins, IL-13 and IL-4, which were found to be responsible for the expansion of intestinal mast cells.
When these intestinal mast cells expand, the intestinal lining becomes more permeable — which means potential allergens can enter the bodily tissues more easily. While the scientists say more research is needed to confirm this effect in humans, the intestinal effects of skin-scratching they’re describing already has a name: Leaky gut syndrome.
Gut and skin health collide
Leaky gut syndrome is a common cause of many health problems, and though mainstream medicine tries to sweep this common issue under the rug, it can’t be ignored forever.
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Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by any number of health issues — and is also capable of producing a wide range of ill effects. One of the most notable problems with a leaky gut, however, is food intolerance or allergy.
For example, when gluten proteins enter intestines affected by leaky gut, they slip through the organ’s protective lining, and cause inflammation.
Past research has demonstrated that the health of the skin and gut are deeply connected. Specifically, researchers have found that poor intestinal health can lead to skin problems — and it makes perfect sense for that road to work both ways.
While mainstream medical professionals are twiddling their thumbs, natural health advocates suggest that probiotics are one of the best natural supplements to help improve gut and skin health. You can learn more about natural remedies for healthy skin and more at AlternativeMedicine.news.
Sources for this article include: