April’s Nutrient Spotlight is on Hair/Skin/Nails Ultra by Pure Encapsulations. Hair/Skin/Nails Ultra is the most comprehensive natural supplement I have come across, providing cofactors, building blocks, protection, and immune support for healthy hair, skin and nails.

Today I would like to talk prevention, as well as often-ignored reasons for skin issues, whether it be acne, psoriasis, rashes, or any persistent or episodic conditions of the skin.

If you have ever come to me asking for recommendations on a skin issue, I probably first asked you if there are any digestive conditions.

And even if you said no, I most likely took the conversation down the road of asking about food intolerances, consumption of high levels of dairy or grains and gluten. I also inquire if there are any foods to which you have a strong emotional connection (for example, those you can’t live without), or if there has been past antibiotic use. In the case of acne, this seems like a trick question, as acne is often treated with antibiotics.

You might have heard of the gut – brain connection, where the health of our digestive tract can influence our mood, behavior, and more. Well, there is also a gut – skin connection which has been recognized in our medical system since the 1930s, and much further back in history within older systems of medicine, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine.

If you think about it, both the intestines and our skin provide similar functions. They are both physical, chemical and antimicrobial defense systems against foreign invaders.

Both have permeability issues. When the intestines are afflicted with increased permeability, or even leaky gut syndrome, undigested food particles, proteins and other toxins slip through and make it to the blood stream. Systemic inflammation, and often an altered immune response, results. The skin can then become a mirror of what is going on in the intestinal tract.

Research indicates that unhealthy bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine is ten times more prevalent in people with acne rosacea than in healthy people, and that correction of the bacterial overgrowth leads to marked clinical improvement.

Similarly, a significant percentage of patients with digestive issues such as ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Celiac disease are also afflicted with skin manifestations. The common thread in nutritional support is quality probiotic supplementation.

As with almost everything, the formula is “out with the bad, and in with the good.”

This is why my recommendations are often the same when dealing with both digestive and skin issues; avoid or limit the highly intolerated foods such as dairy, grains and gluten and soy, and begin a quality probiotic.

More times than not, our bestselling Probiotic GI from Pure, which is always 25% off regular price, provides great benefit and is my probiotic of choice.

Remember how I mentioned acne and antibiotic therapy? If you are not replenishing the good bacteria from what the antibiotics are killing off, you are merely plugging the damn with bubble gum.

Stop by any Martin’s Pharmacy to take advantage of the best value in probiotics, Probiotic GI. If you are looking to support healthy hair, skin, and nails, Hair/Skin/Nails Ultra will be on sale for 25% off for the entire month of April.