Not Aging Well? Could Be Your Gut
Your gut, the “forgotten organ,” is finally starting to get some much needed attention. Your gut is the seat for your body’s immune system and is responsible for a number of metabolic functions that support healthy aging.
If you’re over 40, you probably already know (and feel) the importance of a healthy gut internally, but when your gut is in distress, it will throw signs all over your body inside and out, including your skin, hair, and even your hormones.
That Gut Feeling: Something’s Wrong
When gut health is ignored, you may be surprised by some of the consequences. Everything from bowel disorders to hair loss, to allergies, to skin issues can pop up. As we age, these consequences get more severe. Time to get your gut health under control.
The truth is, your gut can influence body processes both “within and distant from the gut”, so while you might be thinking you’re just tired, or have chronic headaches, or just not aging well, it could be that your gut is in a state of distress.
Over time, these signs will get harder to ignore.
6 Surprising Signs of Gut Distress
- Hair loss
- Skin issues
- Hormonal Imbalances
- System-wide inflammation
- Weight gain
If you feel that your intestinal health is way out of hand, of course it’s always best to get the advice of your doctor. Most times, however, gut health can be healed through nutrition.
2 Nutritional Combos That Boost Gut Health
While there is no singular thing that will bring total health to your gut, a good amount of research is pointing to the following combinations:
Combo #1: Probiotics & Fiber
We are starting with the obvious.
In a recent innovative study, "The Gut Microbiota of Healthy Aged Chinese Is Similar to That of the Healthy Young," researchers further discovered the importance of a healthy microbiome and its link to aging. Some of the participants of this study were as old as 100+ years having similar gut microbiota as healthy individuals in their thirties. This study suggests that maintaining a bacterially diverse microbiome is key to a healthy gut.
An easy and effective way to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut is with probiotics and fiber. A probiotic supplement with a variety of species may help seed your gut daily with healthy flora, and, fiber will be critical to providing "food" for the bacteria to feed on. When the formula is right, the healthy flora will multiply hundred-fold. Find yourself a good dietary supplement that contains a variety of probiotics and prebiotics (fiber) and take it daily.
Probiotics not only protect and support proper gut function, but have also been shown to help improve skin quality and even repair the effects of sun damage.
Combo #2: Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid
Studies are showing that collagen and hyaluronic acid is a magical combination for building excellent intestinal health as well. In line with these findings, cultures where people regularly eat high amounts of natural collagen and hyaluronic acid foods are known to live longer, healthier lives despite some chronic bad habits, such as, smoking and overexposure to the sun.
Read: The Hyaluronic Acid Diet
In our Western culture, diets are desperately deficient in both collagen and hyaluronic acid. In fact, the average person gets almost none of their protein intake from collagen protein, and this is problematic for aging. The result is premature aging of the skin, but also a loss of integrity of the intestinal wall and epithelium (fancy word for “intestinal lining”).
Gut Benefits From Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid:
- Stimulates and boosts natural collagen synthesis
- Provides the raw materials for the body to make natural collagen
- Supports proper gut acidity
Supporting the intestinal wall with a diet rich in collagen peptides and hyaluronic acid may also provide the building blocks to resist developing permeable gut (leaky gut).
Supplementing the diet with collagen and hyaluronic acid has never been easier than now. Elavonne’s Amino Collagen C with Hyaluronic Acid provides a perfect balance of these materials and from the most desirable, non-GMO sources.
Users report improved digestion and fewer symptoms of poor gut health after 3 months of consistent use.
Other Dietary Suggestions for Gut Health
In addition to your dietary supplements, it’s important to eat a balanced diet that your supplements can compliment. A few items that we favor are:
- Cabbage (red variety if possible)
Cabbage is a great source of hyaluronic acid, fiber, vitamin C and other excellent phytonutrients that boost collagen production and hyaluronic acid. Eat this raw, or pickled (like Kimchi) to get a probiotic boost as well.
- Sweet potato
An excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, hyaluronic acid and other collagen boosters.
Supply your body with healthy fat, friendly bacteria, polyphenols and phytosterols. If you don’t know what those are, just trust that they are good for you and they boost your body’s ability to make the good stuff.
- Raw nuts and flaxseeds
Healthy fats, fiber, and tons of natural vitamins to keep your collagen factory in motion.
Bottom Line on Gut Health and Aging
While gut research is still in its beginning stages, we already have mounting evidence to believe that supporting the gut plays a monumental role in aging well. If you're experiencing hair loss and skin issues along with any of the other signs of gut distress above, chances are you have some work to do in the area of gut health. Take a moment and decide to start on that journey now. There are no magic pills or quick remedies for healing the gut, but with time, attention, and little common sense, you can heal your gut and age like a champ!
Cites and References
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Aug 1;303(3):G377-88. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00034.2012. Epub 2012 May 3. Hyaluronic acid regulates normal intestinal and colonic growth in mice. Riehl TE, Ee X, Stenson WF.
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2012 Feb 1. Hyaluronic acid is radioprotective in the intestine through a TLR4 and COX-2-mediated mechanism. Riehl TE, Foster L, Stenson WF.
Dietary Hyaluronic Acid Migrates into the Skin of Rats. Mariko Oe, Koichi Mitsugi, Wataru Odanaka, Hideto Yoshida, Ryosuke Matsuoka, Satoshi Seino,1 Tomoyuki Kanemitsu, and Yasunobu Masuda 1R&D Division, Kewpie Corporation, 2-5-7 Sengawa Kewport, Sengawa, Chofu, Tokyo 182-0002, Japan 2ADME & Tox. Research Institute, Sekisui Medical Co., Ltd., 2117 Muramatsu, Tokai-mura, Naka-gun, Ibaraki 319-1182, Japan
Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2013 Sep. Gut Bacteria in Health and Disease Eamonn M. M. Quigley, MD, FRCP, FACP, FACG, FRCPI
Bian, Gaorui, Gregory B. Gloor, Aihua Gong, Changsheng Jia, Wei Zhang, Jun Hu, Hong Zhang, Jeremy P. Burton, Gregor Reid, Yongliang Xiao, Qiang Zeng, Kaiping Yang, Jiangang Li. "The Gut Microbiota of Healthy Aged Chinese Is Similar to That of the Healthy Young."mSphere(2017) DOI: 10.1128/mSphere.00327-17
Sci Transl Med. Sci Transl Med. 2015 May 6. Collagen degradation and MMP9 activation by Enterococcus faecaliscontributes to intestinal anastomotic leak.
J Clin Pathol. 2003 Nov;56(11):817-20. Serum laminin and collagen IV in inflammatory bowel disease.
PLoS One. 2014 Nov 4;9(11). L-Glutamate supplementation improves small intestinal architecture and enhances the expressions of jejunal mucosa amino acid receptors and transporters in weaning piglets
International Journal of Women's Dermatology. Volume 1, Issue 2, June 2015, Pages 85-89. The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging.
ReseachGate. December 2009. Probiotics for Skin Benefits.