The Roundup

Roundup

Here is The Roundup, Edition 38, bringing you the best from around the web from the past two weeks!

Blast from the Past

The stress-skin connection is becoming better understood by science. New research shows that the nervous system and stress affect inflammatory skin conditions in humans – something we all understand anecdotally but often forget when trying to treat skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and more. After all, has a dermatologist ever told you to do yoga to help cure your acne? 

As explained in this article: 

Many types of cells in the skin, including immune cells and endothelial cells (cells that line blood vessels), can be regulated by neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, which are chemicals released by the skin’s nerve endings. Stress can result in the skin’s nerve endings releasing an increased level of these chemicals. When this occurs, it can affect how and at what level our body responds to many important functions, such as sensation and control of blood flow, and can contribute to the symptoms of stress that we feel. In addition, the release of these chemicals can lead to inflammation of the skin.

This is a great overview of how both acute and chronic stress can exacerbate skin conditions and lead to flare ups, even if other lifestyle factors like diet and skincare are well managed. I’ve talked about the Gut-Brain-Skin Axis before, and have explained how stress can affect both our gut health and our skin health in different ways. And while a nutrient-dense diet is extremely beneficial for addressing chronic skin issues, like many other chronic conditions, even the best diet can’t account for the damage and inflammation caused by poorly managed stress.

So if you’re trying to get frustrating skin conditions under control and have overhauled your diet and skincare routine without getting the results you were hoping for, you may need to consider the role that stress plays in these conditions. It’s crucial to practice evidence-based stress management techniques to take a more holistic approach to skin health. Your skin – and the rest of your body – will thank you!

Research Report

  • Research shows that people taking weight loss supplements allow themselves to eat more.
  • After just 7 days of sleep restriction, testosterone levels decreased by 10—15% in young men in this study.
  • Interesting new study: Early exposure to antibiotics disrupts lifelong metabolic health in mice.
  • Maternal nutrition during early pregnancy affects a baby’s lifelong health, according to research.
  • The Western diet starves our friendly gut bacteria—with serious consequences.
  • This is the first study to show that the “right” gut microbes influence exercise performance.
  • Time to start targeting inflammation in the treatment of type 2 diabetes using a paleo diet.
  • A randomized trial shows that mindfulness meditation is effective for insomnia.
  • You are what your grandmother ate—a new study shows inherited effects of undernourishment during pregnancy.

Worth A Look

  • Take a vacation, stay-cation or mental holiday and your brain will thank you.
  • 7 may be the new 8—but active people need way more sleep to improve their performance and stay healthy.
  • The Ancestral RDs talk about treating SIBO using diet and supplements, and how to choose alcohol that fits your health needs.
  • Why is LeBron James suddenly skinny? He cut carbohydrates from his diet.
  • Farmed or wild fish? Domestic or imported? Learn how to choose fish with this New York Times article.
  • Why, specifically, are Americans so stressed out? Work, family, and health are some of the top reasons on this list.
  • Consistency is key to maximum health benefits from a running regimen, even if running just 5 minutes a day.

For the Foodies

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  1. bob says

    interesting article. stress affects EVERYTHING.

    the article makes me wonder about another under-appreciated, under-researched factor in skin health: the ecology of the skin micro-biome.

    I rather suspect the the coming years will see a lot more work on this, and we will discover a lot more complex interrelationships which suggest lifestyle factors as more efficacious approaches to long term improvement.

    Any frequent reader here will be aware that science is now learning that certain dietary habits and use of antibiotics can sometime bring about short term improvements to many health problems, but these practices can also lead to long term imbalances in the gut micro-biome that cause serious long term health problems.

    In the same way, I suspect we will discover that lifestyle habits such as frequent cleansing and exposure to various personal care products and medical treatments with topical antibacterials and antibiotics may help certain things in the short run, but can lead to long term imbalances in a micro-biome whose importance to overall health in ways previously not understood.

    I also often wonder about how much the skin micro-biome interacts with the gut. Since going paleo 3-4 years ago, my gut seems to have re-established a much more natural diversity and stability, and my general health is vastly improved.

    That said, I still am rather vulnerable to skin fungal imbalances, chiefly tinea versicola in hotter weather. I suspect there is some linkage between micro-biota of the gut and the skin, indirectly through the immune system and other such pathways, or directly thought the mouth (another vastly complex and under-studied microbial environment!).

    Chris, I wonder if you’ve any thoughts on this or are aware of any interest research or theories. Have any big-data studies projects such as the human micro biome project looked into correlations and interactions between gut and skin?

  2. Erin says

    I struggled with acne for almost 20 of my adult years (5 of those on a Paleo diet) and have recently started to have clear skin. The difference? Going AIP for my Hashimoto’s, taking zinc, and getting acupuncture for stress. I think acupuncture was the key.

  3. Karl says

    LeBron James and other players’ weight loss are probably from stopping HGH, because the NBA is will start testing for it now.

  4. Wenchypoo says

    I didn’t have rosacea until menopause and the hot flashes. Now I control both with adequate fat and black currant seed oil (an anti-inflammatory).

    They say coconut oil works wonders on the brain, and they’re RIGHT–hot flashes are basically the body’s cry for fuel, so I feed it.

    • helen blanchard says

      Am I correct in thinking if I use coconut oil it will reduce hot flushes? what forms can this be used in? thanks helen

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