Category: Skin Care

20 Types of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are essential for gut health because they keep free radicals at bay. While our body creates different types of antioxidants internally, our system needs a little extra help. Therefore, we can find many antioxidants in our food sources. However, not all antioxidants work the same, nor are they present within the same foods. So, it’s essential to know your types of antioxidants, and which foods in the Thryve Inside healthy gut diet plan have them.

 

Why Are Antioxidants Important?

 
Antioxidants are our body’s greatest defense against free radicals [1]. Free radicals are loose compounds in the system that looks to pair with any molecule, electron, or ion for they can find. These unplanned reactions cause what science calls “oxidative stress.
 
Oxidative stress can be a ticket to chemotherapy
Oxidative stress destroys protein, DNA, and cells. If oxidative stress persists, it can become a leading cause of several long-term problems, including gastroenterology diseases and stomach cancer.
 
A free radical typically has a short life span. That’s because antioxidants stop them from causing oxidative stress on the system. However, the Standard American Diet (SAD) doesn’t supply enough antioxidant-rich foods to prevent this occurrence.
 
A recent article by Time Magazine looked at the lack of antioxidants in a typical American diet [2]. They interviewed Jeffrey Blumberg of Tufts University. He is the Director of Antioxidants Research in their Nutrition Program.
 
Jeffrey Blumberg told the magazine,
 

“The average adult should be consuming 15 mg of vitamin E daily, but more than 90% of people fail to eat that amount, and most people only get about half the recommended dose from their diet.”

– Jeffrey Blumberg
Vitamin C and Vitamin E are just two of thousands of antioxidants. Here are 20 types of antioxidants you should know about, and how to include them in your diet.

 

Categories of Types of Antioxidants

 
Optimal wellness hinges on consuming a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods. Rule of thumb, opt for foods of various colors. Chances are that specific antioxidant-rich minerals dictate the colors.
 
types of antioxidants
Eat a variety of food colors to get the most types of antioxidants
Before we get into the types of antioxidants you should get in your diet; we should point out that antioxidants are broken down into categories that can be rather complex.
 
We might get into these in a future article, but that’s another rabbit hole for another day.
 
So, we’re not going to get deeply into classifications. Instead, we’re just going to discuss types of antioxidants and where you can find them!

 

Types of Antioxidants

 
While there are thousands of antioxidants out there, you can still get enough to fight off free radicals through diet. All you need to do is followed a balanced healthy gut diet plan all week long, picking foods from each of the 20 types of antioxidants.

 

Allium Sulfur Compounds

 
These compounds are responsible for that tangy-yet-bitter taste and pungent aroma we love and hate in onions and garlic. Research indicates that these fragrant compounds help stop the growth of opportunistic bacteria. In fact, they went as far as to suggest allium leaves as an all-natural preservative [3].
 
Sources of allium sulfur compounds include:
• Onions
• Garlic
• Leeks
• Chives
 
If you have Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO), excessive intake of alliums may upset GI problems. Learn how to navigate these waters by reading up on having SIBO while following a vegan diet.

 

Anthocyanins

 
These are colorful antioxidants. You know a food is rich in anthocyanins if they have hues that range from dark red to vibrant purple to black.
 
types of antioxidants
Excellent sources of anthocyanins and allium sulfur
Anthocyanins-rich foods include:
• Eggplant
• Black Rice
• Raspberries
• Blackberries
• Blueberries
• Grapes
 
These pigments are essential for strengthening gut-brain-axis. One study involving subjects with a spinal injury saw a 16.7% improvement in their blood-brain barrier with a treatment of anthocyanins [4].

 

Beta-Carotene

 
This organic compound is the precursor to Vitamin A. Therefore, beta-carotene is helpful in everything from skincare to eye health.
 
Foods rich in beta-carotene include:
• Mangoes
• Carrots
• Apricots
• Parsley
• Sweet Potatoes
 
Getting more beta-carotene in your diet will also help boost your immune system. So, eating these types of antioxidants will have you looking good and feeling great.

 

Catechins

 
These are the antioxidants that everyone likes to drink. You can find catechins in many plant-based beverages.
 
red wine types of antioxidants
Drink in moderation, of course!

Some catechin-rich food choices include:
• Cocoa
• Wine
• Green Tea
 
The most effective way to get catechins is through green tea. By heating up the leaves, it releases tannic juice from catechins [5]. These juices help with digestion. That’s why we suggest drinking tea for Leaky Gut Syndrome and other GI problems.

 

Copper

 
Copper is essential for the body because it helps your system produce red blood cells. These are the pawns in our system that clear our debris such as dead cells and free radicals. Thanks to copper, we have the blood cells needed to keep our heart and skin healthy and strong.
 
Foods rich in copper include:
• Liver
Spirulina
• Lobster
• Dark Chocolate
• Shiitake Mushrooms
• Oysters
 
While using copper mugs may seem like a good solution, you might want to be careful of what you put in the cup. Research shows that high pH beverages, such as some alcoholic drinks, can cause copper to leach into the liquid [6]. This reaction may cause food poisoning.

 

Cryptoxanthins

 
Cryptoxanthins aren’t as scary as the name sounds. That is, unless you are free radicals! These types of antioxidants have shown great promise in helping with nutrient absorption and metabolism [7]. Therefore, your body is primed to take on invaders.
 

Get slicin’!

You can get a hefty dose of cryptoxanthins in:
• Mandarin Oranges
• Red Bell Peppers
• Pumpkins
• Papaya
• Egg Yolk
• Butter
 
As you may have noticed, many of these foods fall within the red-orange hues. You can thank cryptoxanthins for that pretty pigmentation.

 

Flavonoids

 
These are the largest groups of phytonutrients. There are at least 6,000 different flavonoids known to humankind. Other types of antioxidants on this list may classify as a flavonoid, such as anthocyanins and isoflavonoids. However, we promised not to go down that rabbit hole today!
 
types of antioxidants
Pop a sprout!
You can receive a wide range of flavonoids in:
• Onions
• Kale
• Brussels Sprouts
• Strawberries
• Parsley
• Tea
 
You want to be sure to get plenty of flavonoids in your diet. Research indicates they have strong neuroprotective abilities. One study indicated those who consumed flavonoids had a 50% lesser chance of developing dementia [8].

 

Indoles

 
This antioxidant is widely found in nature. It can even be created by bacteria. Therefore, getting indoles in your diet should be easy.
 
Sources of indoles include:
• Broccoli
• Cabbage (Bump Up the Benefits and Ferment to Make Kraut)
• Cauliflower
• Turnips
• Mustard Seed
 
Indoles are linked to cancer prevention. This plant hormone has shown to prohibit the growth of prostate cancer cells [9]. So, be sure to eat your leafy greens!

 

Isoflavonoids

 
You may have noticed that we name-dropped these types of antioxidants earlier. These compounds are also known as phytoestrogens. Therefore, these food sources may be great for people with hormonal imbalances, including women going through menopause.
 
Great Meal Swap for
Taco Tuesdays!


Phytoestrogen foods include:
Soybeans (Tofu, Edamame, Tempeh)
• Chickpeas
• Pistachios
• Peanuts
 
If you are a man dealing with infertility issues, you may want to eat a little less of these products. However, don’t cut them off completely. You still need isoflavonoids for a robust immune system.

 

Lignans

 
These antioxidants serve dual purposes. Not only are they antioxidant-rich, but lignans are great sources of prebiotics. Beneficial stomach bacteria consume polysaccharides (sugars) in these plant-based foods.
 
You can find lignans in:
• Barley
• Sesame Seeds
• Rye
• Flaxseed
• Cashews
 
In addition, lignans have an abundance of the essential fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). An analysis of this amino acid looked at several studies spanning 250,00 people. Researchers discovered that increased intake of ALA saw a 14% decreased risk of heart disease [10].

 

Lutein

 
Lutein is well-known for assisting our body in maintaining eye health. That’s because this antioxidant helps filter out harmful blue light rays emitted from the sun [11]. This blue light can destroy cells and even throw off your sleep cycles.
 
lutein types of antioxidants
Loads of lutein!
Find lutein in food sources such as:
• Kale
• Parsley
• Spinach
• Tomatoes
• Peas

You can also find this antioxidant in many eye supplements. So, if you are looking for types of antioxidants to add to your eye vitamin regimen, be sure to add lutein to the list.

 

Lycopene

 
These types of antioxidants are responsible for the reddish hue of tomatoes. In fact, tomatoes account for 80% of the average human lycopene consumption [12].
 
However, you can also find lycopene in:
• Watermelon
• Papaya
• Grapefruit
Lycopene is excellent for protecting the skin and rejuvenating sun-damaged cells. However, you should watch your lycopene levels if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Manganese

 
This element is derived from an antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD). Manganese plays a pivotal role in how SOD helped fight the development of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis [13].
 
Get your manganese on!
You can find this trace mineral in foods, including:
• Pecans
• Almonds
• Acai Berries
• Pineapples
• Brown Rice
• Pinto Beans
• Whole Wheat Bread
 
Getting your manganese intake shouldn’t be hard. Our body doesn’t require much of it. So, be sure to eat up on these foods once or twice per week.

 

Polyphenols

 
These are some of the most common antioxidants. Polyphenols have shown they help boost cells that have been damaged by radiation or destroyed by pathogens, such as harmful intestinal flora [14]. There are so many types of antioxidants under the polyphenol classification. So, we won’t focus on only one.
 
Get an abundance and variety of these antioxidants in:
• Oregano
• Thyme
• Cherries
• Red Grapes
• Artichokes
• Coffee
 
So, brew some coffee, add some spices to your dishes, and eat your dark red fruits. These little changes will ensure you are getting a bevy of polyphenols in your diet.

 

Selenium

 
Selenium is another trace element with antioxidant capabilities. Research shows that this essential mineral helps fight off excess reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (NOS) [15]. These are two catalysts for free radical growth.
 
Can up some selenium
Get selenium from foods, such as:
• Brazil Nuts
• Eggs
• Mushrooms
• Pork
• Lentils
Sardines
• Cottage Cheese
 
As you can see, selenium is found in a wide variety of foods. However, selenium supplements are an excellent way of getting this trace mineral into your system regularly.

 

Vitamin A

 
The benefit of Vitamin A isn’t that far from beta-carotene. This essential vitamin has become a regular addition to many skin and eye care supplements. It also goes a long way in strengthening hair follicles.
 
Get plenty of Vitamin A by eating:
• Carrots
• Sweet Potatoes
• Liver
• Egg Yolk
 
You can also up your Vitamin A intake by applying it topically. There are plenty of Vitamin A oils out there that help clear out the sebaceous glands. When these get clogged up with dirt and oil, we end up with irritated and puffy skin. By eating Vitamin A, you nourish the gut-skin-axis, making for a healthier glow.

 

Vitamin E

 
Of the types of antioxidants, perhaps none is more synonymous with wound repairs than Vitamin E. Vitamin E is popular in the cosmetic industry as it helps strengthen the skin barrier. It also speeds up the healing process. That’s why many use Vitamin E oil for scar therapy.
 
A great Vitamin E-rich app
Get Vitamin E from foods, such as:
• Shrimp
• Kiwi
• Avocados
• Extra Virgin Live Oil
• Squash
 
As you may have noticed, many of these colors have an olive green-like color. If you stick to food with nature-esque hues, you can probably score a good amount of Vitamin E.

 

Vitamin C

 
Perhaps this is the most well-known antioxidant. Vitamin C is the mascot for the cough and cold aisle. You’ll find it in everything from throat lozenges to seltzers to cough syrups.
 
Foods abundant in Vitamin C include:
• Oranges
• Black Currants
• Mangoes
• Spinach
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Kale
 
You can get Vitamin C in a lot of fruits and vegetables. Save money on over-the-counter meds. Instead, be sure to stock up on produce when cold or flu season is upon us.

 

Zinc

 
This element is the best friend of Vitamin C in that cold aisle we talked about. We depend on this compound to help boost our immune system, DNA synthesis, and to promote cell growth [16].
 
types of antioxidants
It’s okay to be full of shiitake
Zinc is readily available in foods, such as:
• Pork
• Oatmeal
• Shiitake Mushrooms
• Avocados
• Chicken
 
Additionally, low zinc levels have been linked to decreased sperm counts [17]. If you are a man who has trouble with infertility, make sure you are getting enough zinc-rich foods in your diet.

 

Zoochemicals

 
These types of antioxidants are actually all animal-based. They reflect many of the phytochemicals that we discussed before.
 
Healthy sources of zoochemicals include:
• Wild-caught Salmon
• Free-range Chicken
• Grass-fed Beef
• Liver
• Sardines
 
Zoochemicals contain a litany of essential fatty acids. Therefore, many eat zoochemicals for heart health and to boost their brainpower.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A., & Chandra, N. (2010). Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacognosy reviews, 4(8), 118–126. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.70902.
 
[2] Alexandra Sifferlin. “The Truth About Antioxidants.” Time, Time, 6 Aug. 2013, healthland.time.com/2013/08/06/the-truth-about-antioxidants/.
 
[3] LilianaGîtina. “Sulfur Compounds Identification and Quantification from Allium Spp. Fresh Leaves.” Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, Elsevier, 20 May 2014, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949814000544.
 
[4] Khoo, H. E., Azlan, A., Tang, S. T., & Lim, S. M. (2017). Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food & nutrition research, 61(1), 1361779. doi:10.1080/16546628.2017.1361779.
 
[5] Chung, K T, et al. “Tannins and Human Health: a Review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 1998, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9759559.
 
[6] Kumer, Emma. “The Hidden Danger Behind Moscow Mule Copper Mugs.” Taste of Home, 14 Apr. 2018, www.tasteofhome.com/article/the-hidden-danger-behind-copper-moscow-mule-mugs/.
 
[7] Burri, B. J., La Frano, M. R., & Zhu, C. (2016). Absorption, metabolism, and functions of β-cryptoxanthin. Nutrition reviews, 74(2), 69–82. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuv064.
 
[8] Commenges, D, et al. “Intake of Flavonoids and Risk of Dementia.” European Journal of Epidemiology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 2000, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10959944.
 
[9] Katz, E., Nisani, S., & Chamovitz, D. A. (2018). Indole-3-carbinol: a plant hormone combatting cancer. F1000Research, 7, F1000 Faculty Rev-689. doi:10.12688/f1000research.14127.1.
 
[10] Pan, An, et al. “α-Linolenic Acid and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Society for Nutrition, Dec. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23076616.
 
[11] “Lutein & Zeaxanthin.” American Optometric Association, www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/lutein.
 
[12] May, Mary Elizabeth. “What’s Lycopene?” What Is Lycopene?, National Capital Poison Center, 31 July 2019, www.poison.org/articles/lycopene-171.
 
[13] Bae, Sang-Cheol, et al. “Inadequate Antioxidant Nutrient Intake and Altered Plasma Antioxidant Status of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Aug. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12897046.
 
[14]Pandey, K. B., & Rizvi, S. I. (2009). Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2(5), 270–278. doi:10.4161/oxim.2.5.9498.
 
[15] Tinggi U. (2008). Selenium: its role as antioxidant in human health. Environmental health and preventive medicine, 13(2), 102–108. doi:10.1007/s12199-007-0019-4.
 
[16] Roohani, N., Hurrell, R., Kelishadi, R., & Schulin, R. (2013). Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 18(2), 144–157.
 

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SIBO and Acne: How Gut Bacteria Dictate Skin Conditions

Acne is a serious pain…in the gut. The reflection we see in the mirror is a reflection of what’s going on in our microbiome. Recently, scientists have begun to uncover the truth behind acne, and it’s more in-depth than just using the right facial cleanser. Research suggests there is a correlation between SIBO and acne [1].
 
What is this gastro disease, and how does it affect your skin? Let’s take a close look at the SIBO and acne connection and how to prevent other skin conditions through the gut-skin-axis.

 

The Problem with Acne Skin Care

 
It can often seem like there are a million different topical products to help cure this skin condition. Often these products don’t work. At most, they don’t work well. In fact, some may feel like they’re working in reverse.
 
sibo and acne
Might wanna slow down with that
Many cosmetic companies use ethanol as an astringent to kill the bacteria that are causing acne.
 
This process was all the rage in the 90s when Stridex pads were a thing. However, many teens with sensitive skin noticed very quickly that these products would dry out their skin.
 
We now know that excessive use of these products can cause more harm to the skin than good, including drying the skin out.
 
One analysis stated,
 

“Topically applied ethanol acts as a skin penetration enhancer and may facilitate the transdermal absorption of xenobiotics (e.g. carcinogenic contaminants in cosmetic formulations). Ethanol use is associated with skin irritation or contact dermatitis, especially in humans with an aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) deficiency [2].”

J Occup Med Toxicol
The truth about what causes acne lies in our gut. One specific gut condition, in particular, has been linked to the development of acne.
 
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO for short, has been associated with the condition acne vulgaris in recent years. This finding is revolutionizing the way we view and even treat skin conditions.

 

What is SIBO? 

 
SIBO is essentially the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine that should be lower down in the large intestine [3]. That means toxins aren’t leaving the system. Instead, they’re coming back in…and then some.
 
Symptoms from SIBO can range from mild to severe. In more extreme cases, SIBO can lead to malabsorption. Most commonly, people experience an array of debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms.
 
Common GI problems associated with SIBO include:
Bloating
• Indigestion
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
 
There are many factors at play when it comes to developing SIBO. For the most part, this isn’t an overnight occurrence.
 
blowing nose
Always sick? Is it your gut?
Some of the most common causes of SIBO include:
• Decrease in Stomach Acid
• Low Intestinal Motility
• Decreased Immune System Function
• Structural Abnormalities in the Gut
• Round of Antibiotics
 
Bacteria that overgrow can cause wreak all types of havoc on the gut biome, depending on the species that are present. These stomach bacteria can cause leaky gut, triggering inflammation. Inflammation is where the SIBO and acne connection begins.

 

SIBO and Acne

 
Low stomach acid (Hypochlorhydria) and constipation have been associated with acne for a long time. Now research shows that these two GI problems are closely related to the development of SIBO too.

 

Malabsorption of Food and Skincare

 
foodie
Are you getting all the benefits?
Stomach bacteria responsible for SIBO can cause malabsorption of foods. These greedy fiends are eating up all the nutrients that our probiotic bacteria need to flourish.
 
Research indicates that this malabsorption has been linked to the development of acne.
 
One study noted the causes of acne, stating,
 

“Zinc, folic acid, selenium, chromium and omega-3 fatty acids are all examples of nutrients which have been shown to influence depression, anger and/or anxiety. These same nutrients, along with systemic oxidative stress and an altered intestinal microflora have been implicated in acne vulgaris [5].”

Med Hypotheses.
So, missing out on crucial nutrients influences not only the gut-skin relationship but also the gut-brain-axis. These findings only lend more credence to the importance of maintaining your gut health.

 

Malabsorption and Inflammation

 
Malabsorption of nutrients also creates oxidative stress on the gut biome. Inevitably, the immune system jumps to the response, sparking inflammation.
 
As we discussed, one of the many symptoms of inflammation is skin issues. That theory is strengthened by the recent evidence pointing to the strong correlation between SIBO and acne.

 

SIBO and Toxins

 
SIBO can also cause toxins to build-up in the intestine. These toxins have been shown to cause leaky gut.
 
leaky gut check list
Go through the Leaky Gut Checklist
 
Leaky gut perpetuates systemic inflammation, ultimately contributing to acne.
 
An analysis looking at the gut biome and acne noted,
 

“Disruption in the intestinal barrier contributes to this feedback loop by allowing the penetration of poorly digested food, microbes, and toxins into the circulation to reach target tissue, including the skin, where they trigger Th2 immune responses resulting in further tissue damage [6].”

Front Microbiol.
As several studies keep pointing out, SIBO triggers inflammation, which results in leaky gut and acne. Therefore, the SIBO and acne relationship seems like a never-ending cycle. That is, unless you fight fire with fire.

 

SIBO and Acne…and Probiotics Supplements

 
Probiotics are well known to improve the overall health of the microbiome, but do they have a place in acne treatment? Well, research seems to indicate so. Long before probiotics were even called “probiotics,” two scientists named Stokes and Pillsbury used a fermented milk beverage with cod liver oil to help treat acne [7]!

 

Probiotics and Inflammation

 
Recently, there have been a handful of studies showing that probiotics can improve acne symptoms. Namely, studies are looking at how probiotics regulate immune responses.

 

One analysis found,
 

“Several strains of Lactobacillus also demonstrate anti-inflammatory properties. The addition of Lactobacillus paracasei NCC2461 has been shown to inhibit neutrogenic inflammation in a skin model, and the addition of L. paracasei NCC2461 to lymphocyte culture has been shown to strongly inhibit the proliferative activity of CD-4 + T-cells in a dose-dependent manner and to induce the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and TGF-beta [8].”

Int J Womens Dermatol.
Furthermore, probiotics have been shown to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress [9]. As we discussed earlier, these innate responses are two main contributors to acne. All of these factors suggest that probiotics supplements may be an effective way to support your skincare routine.

 

Prebiotics and Acne

 
Not only may probiotics help SIBO and acne, but the foods they consume might as well. One study noted that prebiotics play a role in fighting systemic inflammation [10]. As we noted earlier, systemic inflammation may result in leaky gut, which can trigger acne flareups.
 
gut health diet
Probiotics: Glow Inside and Out
Prebiotics are essential for healthy bacteria to colonize the gut biome. They are also rich in nutrients that are pivotal for optimal wellness.
 
That’s why we help you craft a prebiotic-rich diet in the Thryve Inside Gut Health Program.
 
At Thryve, we offer a personalized probiotic supplement based on your microbiome. By creating a probiotic supplement specifically for you, we can help you achieve your health goals quickly and effectively. Acne is a pain. Luckily, there are tools to help.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Bowe, W. P., & Logan, A. C. (2011). Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?. Gut pathogens, 3(1), 1. doi:10.1186/1757-4749-3-1.
 
[2] Lachenmeier D. W. (2008). Safety evaluation of topical applications of ethanol on the skin and inside the oral cavity. Journal of occupational medicine and toxicology (London, England), 3, 26. doi:10.1186/1745-6673-3-26.
 
[3] Dukowicz, A. C., Lacy, B. E., & Levine, G. M. (2007). Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: a comprehensive review. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 3(2), 112–122.
 
[4] Reddymasu, Savio C, et al. “Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Are There Any Predictors?” BMC Gastroenterology, BioMed Central, 22 Feb. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20175924.
 
[5] Katzman, Martin, and Alan C Logan. “Acne Vulgaris: Nutritional Factors May Be Influencing Psychological Sequelae.” Medical Hypotheses, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17448607.
 
[6] Salem, I., Ramser, A., Isham, N., & Ghannoum, M. A. (2018). The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Frontiers in microbiology, 9, 1459. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01459.
 
[7] Ereaux L. P. (1938). FACTS, FADS AND FANCIES IN THE TREATMENT OF ACNE VULGARIS. Canadian Medical Association journal, 39(3), 257–261.
 
[8] Kober, M. M., & Bowe, W. P. (2015). The effect of probiotics on immune regulation, acne, and photoaging. International journal of women’s dermatology, 1(2), 85–89. doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2015.02.001.
 
[9] Mikelsaar, Marika, and Mihkel Zimer. “Lactobacillus Fermentum ME-3 – an Antimicrobial and Antioxidative Probiotic.” Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease Volume 21, 2009 – Issue 1, 14 Oct. 2008, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08910600902815561.
 
[10] Schiffrin, E J, et al. “Systemic Inflammatory Markers in Older Persons: the Effect of Oral Nutritional Supplementation with Prebiotics.” The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17985062.
 

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Benefits of Collagen for Leaky Gut and Skin Health

You may have heard of using collagen in beauty regimens. However, the benefits of collagen far exceed wrinkle treatments and lip plumpers. Benefits of collagen also include your gut health. That’s why collagen is one of the best supplements for Leaky Gut Syndrome.
 
However, what’s good for the gut is also good for the skin. Thanks to the gut-skin-axis, the skin microbiota is deeply affected by the state of our gut. Therefore, collagen truly is a great beauty tool, just, maybe not quite how you imagined it to be. Let’s take a closer a look at the benefits of collagen and how it can improve your health and beauty routine.

 

What is Collagen?

 
We owe a lot to collagen. It is the most abundant protein in our body [1]. Collagen is the primary component in connective tissues.
 
human anatomy
Collagen up all in there
Therefore, collagen’s vast presence throughout the system makes up around 35% of the total protein in our body.
 
You can find collagen in your:
• Blood Vessels
• Bones
• Muscles
• Organs
• Skin
• Tendons
 
There are sixteen forms of collagen. However, the 80 to 90% of a mammal’s body is comprised of Type I, Type II, and Type III collagen. This information is important for understanding the benefits of collagen.

 

Amino Acids in Collagen

 
These types of collagen have triple-helical structures. The reason for this unique structure is due to the three amino acids that give them their shape.
 
Amino acids found in collagen are:
• Glycine
• Proline
• Hydroxyproline
 
Seeing as amino acids are the building blocks of life, this explains why benefits of collagen include the gut lining and skin cells. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Benefits of Collagen for Skincare

 
There are many reasons to fall in love with collagen for your wellness routine. For one, it’s a great natural addition to your skin regimen. These benefits of collagen harken back to the amino acids that make up this protein.

 

Glycine and Skin Health

 
As we mentioned, there is an abundance of three amino acids found in collagen. One of those amino acids is glycine.
 
Glycine is one of the three amino acids that are necessary to create a potent antioxidant known as glutathione. Research on glutathione suggests it one of “the primary antioxidant enzymes” against free radicals [2].

 

Proline and Skin Health

 
Another constituent of collagen is proline.
Under construction


Proline is a powerhouse for skincare. It was one of the strongest cell rejuvenating amino acids.
 
Studies on proline find that it is essential in wound care. Research shows that proline liquid levels were 50% higher than plasma levels in the early stages of wound healing [3]. Seeing as plasma carries amino acids to the wounds, that must mean proline is the first up to start the repairs.
 
Furthermore, proline is present in all three stages of the wound-healing process! That makes this amino acid a great addition to your skin health routine.

 

Hydroxyroline and Skin Health

 
Looking to smooth our wrinkles or Varicose veins? Many people turn to collagen injections.
 
skin care benefits of collagen
Shine bright like a diamond
That’s because this protein’s high levels of hydroxyproline are ideal for smoothing out the skin.
 
On top of helping give skin a firmer structure, hydroxyproline also maintains moisture. Research shows that oral supplementation of this amino acid alleviates dry skin.
 
Proline helps the body maintain moisture. This protein draws in water to the skin’s surface.
 
On top of hydrating the skin, further analyses found proline also strengthened the nails of mammals [4].
 
Hydroxyproline is a nonessential amino acid. Your body can convert proline into hydroxyproline with the help of Vitamin C. However, our body has a harder time converting amino acids as we get older. This process becomes even more difficult as our collagen naturally decreases.

 

Benefits of Collagen for Leaky Gut Syndrome

 
Leaky Gut Syndrome is the most common gastrointestinal disorder. That’s because we all have some form of Leaky Gut. We develop Leaky Gut because poor diet, exercise, and dependency on medications destroy the gut lining over time. Thankfully, collagen can assist with healing a Leaky Gut.

 

Glycine and Gut Health

 
One of the biggest concerns about Leaky Gut Syndrome is that it can develop into a worse condition like Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). A common IBD diagnosis is ulcerative colitis. Research shows that glycine is a primary amino acid in defeating this gastro disease [5].
 
One study noted,
 

“Glycine has protected the intestinal injury caused by trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid or dextran sulfate sodium in chemical models of colitis. The epithelial irritation and damage caused by the trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid or dextran sulfate sodium were cured by glycine.”

Oxid Med Cell Longev.
Not only does glycine assist with healing colitis, but it also assists with rebuilding the gut lining. Therefore, consuming collagen can be a considerable preventative measure against developing gastroenterology diseases.

 

Proline and Gut Health

 
Feel better inside and out
Proline is a nonessential amino acid, but it’s essential for gut health.
 
Research shows that this influential amino acid can alter the gut biome and stomach bacteria within the colon [6].
 
In addition, proline helps the gut biome create mucus. That way, you have an easier time with the digestion of food.
 
With more mucus, you are less likely to experience feeling constipated or pain from gas in stomach.

 

Hydroxyproline and Gut Health

 
Not much research has been done on hydroxyproline and gut health. However, studies are starting to amp up. Recently, it was discovered that this amino acid is more influential in the gut biome than we realized.
 
Studies suggest that hydroxyproline may keep pathogenic stomach bacteria at bay. That makes collagen a great addition to anyone who is getting personalized probiotics supplements in the Thryve Gut Health Program.

 

How to Consume Collagen

 
You can ingest collagen with collagen powders. These are growing in popularity in the bodybuilding community because collagen can help you add muscles. After all, it’s one of the top proponents in them!
 
Others might skip the superfood smoothie route. Instead, they take collagen supplements. However, one of the most effective ways of consuming collagen is by making a bone broth.

 

How to Get Benefits of Collagen with Bone Broth

 
Making a bone broth is a great way to add collagen to your healthy gut diet plan. It’s really simple to make, sustainable for the environment, and comes with a load of benefits. Let’s take a closer look at why bone broth can help your skin and gut health and then share an easy bone broth recipe!

 

Collagen and Elastin Benefits

 
There are peanut butter and jelly. Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. Collagen and elastin. Like collagen, elastin is an excellent addition to your skin and gut health routine.
 
benefits of collagen in mirror
Look good, feel food.

Elastin is the second most dominant protein in our body. It is found in our connective tissue, usually in the same vicinity as collagen.
 
As the name implies, elastin brings elasticity to our skin. It also goes a long way in repairing damage in our gut lining.
 
Getting the benefits of collagen and elastin in one is what makes the bone broth more effective than over-the-counter remedies.
 
When you seep bones in the broth, the hard exterior will soften.
 
From there, collagen and elastin will leach onto the water molecules that comprise the broth. Therefore, your soup is enriched with both beneficial proteins.

 

How to Make Bone Broth

 
Making a bone broth is the best way to experience the benefits of collagen for repairing a Leaky Gut and improving your skin health. We highly recommend it to members of our Thryve Gut Health Program. Here is a simple bone broth recipe that will have your skin glowing and GI problems fade away.

 

Thryve Inside Beef Bone Broth Recipe

 
When you are making a bone broth, be sure you are using all organic and free-range ingredients. Using ingredients grown with pesticides can actually do more harm than good for your gut health.
 
You can use any type of bones. For this recipe, we are using bones from beef. However, you can mix and match with chicken, fish, or pork. That’s the fun part about crafting a healthy gut diet plan. You’ll find healthy choices that suit your tastes!

 

Ingredients

bone broth and benefits of collagen
All you need is scraps and you’re good to go!
• 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
• 2 Bay Leaves
• 2 cups Carrots, chopped
• 3 stalks Celery, chopped
• 2 pounds Free-Range Beef Bones
• 2 Garlic Cloves
• Ginger knob, peeled, diced
• 1 medium Onion, chopped
• 1 T Rosemary
• 1 Star Anise
• Turmeric Knob, Peeled, Diced
• Whole Black Pepper
• Filtered Water

 

Directions

1. Put all of the ingredients except filtered water into a big pot.
2. Cover completely with filtered water.
3. Simmer over medium-high heat. 
4. Once it barely bubbles, cover and simmer on low for 48 hours (24 hours for chicken. You can also refrigerate overnight and begin again in the morning).
5. After you’re done cooking, strain the bone broth through a cheesecloth. Compost scraps or use in a bone broth soup. Just remember to remove the bay leaf. 
6. Jar and refrigerate any leftovers.
7. Drink the bone broth as is, or use as a broth to cook. https://thryveinside.com
 
See? Not so hard! Ready to get more tips like this? Join the Thryve Gut Health Program today!

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Lodish, Harvey. “Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix.” Molecular Cell Biology. 4th Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/.
 
[2] Liguori, I., Russo, G., Curcio, F., Bulli, G., Aran, L., Della-Morte, D., … Abete, P. (2018). Oxidative stress, aging, and diseases. Clinical interventions in aging, 13, 757–772. doi:10.2147/CIA.S158513.
 
[3] Barbul, Adrian. “Proline Precursors to Sustain Mammalian Collagen Synthesis.” The Journal of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18806118.
 
[4] Vollmer, D. L., West, V. A., & Lephart, E. D. (2018). Enhancing Skin Health: By Oral Administration of Natural Compounds and Minerals with Implications to the Dermal Microbiome. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(10), 3059. doi:10.3390/ijms19103059.
 
[5] Razak, M. A., Begum, P. S., Viswanath, B., & Rajagopal, S. (2017). Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2017, 1716701. doi:10.1155/2017/1716701.
 

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Probiotics for Women: Rebuild Gut Flora Naturally

We know that probiotics can improve gut health. However, did you know that probiotics can be useful in battling yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and urinary tract infections? Probiotics for women are gaining a lot of traction in wellness circles. Let’s take a look at how to rebuild gut flora naturally with probiotics for women.

 

Vaginal Microbiome

 
The vaginal microbiome is mostly made up of intestinal flora from the Lactobacillus genus. Female hormones estrogen and progesterone support the growth of this beneficial species.
 
Lactobacilli help to maintain a healthy vaginal pH. Their presence assists the vaginal microbiome by killing off any harmful bacteria that could cause infection [1].
 
Gut health research suggests that targeted probiotics for women may positively impact the bacterial landscape of the vaginal microbiome by increasing the number of Lactobacillus [2, 3].
 
Let’s take a look at how these probiotics supplements are being used to support vaginal health and disease prevention.

 

Antibiotics and Yeast Infections

 
Approximately 73% of women report having symptoms of a yeast infection in the past [4]. When diagnosed, these women were mostly combating Candida overgrowth.
 
Not surprisingly, 35% of these said that their symptoms appeared after they had taken a course of antibiotics. We already know that antibiotics have devastating consequences on our gut microbiome [5]. Gut health research has shown that antibiotics have similar negative effects on the vaginal microbiome as well [4].

 

Why Probiotics for Women?

 
You may be thinking, “Okay, but aren’t there medication to treat vaginal yeast infections?” Yes, there is. Even with this medication, up to 8% of women report getting more than four yeast infections a year [6].
 
As the gut health research explained,
 

“In every age interval, the majority of women with presumed C vaginitis during the previous 2 months reported a history of at least one previous physician-diagnosed infection. The incidence of C vaginitis among women with a history of infection (10.7%) was 12 times higher than that observed among women with no history of infection (0.9%; odds ratio, 12.8; 95% CI, 6.4-26.3). “

Journal of the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association
In these situations, many women feel powerless and confused about what to do. It seems like a never-ending cycle. Thankfully, probiotics for women can help.

 

Lactobacillus and the Vaginal Microbiome

 
In a healthy vagina, there is an abundance of Lactobacillus bacteria that produce hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid. These stomach bacteria produce these organic compounds to keep the vagina infection-free [7].
 
Healthier biome, healthier body

Studies have shown that using specific probiotics supplements can strengthen the population of Lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina. Even though research in this field is still new, the initial results are still promising.
 
The use of probiotics has the potential to be a way to prevent recurrent yeast infections, and even to stop them from occurring in the first place [8].

 

Urinary Tract Infections and Gut Flora

 
Urinary tract infections (or UTIs) are the most common bacterial infection. Unfortunately, women are much more likely to get UTIs than men. In fact, 1 in 3 women is diagnosed with a UTI by the age of 26 [9].
 
Cranberries can be a gal’s bff
The standard treatment for UTIs is antibiotics, and this is an effective treatment.
 
So, If you were diagnosed with a UTI, you should always follow your doctor’s orders. Antibiotics are the only proven cure for a UTI.
 
However, as we mentioned, antibiotics may also pose a threat to your gut biome.
 
Make sure you take probiotics supplements if you are prescribed these medications.

 

Hope for Recurrent UTIs

 
Much like yeast infections, many women experience recurrent UTIs. Studies have shown that supplementing with specific stomach bacteria strains alongside prescribed antibiotics may create an environment where pathogens can’t grow [10].
The abstract states,
 

“Since a healthy vaginal microbiota is mainly dominated by Lactobacillus species, in this context, exogenously administered probiotics containing Lactobacilli play a pivotal role in reducing the risk of UTI. The concept of artificially boosting the Lactobacilli numbers through probiotic administration has long been conceived but has been recently shown to be possible. Lactobacilli may especially be useful for women with a history of recurrent, complicated UTIs or on prolonged antibiotic use. Probiotics do not cause antibiotic resistance and may offer other health benefits due to vaginal re-colonisation with Lactobacilli.”

Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
These findings can be beneficial since one cause of recurrent UTIs is that bad bacteria colonize the vagina and make their way into the urinary tract. That’s when they start to cause repeated infections [11]. Specifically targeted probiotics for women can change the bacterial landscape of the vagina, and therefore have their place within the realm of UTI prevention.

 

The Promise of Probiotics for Women

 
Targeted probiotics for women are showing promise in the prevention of vaginal yeast infections as well as UTIs. With so many women suffering from either a yeast infection or UTI (or both) at some point in their lives, it is important to be aware of all methods of prevention and supplemental treatment.
 
gut health diet
Probiotics for Women: Thryve Inside
Currently, the only clinically proven treatments for UTIs is antibiotics. Meanwhile, the only recommended treatment for vaginal yeast infections is antifungal medication. If your doctor prescribes you these medications, you need to take them.

 

For those who experience recurrent yeast infections or UTIs, it is important to take a look at options to strengthen your vaginal microbiome to prevent further infections. Even if you are currently on antibiotics or antifungals, it is still crucial to take care of your microbiome by taking probiotics
 
Additionally, it is important to continue the use of probiotics long after your initial treatment has ended. You need to give your new stomach bacteria time to colonize.

 

Microbiome Testing for Women’s Health

 
If you have never had a yeast infection or UTI, it is also essential to support your vaginal health through the use of probiotics to prevent disease. Many people believe that if they have not had a yeast infection or UTI that they do not need to worry about maintaining a healthy vaginal microbiome. However, as women age and hormone levels change, so does the makeup of the vaginal microbiome. This sentiment is especially true as women get closer to menopause [12].
 
Gut Test
Take the time to Thryve Inside

Preventative treatment is always a good idea when it comes to yeast infections and UTIs, no matter what age. For women, the microbiome is not limited to the gut. The vaginal microbiome and gut biome affect one another. When we look after one, it positively affects the other. Luckily, Thryve offers personalized probiotics that specifically target you, keeping all your microbiomes healthy.
 
If you had a round of antibiotics or get frequent yeast infections and UTIs, consider microbiome testing. At Thryve, we can send you an at-home gut microbiome test. That way, we can determine which stomach bacteria is allowing Candida overgrowth to transpire. Furthermore, we can replenish your gut biome with beneficial intestinal flora that will keep pathogens at bay.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Mendling W. (2016) Vaginal Microbiota. In: Schwiertz A. (eds) Microbiota of the Human Body. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 902. Springer, Cham.
 
[2] Reid, Gregor. “The Development of Probiotics for Women’s Health.” Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 6 Dec. 2016, www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/10.1139/cjm-2016-0733#.XWkEcihKi00.
 
[3] Cadieux P, Burton J, Gardiner G, et al. Lactobacillus Strains and Vaginal Ecology. JAMA. 2002;287(15):1940–1941. doi:10.1001/jama.287.15.1935.
 
[4] Pirotta, Marie V, et al. “‘Not Thrush Again!” Women’s Experience of Post-Antibiotic Vulvovaginitis.” The Medical Journal of Australia, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 7 July 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12831384.
 
[5] Iizumi, Tadasu, et al. “Gut Microbiome and Antibiotics.” Archives of Medical Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29221800.
 
[6] Foxman, Betsy, and Robin Barlow. “Candida Vaginitis: Self-Reported Incidence and Associated… : Sexually Transmitted Diseases.” LWW, Apr. 2000, journals.lww.com/stdjournal/Fulltext/2000/04000/Candida_vaginitis__Self_Reported_Incidence_and.9.aspx.
 
[7] Borges, Sandra, et al. “The Role of Lactobacilli and Probiotics in Maintaining Vaginal Health.” SpringerLink, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 30 Oct. 2013, link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00404-013-3064-9.
 
[8] Matthew E. Falagas, Gregoria I. Betsi, Stavros Athanasiou, Probiotics for prevention of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: a review, Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Volume 58, Issue 2, August 2006, Pages 266–272, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkl246.
 
[9] “Urinary Tract Infection (UTI).” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 30 Jan. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/urinary-tract-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20353447.
 
[10] Gupta, Varsha, and Deepika Nag. “Http://Www.ijmm.org/Article.asp?Issn=0255-0857;Year=2017;Volume=35;Issue=3;Spage=347;Epage=354;Aulast=Gupta#ref4.” Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2017, www.ijmm.org/article.asp?issn=0255-0857;year=2017;volume=35;issue=3;spage=347;epage=354;aulast=Gupta#ref4.
 
[11] Mabeck C. E. (1972). Treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infection in non-pregnant women. Postgraduate medical journal, 48(556), 69–75.
 

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The Science Behind Probiotics and Common Skin Problems

By Brenda Kimble, Nutritionist/Wellness Blogger
 
Oil cleansers, foaming cleansers, double-cleansing routines—we are obsessed with keeping our skin squeaky clean. Still, as focused as we are on all of that rubbing, wiping, rinsing and exfoliating, we do rely on a little extra grime to maintain both our complexions and our skin’s health.
Who doesn’t love edible beauty care?

We’re not talking about dirt, though. We’re talking about bacteria. Did you know there are millions of bacteria living on your skin [1]? Maintaining that flourishing ecosystem of bacteria is essential to avoiding breakouts, patches of dryness and oil slicks.
 
However, it’s not the only thing that counts. If you want to keep your epidermis clean, clear and most definitely under control, your skin’s microbiome isn’t the only one you should be worried about.

 

Skin Health Depends on Gut Health

 
Your skin is far from the only part of your body that contains bacteria. In fact, there are about as many bacteria in your body as human cells, if not more. Bacteria are, literally, everywhere [2]. The greatest numbers, however, are found in the intestines.
 
Most people are born with trillions of bacteria in their intestines. This crew isn’t just hanging around, either. Our gut puts them to work! Along with the digestive enzymes secreted by our organs, these bacteria help digest the food we consume, breaking it down into essential nutrients that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
 
Gut Health. Skin Health. It’s all about balance.

But that’s not the only role they play in the digestive system. Bacteria also produce chemicals that help regulate the immune response to foreign invaders.
 
The skin acts as part of the defense mechanism our bodies have against these invaders. In order to do this, though, skin cells must turn over rapidly. The bacteria in the gut can influence cellular regeneration.
 
While scientists aren’t sure how, exactly, the relationship works, they do know that the gut-skin axis exists [3]. Furthermore, when the bacterial balance in the gut is thrown off, that imbalance shows up in the skin.
 
Old skin cells can make your skin look opaque and dull. Skin cells that don’t turn over and slough off properly—hello, natural exfoliation—can also exacerbate acne on the skin’s surface.

 

What Can Damage Gut Flora?

 
The bacteria you’re born with tend to be a hardy bunch, but that doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. The balance between the “good” and the “bad” bacteria in your gut is essential to the way your intestines function, and there are many ways it can be undermined.
 
Take, for instance, a standard course of antibiotics.. Something that simple and routine can decimate the gut microbiome—and damage your skin health at the same time.
 
A variety of diseases and digestive problems can cause an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria, as well [4]. Irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, diverticulitis, diabetes, pancreatitis—these are just a sampling of chronic conditions that can create an environment in which “bad” bacteria flourish.

 

One Way to Improve Skin Health: Probiotics

 
The best way to determine which harmful bacteria are in your system is microbiome testing. By taking a gut health test, you can determine which bacteria you need to neutralize. Furthermore, Thryve can help you figure out which probiotic bacteria will help win that battle.
 
You can further help repopulate the good bacteria in your gut by eating foods that promote or contain probiotics naturally, like kimchi or yogurt, or by taking a probiotic supplement.
Probiotics are a whopping dose of live bacteria. The amount of bacteria in a dose is measured in CFUs, or colony-forming units.
 
A colony-forming unit is a scientific way to indicate the number of live and viable bacteria present in a product. Depending on the type of supplement you take, the CFUs can number in the millions or the tens of billions. Some supplements have as few as 1 million CFUs and as many as 100 billion CFUs.
 
Whether you take them as capsules, tablets or powders—or as a food or beverage, since you can find live active cultures in yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and other items—the bacteria will travel through your digestive system to your large intestine.
 
With the balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria restored, your gut microbiome will be able to function as it should. The mixture of original bacteria and supplementary bacteria will go to work and help with digesting your food, secreting important chemicals into your bloodstream and, yes, managing your skin’s maintenance and cellular turnover.

 

Probiotics Can Do What?

 
Even though science has only recently come up with the evidence to support theories about the relationship between gut health and skin health, doctors have been tossing the idea around for decades.
 
More than 70 years ago, dermatologists began considering the notion that Lactobacillus acidophilus—a common bacteria species in probiotics—could improve skin health. But that’s not the only way probiotics help the body [5].
 
Over the last few years, researchers have found that the skin-gut axis isn’t the only one that exists. There’s also a deeply entwined connection between the gut microbiome and the brain, as well as the immune system.
 
gut health diet
That probiotic glow!
What does this mean for you and probiotics? Well, in addition to probiotics boosting the health of your skin, they are also shown to reduce inflammation and improve mental health. As we know, both can show up in the mirror. Inflammation causes swelling, puffiness, and acne, while the stress caused by depression and anxiety can spur breakouts.
 
The more we dig in to the mysteries of the human body, the more we find that our body systems are interconnected. What impacts one impacts others, and that’s particularly true of our skin. Luckily, with probiotics on the table, there’s an easy way to look good, feel good and improve your overall wellness. How easy is that?
 
Brenda Kimble is a nutrition coach and wellness blogger from Austin, TX. She is also a mother of 2 daughters and a son. Her life’s goal is to encourage herself and others to live a more balanced lifestyle, incorporating healthier habits and exercise practices, which she does by connecting with people in her industry through her writing. When she is not working, she enjoys yoga and spending time with her family.

 

Click Here To View Resources

Resources

 

[1] Grice, E. A., & Segre, J. A. (2011). The skin microbiome. Nature reviews. Microbiology, 9(4), 244–253. doi:10.1038/nrmicro2537.
 
[2] “NIH Human Microbiome Project Defines Normal Bacterial Makeup of the Body.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 31 Aug. 2015, www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-human-microbiome-project-defines-normal-bacterial-makeup-body.
 
[3] Salem, I., Ramser, A., Isham, N., & Ghannoum, M. A. (2018). The Gut Microbiome as a Major Regulator of the Gut-Skin Axis. Frontiers in microbiology, 9, 1459. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01459.
 
[4] Dukowicz, A. C., Lacy, B. E., & Levine, G. M. (2007). Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth: a comprehensive review. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 3(2), 112–122.
 
[5] Bowe, W. P., & Logan, A. C. (2011). Acne vulgaris, probiotics and the gut-brain-skin axis – back to the future?. Gut pathogens, 3(1), 1. doi:10.1186/1757-4749-3-1.
 

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Guthack.Com Guest Post: 7 Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut

By: Nichelle Antoque, GutHack.Com
 
Many people underestimate gut health. However, gut health is critical for our overall well-being. Poor gut health can lead to major health issues such as autoimmune diseases, depression, chronic fatigue, diabetes, and obesity.
 

With our modern lifestyles, our gut health is deteriorating. A number of reasons that cause our gut health to deteriorate include lack of sleep, high-stress levels, processed foods, increased sugar intake, and medications. As a result of this, our gut health suffers along with our mental health, skin, cardiovascular health, immunity, and weight. We are even at a bigger risk of developing cancer. Let’s learn a bit more.
 
If you are uncertain about your gut health or suspect that you have an unhealthy gut, here are 7 common symptoms.
 

Weight Gain or Weight Loss

 
Unintentional weight changes are usually the signs and symptoms of an unhealthy gut. An unhealthy gut absorbs the nutrients that control our blood sugar levels and fat. If you have been gaining or losing weight and have made no changes to your diet or exercise routines, it could be signs of an unhealthy gut.

 

Skin Problems

 
Skin problems like eczema are linked to an unhealthy gut. Inflammation in the gut that’s caused by food allergies or an unhealthy diet can cause the skin to become irritated. These reactions lead to various skin conditions.

 

Digestive Issues

 
Digestive issues such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, Crohn’s Disease, heartburn, and even heartburn are the number one signs of an unhealthy gut. If you have experienced any of these digestive issues frequently, then it’s highly likely that your gut is unhealthy.

 

Sugar Cravings and a High Sugar Diet

 
If you consume a lot of sugar or sugary foods on a daily basis, the sugar starts to destroy all the good bacteria in your gut. By consuming sugar in large doses, you are feeding the unhealthy bacteria in your gut. Harmful bacteria begin to thrive on this, further causing sugar cravings.

 

Food Allergies and Intolerances

 
Food intolerances can be caused by poor bacteria in the gut. Your gut and immune system can react negatively to certain foods which can also cause other symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal pain.

 

Mental Health Issues

 
An unhealthy gut can cause various mental health conditions, such as depression, stress, anxiety, and moodiness. This is due to the fact that your body is unable to absorb certain nutrients.

90% of your serotonin is made in your gut.

This also causes a lack of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which is your happy hormones.

 

Autoimmune Diseases

 
Poor gut health causes the immune system to function poorly, which causes systemic inflammation. This is also another cause of autoimmune diseases. When your immune system functions poorly, it’s unable to fight off any of these diseases and the body starts becoming weaker.

 

Bottom Line

 
A healthy gut is key to overall well-being. It is required to maintain good cardiovascular health, brain health, and your immune system. There are a number of changes that you can make in your daily lifestyle to achieve good gut health, start by eating healthier foods and getting active.
 
Guthack.Com is all about discovering and examining safe alternative methods, backed by real research and testimonies, to reduce symptoms of IBD and IBS when standard procedures are so ineffective that even medical professionals admit there are no answers.
 
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Bacteria Strain With Cancer-Fighting Abilities Found in Skin Microbiota

Can the cure for cancer already be on your body? Think that sounds preposterous? What if we told that this cancer-fighting agent was actually a strain of bacteria? Well, we’re telling you research has found some promising news about all of these claims.
 

cancer research in cure for cancer

 
Sure, there is no cure for cancer but human skin cells contain a bacteria that can help stop cancer sells from dividing. Let’s take a look at this strain and what it might mean in the ongoing search for a cure for cancer.

 

Bacteria Can Fight Cancer?

 
There was a study recently published in Science Advances, a hub where scientific breakthroughs are posted by scientists. In this study,  the commensal strain of bacteria, Staphylococcus epidermis found on human skin was researched by a panel of scientists.
 

Staphylococcus epidermidis cure for cancer 

Staphylococcus epidermidis

 
One of the scientists that authored this piece was Dr. Richard Gallo of the Department of Dermatology at the University of California. As Dr. Gallo shared with The Guardian, “The presence of this strain may provide natural protection, or it might be used therapeutically to inhibit the growth of various forms of cancer.” Let’s take a deeper look as to how these scientists came to such a potentially game-changing conclusion.

 

Research on Bacteria and Cure for Cancer

 
Dr. Gallo and fellow scientists weren’t necessarily looking for a cure for cancer. In fact, they weren’t examining cancer at all. The original reason for this study was to examine skin bacteria and its antimicrobial properties.

 

6-hap cure for cancer
6-HAP on skin cells
 
During this research, the professionals discovered a strain of Staphylococcus epidermis that produced a molecule known as 6-N-hydroxyaminopurine (6-HAP). 6-HAP has the ability to inhibit the growth of an enzyme known as DA polymearse.
 
DNA polymearse helps copy the DNA of a cell, facilitating division and growth. While we want that process to happen for healthy cells, we don’t want the same for cancer cells.
 
cure for cancer
 
A study with mice found a promising potential cure for cancer. Some were injected with 6-HAP while others weren’t. The results found that 60% of the mice injected with 6-HAP had smaller tumors than those who weren’t injected with anything.
 
As Dr. Gallo theorized to Science News, the scientists believe that 6-HAP’s molecular structure has a lot to do for this bacteria strain’s cancer-fighting abilities. The molecule resembles adenine.
 

cure for cancer

Adenine

 
This is a nucleobase that is a key component of DNA structure. Dr. Gallo summed up these findings with, “Because of that structure, we wondered if it interfered with DNA synthesis.”

 

6-HAP and Cancer

 
As the scientists dug themselves deeper down the rabbit hole, they found even more interesting facts about 6-HAP. They discovered 6-HAP was able to inhibit the growth of many tumor cells. Using a Petri dish, the scientists tested melanoma and lymphoma cells with 6-HAP. Results prove  that this molecule may have strong cancer-fighting properties.
 

cure for cancer 

Melanoma Cells

 
Taking this logic, scientists added the strain of Staphylococcus epidermis that produced 6-HAP to the skin of mice. The mice were then put under UV light. Results found that mice exposed to Staphylococcus epidermis produced fewer skin tumors. They compared this to mice exposed to Staphylococcus epidermis that didn’t have 6-HAP producing microbes. Those mice amassed bigger tumors.

 

No Cure for Cancer Doesn’t Mean No Hope

 
While this research is promising, we are nowhere out of the park when it comes to find the cure for cancer. However, this is a promising start. As one of the scientists, Dr. Lindsay Kalan of the University of Wisconsin-Madison stated in the Science News article, “It is important to understand how the microbiome interacts with its human host before we can begin to manipulate it for disease treatment.”
 
That means as microbiome research continues to grow, we might one day have an answer to the cure for cancer. The weird thing is that solution might just be a strain of bacteria. But hey, with bacteria like phage being used as a therapeutic agent, anything is possible. The world of medicine is always evolving and we will always be here to keep an eye on it and to break it all down for you!

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10 Ways To Get Rid Of Acne

 
Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Some would even say the most important organ! Unlike other organs, you can touch and see your skin. As you can check the health of your skin on a daily basis, it is a great indicator of what’s happening inside your body.  Acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea are all skin conditions which can have the same root cause which is poor gut health and gut function.
 
The gut and skin are interdependent on each other. This contributes to something called the gut-skin axis. Both, the gut and the skin, are key defenders against pathogens invading from the external environment. Adding to this, both are big players in the neuroendocrine messaging system as they are linked to the brain via nerves, and have the ability to send messages to the other parts of the body indirectly.
 
Another similarity between the skin and the gut is that the skin has its own microbiome. The skin microbiome is as important to our health as the gut microbiome. Research has found the skin microbiome to be one of the most diverse microbiomes in the body.  It provides protection by acting as a barrier to potential issues. It is necessary to maintain a good balance between the commensal and pathogenic bacteria. 
 
The gut has a great impact on the skin but the brain is of significance as well. This leads to “the gut-brain-skin axis” theory. According to this theory, anxiety and stress lead to intestinal permeability and dysbiosis in the gut. This, in turn, contributes to skin inflammation. Since the gut and the skin interact, they have the ability to influence one another’s wellness. Your health is highly dependent upon the health of your skin and gut.
 
 
A healthy gut is a perfect route to achieve healthy skin. A healthy gut also means a healthy you! Here are some ways you can get flawless skin added with good health.
 

Eat More Veggies.

 
Vegetables provide your body with the required nutrients on a daily basis. They are the key to improve your general health. Many vegetables contain beta-carotene, which help reduce skin oils and are naturally anti-inflammatory.

 

Plenty of Prebiotic Rich Foods

 
Prebiotics are a type of non-digestible fiber. Prebiotics are often confused as probiotics. When prebiotic foods are digested they provide food for the good bacteria which are found in our gut. Rich sources of prebiotics are bananas, onion, garlic, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and whole grains.

 

Eat More Probiotics Foods

 
Rather than choosing probiotic supplements as your first preference for gut health, it is recommended opting for whole foods rich in probiotics. Aim to get probiotics from natural ingredients. Include foods which are a high source of probiotics, such as yogurt, and fermented foods like miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

 

Drink with Precaution

 
Excessive consumption of alcohol and aerated drinks have a negative impact on your overall health. Reduce consumption of such intoxicating drinks to attain clear skin. Increase consumption of water instead. Water is the most simple and beneficial thing you can gift your skin. Stay well hydrated and that will instantly give your skin a glow.

 

Cut Out on Junk

 
Processed, fatty, junk, and sugary foods are a big NO. Junk food should be completely eliminated or minimized in order to attain good skin. A diet with more junk food causes more breakouts.

 

Fiber Focus

 
Veggies are packed with fibers. Aim to increase overall fiber content, especially if your intake of fruit, vegetables, and legumes is low. Fibers provide a huge variety of compounds and nutrients that help improve gut health and in return skin health. Fibers can be found in whole grains, fruit, veggies, nuts, and legumes. This is why a lot of people focus on a plant-based diet for good health.

 

Take a Chill Pill

 
Stress is one of the major sources of all your health woes. Live a stress-free life and you will automatically notice how your skin is much more radiant and glowy.

 

Fruity Diet

 
Fruits are something you can never go wrong with! These sweet treats are the perfect source of nutrition to enhance your health. Fresh fruits have fiber and roughage. They also have natural water content. Fruits can be eaten directly or made into delicious smoothies. You can even apply the pulp on your skin as a face mask.

 

Sleep

 
Healthy 8-hour sleep is required to keep your body functioning. Follow an appropriate sleep cycle and give your body sufficient rest. This is very important to keep your body functioning properly.

 

Microbiome Testing

 
Seeing as the gut-skin axis is strong, to fix what’s going on on the outside, you need to heal what’s going on inside. Instead of aiming blindly, get to the source with an at-home gut health test kit.
 
At Thryve, we will figure out which stomach bacteria is causing symptoms of acne to persist. From there, we will formulate a personalized probiotic supplement to help bring balance back to your microbiome.
 
After, we will work with you on prebiotic-rich healthy gut diet plan. That way the probiotic stomach bacteria can Thryve Inside.
 
Disclaimer: The above article is sponsored by Thryve, the world’s first Gut Health Program that incorporates microbiome testing and personalized probiotics to ensure a healthier gut, happier life, and a brighter future.

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9 Hair Disorders to Watch Out For

 
For ages, men and women have flaunted their mane with pride and honour. More than anything else these have been an extension of their personality. Needless to say, this has led to quite some obsession over time.
 
In times when brains are just as important as brawn, one’s hair has definitely come into the spotlight. And there have been some issues with hair that have been recurring quite often. Though each person’s hair is different from the other in length, texture and colour, some of the problems seem to remain the same.
 
Our hair has an important structural as well as social function in a person’s life. It is composed of a tough protein called keratin, just like that of nails and hooves. The hair follicle anchors itself to the skin and gets all of its nourishment from the living cells beneath. The cells divide to build the hair shaft. There are blood vessels in the hair bulb which modify hair growth and structure during the different phases of one’s life.
 
There are a number of factors that come to play a role in the way our hair turns out. Besides just being a reflection of one’s health, hair remnants also give us a clue about the diet and lifestyle of those passed away. It is almost as if the hair is a record of all the activities undertaken by the individual. This includes exposure to tobacco and environmental toxins. The hair is a protective sheathing to the softer, delicate portions of the body, they are directly exposed to the environment. When an individual is exposed to tough environmental conditions, it is seen to clearly reflect in his/her hair growth. Besides that product accumulation is one of the hidden causes for most of the common hair problems.

 

Following are some of the common hair problems we face today.

 

Hair Loss

 

This is one of the most widespread issues that people face with regard to hair. Thousands of people are worried sick only due to the amount of hair they lose, and worrying is only making matters worse. This is seen to be particularly a nightmare for women, but men are not too far behind. With male pattern balding on the rise men are just as worried.
 
There are a number of factors that lead to hair loss including stress, hormonal fluctuations, and menopause. Prescription medicines for depression, birth control and high blood pressure are known to have hair fall as side effects.
 
Spot Baldness or alopecia areata is another form of hair loss. This is usually seen in individuals suffering from autoimmune disorders. During the onset of this condition, all hair is lost from a small surface area. This often results in bald spots on the scalp or on the body, approximately the size of a coin. The hair loss during these conditions more often than not is permanent. Under these conditions, the body fails to recognize its own cells and the immune system destroys the developing hair follicle.
 
Surgeries could also lead to hair loss. Particularly those associated with infections, over or underactive thyroid and fungal infections.
 
With the present day, even hair care and styling products are known to play a role in hair loss. Hair care practices such as bleaching, wearing tight ponytails, and perming the hair too damages the hair to a great extent. 

 

Graying Hair

 
Now we all know that it is common for hair to lose its pigmentation with time. A study showed that across the world almost 74% of people aged between 45 and 64 suffer from graying. Both the rate and onset of graying seemed to vary with geographical and ethnic origin. Those with African and Asian descent seemed to show less graying than those of Caucasian origin.
 
However, graying is a problem even for much younger individuals. Premature graying as it is known is believed to be the result of a deficiency of Vitamin D3. Malnutrition, electric dryers, hormonal imbalances and chemicals present in hair lead to graying.
 
Some studies show that certain minerals such as copper, vitamin B, iodine and iron play a role in premature graying. Some people also have a genetic predisposition to early graying.

 

Lack of Volume

 
Lack of volume is an issue that is coming up with both men and women. There could be various contributing factors to this problem. Thyroid imbalances, hormone-related conditions, low iron levels and nutrition also lead to a lack of volume in the growing hair. Wrong shampoos and inappropriate conditioner at times accumulate and make the hair too heavy resulting in lack of volume. To reverse, use products that reduce the stress on the hair.
 
In addition, you might want to add some probiotic supplements to your routine. As explained in an in-depth analysis by Hair Loss Revolution, good microflora goes a long way in supporting hair follicles during their longest phase of their life cycle, the anagen phase.
 
The anagen phase is a formative one for hair follicles as it determines the total length your strand will end up being. As Hair Loss Revolution found while researching scientific journals, probiotics support the growth of more hair follicles during the angen phase. Therefore, the more hair follicles propped up during the formative stages of hair growth means more strong hair strands to sprout up on your scalp.

 

Dry, Brittle Hair

 
This is often thought of as a hair type and hence unchangeable. But that is not true. While some hair types are inclined to be more dry and brittle than others, this is a condition seems to affect all hair-types equally. This problem is faced by both men and women alike.
 
One of the main causes for dry brittle hair is deficient moisture and oil on the scalp. Excessive exposure to wind, sun, dry air makes the condition worse. Using various appliances on the hair is prone to make the hair more dry and brittle than usual.
 
This could turn out to be serious if not tended to at the initial stages. At later stages it leads to frizzy hair, split ends, thinning, hair loss, and early breakage.
 
In order to avoid this condition, it is important to keep scalp moisturized and oiled at all times. Essential oils help make the hair shiny and soft. And it is best not to comb the hair when it is wet to avoid breakage and split ends.

 

Split Ends

 
This normally seen when there is damage to the outermost protective layer of the hair, making follicle tip to peel back. It is more often in women than men. Heavy usage of chemicals, including coloring, and excessive styling are known to cause split ends.
 
Using a gentle, mild conditioner helps a great deal. Keeping away from harmful chemical products stops the conditions from getting worse. Trimming the hair every 8 – 12 weeks is one other way to keep split ends in check.

 

Flaky Scalp

 
A flaky scalp is often mistaken to be dandruff. Unlike dandruff flaky scalp inhibits hair growth altogether. This is one of the conditions that if allowed to progress to a greater degree, leads to hair loss. There are various factors that lead to flaky scalp.
 
Lack of moisture, cold weather, product build-up, strong detergents or soaps are some factors that promote flaky scalp. Inflammatory conditions such as eczema and psoriasis may just be gut-related.
 
As explained by Hair Loss Revolution, “Hair follicles are affected by inflammation just as any other organ in the body.” In their in-depth analysis, Hair Loss Revolution came across a scientific journal that concluded long-term inflammations on the scalp may slow down the hair growth process. In some cases, hair loss may happen as well. 
 
If you see the signs of a flaky scalp, eliminate styling products that contain harsh chemicals. Avoiding these sorts of irritants is a  step that would alleviate flakiness. Increasing intake of vitamins and minerals in daily diet helps reduce its incidence. Hydrating and massaging the scalp with oil, yogurt and other herbal ingredients helps prevent flaky scalp.

 

Dull Hair

 
The only issue with having dull hair is that it makes you look older than your age. Dull Hair is the result of chemical damage, heat styling, stress and other environmental factors that make the cuticle go rough. Many people try to artificially make the hair shiny. But this only makes it attract more dust and dirt, making it worse than before.
 
The best way to get rid of dull hair is to use the right kind of conditioner. And make sure that there is no buildup of chemicals on the hair.

 

Frizzy Hair

 

This is a common problem particularly for those who prefer shiny, bouncy and silky hair. One of the main causes of frizzy hair is dehydration. When the moisture level is lower than normal, the hair gets frizzy.
 
Water accounts for about 15% of the hair composition. When natural oils and sebum are present in the right amount the hair will go back to being smooth and shiny again.
 
One of the ways to avoid frizzy hair is to avoid brushing dry hair. Avoiding over processing the hair in any manner also helps the cause.
 
Ensuring that the scalp is well-moisturized helps in this regard. It is best to use natural conditioners that are wheat protein based or soy based. These are known to help with hydration as compared to others.

 

Dandruff

 

Dandruff is one of the most embarrassing issues from the whole lot of hair issues. Just a few dots clinging to the hair can destroy one’s appearance and confidence. It is often the result of infection, poor diet, yeast, and/or a sluggish metabolism.
 
Anti-Dandruff shampoos work in the short. But improving your health overall and ensuring that your scalp is healthy is the key to solving this issue long term.
 
One of the ways to deal with dandruff is to wash the hair with a gentle shampoo in order to control the sebum production.
 
Remember, hair is just a reflection of your overall health. And its definitely not easy to have naturally great hair with all its shine all day long. With all the chemicals in the modern day, it has become that much harder to keep your hair prim and proper. The best way is to go natural and avoid any strong chemicals on the hair. Besides, that just watch out for these common problems so you can surely avoid anything become too difficult to handle.
 
Read this article by HairLossRevolution.com for more information on the connection between gut health and hair loss.
 
Disclaimer: The above article is sponsored by Thryve, the world’s first Gut Health Program that incorporates microbiome testing and personalized probiotics to ensure a healthier gut, happier life, and a brighter future.

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Free Radicals vs Antioxidants – A Molecular War.

“Antioxidants” is the new buzzword in every conversation that revolves around health and diet. Someone once said “Not all heroes wear capes” and here we have our hero saving us from something as devastating as cancer.
 
There are good guys and bad guys in a story. This is a story about how the antioxidants save you from the inimical actions of the free radicals.
 
Free Radicals are the bad guys flowing in our veins. Free Radicals can be a natural byproduct of the chemical processes in your body.  But, too many of it indicates the paragon of an unhealthy functioning body and leads to various diseases such as:
 
• Cancers
• Atherosclerosis
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Parkinson’s disease

 

How Are These Bad Guys Formed?

 

free radicals

Let’s try to understand what “Free Radicals” really are. Our body is made of various cells, each cell is composed of molecular bonds. A molecular bond is a chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. If a molecule loses an electron due to any internal or external factor then the unstable atom detaches itself from the bond.This loose atom becomes a “free radical”! This free radical hunts for an electron to stabilize itself. It steals an electron from a healthy molecule that it comes across. As a result, it creates new free radicals. And if there aren’t enough antioxidants in our body, this process could result in a chain reaction causing Oxidative Stress.
 
“Basically, I think of free radicals as waste products from various chemical reactions in the cell that when built up, harm the cells of the body.” says, Dr Wright (Dr Lauri Wright is a registered dietitian and an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of South Florida.)

 

Oxidative Stress

 
It occurs when free radicals go out of control and create a chain reaction. If our body lacks enough supply of antioxidants. This condition can lead to cell damage. Oxidative stress is responsible for damaging proteins, lipids and nucleic acids according to an article in the Pharmacognosy Review. [Source]
 
Throughout the last few decades, several studies have suggested that the oxidative stress plays a role in the development of many conditions. This Includes muscular degeneration, cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, emphysema, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ulcers and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and lupus.

 

Free Radicals Linkage To Aging

 
They also may have a link to ageing, which has been defined as a gradual accumulation of free-radical damage, according to Christopher Wanjek, the Bad Medicine columnist for Live Science.
 
“The free radical theory of ageing states that we age because of free radical damage over time,” said Wright.
 
Free Radicals are part of the natural physiological processes or stimulated by external factors. It’s generated from the oxygen molecules during the process of metabolism. This process causes oxidation of the cells.

 

Internal or Physiological Factors

 
Free radicals are created by oxygen molecules as part of the metabolism from the oxygen we breathe.
 
Cells at times create free radicals in order to neutralize foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.
 
When metals like Aluminum, Mercury, Cadmium, Copper etc., are present in our body in higher than usual quantities, they tend to create free radicals.

 

External Factors

 
Air pollution is one of the paramount factors.
 
Pesticides and chemicals in the food we intake. Household chemical products like paints, polishes and chemical based cosmetics can enter our bloodstream through our skin and breath, in turn inducing free radicals
 
Processed and junk foods with polyunsaturated fats are susceptible to oxidation by free radicals. Unfortunately, burnt food contains free radicals, including blackened barbecued and char-grilled food.
 
Cigarette smoke contains high amount of free radicals
 
There are many types of free radicals that are formed in the body. But more often, the focus is on oxygen-centred free radicals or what is referred to as ROS. While the mitochondrial superoxide is continually being formed, its rate depends on the amount of oxygen filtered through the mitochondria at any given time.

 

Here comes our savior! “Antioxidants”!

 
If you are already stressed reading about free radicals, here’s good news for you! Antioxidants are nature’s gift to fighting off the bad guys!
 
We hear about certain vegetables, fruits and berries being super rich in antioxidants. Let’s understand how antioxidants work and which are these amazing foods that contain a substantial amount of antioxidants.  
 
Antioxidants donate electrons to the free radicals and neutralize them, preventing them from causing damage to our health. It turns the unhealthy atoms and molecules into healthy ones.
 
The human body has an elaborate antioxidant defense system. It’s manufactured by the body and can also be extracted from the food humans eat such as fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, meats, and oil.

 

The Important Antioxidants In Our Foods

 
Some of the well-known antioxidants include beta-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, lycopene and other phytonutrients. Vitamin E is considered as the most potent chain breaking antioxidant within the membrane of the cell. These antioxidants are found in different foods. Our body produces some antioxidants too. At times it’s too less to balance out the free radicals created due to various factors.
 
Antioxidant-rich foods are colorful, spectacular and tasty! Many vegetables, meats, fruits, nuts and berries contain antioxidants. An important anti-inflammatory antioxidant called astaxanthin is high in salmon and eggs with bright orange yolks. Brazil nuts are a key source of selenium, which is important for brain health, while almonds and sunflower seeds are great sources of vitamin E.

 

Popular Antioxidant-Rich Foods

 

antioxidant food

Raw cocoa beans
Broccoli
Red kidney beans
Acai berries
Blueberries
Walnuts
Pomegranates
Tomatoes
Cumin
Fresh Ginger
 
Herbs and spices are a good source of antioxidants too. Turmeric, in particular, is high in antioxidants. Spinach, kale and other leafy greens are high in antioxidants, vitamin c and other nutrients. Make a delicious salad or juice them up!

 

How to Retain the Antioxidant Properties of Your Vegetables

 
Eating raw veggies maximizes antioxidant intake
Steaming can retain nutrients and antioxidant properties
Don’t peel them
Minimize chopping
Cook them whole
Don’t overcook
 
The antioxidant level increases in particular foods when cooked. Tomatoes have high oxidants when cooked than raw! They have lycopene content, a prostate cancer-reducing antioxidant!
 
Green teas, red wine and coffee are high in antioxidants too, however, they need to be consumed moderately, as an overdose of them can be harmful to your health.
 
Homemade fresh berry smoothies give you your daily dose of antioxidants!  Juice up some cranberries, blueberries or strawberries and do drink up your vegetables to get more antioxidants. Keep this in mind that smoothies and juices can be super healthy without processed sugar in them!

 

Probiotics Have Antioxidants Too!!

 
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that keep your gut microbiota healthy! In the recent decades, studies have shown that some of the healthy probiotic bacteria have antioxidant properties. [Source]

 

Is It Possible to Measure the Antioxidants in your Food?

 
Yes! It is possible to measure the antioxidant capacity of foods! With the help of a technique called “ORAC assay” (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity). However, In 2012, The United States Department of Agriculture which published ORAC data, withdrew its web publication of ORAC values for common American foods.
 
As the ORAC values are not validated for scientific publication. It’s best to eat your antioxidant-rich foods whole and raw than processed, to get the best out of them. However, the values are not completely wrong. But the product manufacturers are capitalizing on this data and this may mislead the consumers. [Source]

 

Antioxidant Supplements and Exercising!

 
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article says, “Supplementing high-intensity exercise with antioxidant supplements produced no beneficial effects. But regular exercise alone was enough to build up antioxidant defences against the initial exercise-induced oxidative stress”. This topic is still being debated.
 
Stressful lifestyle and an unhealthy environment can definitely increase free radicals in our body. Now don’t get stressed about it! A quick way to avoid free radicals is to add some antioxidant-rich foods in your diet, which is as simple as grabbing a chocolate and  YES, it keeps the bad guys at bay!
 
Disclaimer: The above article is sponsored by Thryve, the world’s first Gut Health Program that incorporates microbiome testing and personalized probiotics to ensure a healthier gut, happier life, and a brighter future.

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