Natural Solutions to Address Eczema | Podcast #361
If you live with eczema, you know what it’s like to search for relief from red, itchy skin. You’ve probably already tried a variety of products. Unfortunately, some items can leave your skin feeling drier and even more irritated.
Dr. J and Evan emphasize not giving up hope yet! In addition to medications, there are many options you can try at home to help with your symptoms. They talk about drugs and natural remedies that may help replenish moisture and protect your skin’s natural barrier.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
0:00 – Introduction
4:29 – What is Eczema and Its Signs and Symptoms?
6:51 – The Comparison between Eczema from Rosacea
10:38 – What to eat and not to eat when you have eczema
16:20 – Helpful products that can help avoid and or alleviate Eczema
19:25 – The link of glutathione in skin conditions
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: In the house with Evan. Today, we’re gonna be talking about natural solutions to address eczema at the root cause level. Really excited to chat about this topic here today. Evan, how we doing my friend?
Evan Brand: Hey, doing better. I was super stiff over the weekend so I thought, my God maybe we’ll do a whole, like stiff neck podcast but for now I’m mobile and I’m on my feet so that’s good and excellent. We’re recording this in December and winter is usually a time when people start coming of the woodwork with more skin issues and I think a lot of it is because they’re indoors more than in spring, summer, fall and so if they’re indoors and they don’t have good indoor air quality, they’re gonna be exposed to more dust, mites, molds and other toxins which may aggravate or irritate the skin. Also, in general, when you start to kick on the heater, you’re gonna be drying out your home and so generally your humidity level in your home may be like in our house it’s give or take 10% lower than it is in the summer so with the whole house dehumidifiers, I keep our house at 40% in the summer but in the winter with the heater on, man, we’re down into the mid20s, 25, 28% humidity. That’s pretty dang dry so sometimes it could just simply be an environmental change like that but I think some of it is also related to the toxins that people are getting exposed to. And now instead of playing outside with their kids, now they’re inside all day with their kids and their skin is reacting to those toxins so you’re really got to get your air quality dialed in and the winter to me just exposes the poor air quality that people have.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100%. I mean especially this time of the year, we have our humidifiers on, it has a tiny bit of moisture into, um, the ventilation system because it’s like, you know, in the upper teens, low 20s so just adds a little bit in there just to take the edge off, I mean that can be helpful to add a little more moisture to the air obviously, you can do more moisturizer on the skin. Remember that is gonna be your internal moisturizer. So high quality coconut oil, grass-fed butter if we can tolerate those things. That’s gonna be the best way to do it but obviously we can add more moisture directly onto the skin but we wanna always internally moisturize with good fat and again hydration as well that’s the carrier for that moisture to the skin so that’s a really important thing. I remember in college, just having chronically dry like my legs were really dry all the time and I realized, you know, at that time I was trying to be a little bit lower fat because I thought that was healthier and I started kind of understanding okay more coconut oil, more saturated fats, I’m like all right and then I noticed the dryness really improved and went away so fat consumption is really important thing for natural moisture to skin.
Evan Brand: You know, what is interesting now that you mentioned that, I mean, years ago, like my wife and I first got together, I mean, we were eating grass-fed beef but I wasn’t really prioritizing the fats, I wasn’t necessarily seeking them out, I was just maybe cooking with a little bit of butter but I wasn’t intentionally going for good fats and I remember in the wintertime having to put lotion on, man, I don’t use lotion at all anymore. I literally don’t need it, my hands are perfectly dry, they’re not itchy, they’re not patchy like it’s a miracle and you kind of forget where you’ve come from. Once things start to improve, you forget that that used to be a problem where I used to have to put a lotion on. Imagine how much of a hit to the lotion industry you could create if you could simply get everyone optimizing the strategies we’re talking about today, I bet we could reduce the need for lotion by 80%.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, totally, 100%.
Evan Brand: And to mention conventional lotions are actually one of the big triggers of eczema because when you look at conventional lotions and some of these products that are advertised, you’re getting into propylene glycol, you’re getting into artificial fragrances, you’re getting into many, many synthetic toxic chemicals that people are lathering on their skin just to supposedly fix their skin but they’re actually making their skin worse so you mentioned like topical coconut oil. There’s many good, like, organic shea butter type lotions out there, like Dr. Bronner’s, they make a really good lotion, um, the everyone brand, I know they make a good soap, I believe they make a good lotion too. Trader Joe’s, they had a pretty good quality, low priced lotion that was really clean ingredients so that’s the problem is like people are trying to do things to fix their skin but they’re actually making it worse with these topical toxins.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, when it comes to eczema, eczema does have an autoimmune component, right? So, eczema is a type of dermatitis, just to be 100% clear. So, think of, you know, dermatitis, think of, like skin inflammation, essentially dermatitis, the derma, that’s the second layer of the skin, epidermis first. Derma, um, dermis is the second layer and then essentially, um, titis is inflammation and so you have different types of dermatitis. Okay, so you have atopic which is kind of the one that eczema, uh, falls into. Atopic is the major one that you’re going to see there. There’s other kind you’ll see contact dermatitis which is kind of what poison ivy kind of falls into. There’s this dyshidrotic eczema, where you get more blisters. There’s hand eczema, there’s neurodermatitis, which is another one as well. Uh, there’s nummular eczema as well and then there’s one last one called stasis dermatitis. Those are the big ones. So, atopic is gonna be where eczema falls under and there’s an autoimmune component, there’s all kinds of studies showing that people that has celiac, Crohn’s, irritable bowel disease issues, lots of different autoimmune issues, there’s an increased risk of eczema, so there’s an autoimmune component there and if you look at a lot of the medications that are used to address eczema, you’re gonna typically have like your anti-inflammatory steroids like cortisone which are gonna be topically rubbed on that area. The problem with that is, it tends to not actually fix it. It just calms it down but it can also thin out that skin and make it more prone to have a flare-up later on so it can be helpful in the short run but you’re kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul, right? And then you have other medications like, um, Eucrisa or Elidel that are, like, kind of more on the calcineurin inhibitors. They’re kind of an immunosuppressant so there’s definitely like an autoimmune component there because you’re coming down the immune response to kind of like chill out, um, the eczema and it can be helpful, those kind of medications could be helpful if you’re working on fixing the underlying root cause, the problem is most people don’t address the root cause and they just rub these medications on and then the problems continue to stay at the root level and so over time it’s gonna come back and get worse and worse and worse because you can’t just suppress the immune system in the long run and expect for a lasting solution. So, these medications may be okay if you’re working with someone to really get to the root cause so that’s pretty much what conventional medicine has for options. It’s gonna have those things. Now, just kind of highlight, um, you have eczema, you have Rosacea and psoriasis, they kind of have an overlap, all right, there’s like an overlap with these three conditions and I want to just kind of show a comparison guide for this because it’s really important. I want to just highlight this really quickly. Um, okay, here’s what I want you guys to see. All right, perfect. So, out of the gates, right, all of these skin issues are gonna have redness with all of them right, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, they’re both gonna itch so there’s gonna be similar out of the gates the big thing with psoriasis, you’re gonna see a lot of the silver and white scales. That’s gonna be psoriasis and the difference with rosacea, you’re gonna see a lot more flushing across the skin, all right. Both are gonna have dry skin, both can have raised bumps. Psoriasis sometimes raised here says none. But the big issue is rosacea, more of a flushness with the redness. Psoriasis, more of the silver, um, scaliness. That’s the big difference. Just so, if someone’s like, what do I have, right, um, that’s kind of the big thing out of the gates there. Hope that makes sense. And there’s a couple of things I wanted to highlight with eczema is food components make a huge difference so autoimmunity, autoimmune diet plays a big role, really reducing inflammation makes a big role. Trying to cut out a lot of the scents and fragrances can play a huge role so of course like free and clear types of, um, laundry detergent, you can do all has a free and clear, Seventh Generation has a free and clear. There’s all kind of different brands that have a free and clear, um, all’s recommended by the, um, eczema dermatology association. So, you really wanna cut out all scent’s fragrances, dryer sheets that play a huge role out of the gates.
Evan Brand: Yeah, it’s a big, big stressor and it’s a big stressor for people like me that have to smell it, people don’t wanna smell that crap anyway but you’re poisoning yourself, you’re poisoning your children too, you’re sending them off with those synthetic fragrances and those are irritating to the skin but also those can affect the hormones too, I mean, synthetic fragrances, in general, can have some xenoestrogen type compounds to them, meaning that you’re gonna be increasing the estrogen. We’re in a highly estrogenized society and that creates a big problem. Hormonal changes, hormonal imbalances, they are a big factor in skin issues and we see that with a lot of women that have irregular menstrual cycles or maybe heavy bleeding or something that happened especially after childbirth. A lot of times, they’ll be skin issues that would pop out and we fix it in a roundabout way and I want to go back to one thing you said earlier which was the fact that people that have eczema, they may be linked or more common in people to have issues like celiac and that of course takes you to the big gatekeeper of these skin issues which is the gut and so you and I found with hundreds and hundreds, now we’re into the thousands of clients between us that the major way to fix the skin is to obviously do some of the easy low hanging fruit like you said get rid of scented detergents and all that but it’s really focusing on the gut because if you have gut infections, I mean, if you even look at like some of my very, very old earliest YouTube videos, when I have H. pylori and other gut infections, my skin was nowhere to where it is now in terms of my skin health. My skin health in the last seven years has gotten way better and honestly, it’s just been by working on the gut, my diet was already dialed in back then so I just wanna address one thing with people which is that if you’ve already gone polio or autoimmune or keto or carnivore, you’re eating good quality food and you’re still struggle with your skin, you’ve got to dig deeper, it’s time to look in and see if you’ve got these gut infections, bacterial overgrowth, candida, all these things inside your gut are gonna be making toxins disrupting your gut barrier. So, I don’t care how much bone broth you drink, you’re not gonna fix your skin if you don’t fix these infections.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely! I mean there’s two categories, right? Infants and kiddos, right, in the first year of life, they’re gonna be a lot more sensitive because of their immune system, so, I mean, of course, the big thing you have to look at is high quality breast milk and really got to look at what the mom’s consuming. The mom’s consuming a lot of potential food allergens. I recommend an autoimmune diet out of the gates. Sometimes, we even have to look at potentially pulling out salicylates. Salicylates can be anti-nutrients in vegetables. Here’s a couple things out of the gates, right. Salicylates are natural chemicals found in many fruits and vegetables, they’re really good things and so out of the gate, I wanna pull these foods out as a means of calming down and chilling out the immune system. Uh, this is really important so you can see, kind of the negligible, the low, the moderate, the high and the very high. I just try to tell patients to, like focus on the 80-20 because there’s so many foods that are, like, really good for you that are high in salicylates and a lot of times it’s not about being perfect, it’s about calming down, you know, kind of the 80-20. So, what are the 20 of things that you eat the most frequently that are the most high and we’ll try to sub that and put that in the negligible to low category that can be really helpful as well. So, you can see the different vegetables, you can see the different nuts and seeds, you can see the different, obviously, meats tend to be on the lower side unless you’re doing a lot of processed stuff, that’s where you get into trouble there.
Evan Brand: That’s why so many people do so well with carnivore-ish diets. That’s kind of what I say I’m eating carnivore-ish because I still do berries, I still do rice and I feel okay with that, um, I still do on occasion, I’ll do some organic pecans as kind of a treat and those are delicious and those don’t appear to affect my gut or my skin. So, in general, if you’re going for more animal based good-quality fats, you’re knocking out as you mentioned, you’re knocking out salicylates, um, you’re knocking down lectins, you’re knocking down oxalates, you’re knocking down all these things.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Here’s my oxalate guy. We may wanna look at oxalates as well. There’s kind of a members area for my patients here. If you’re a patient, you have access to this area, top right-hand corner of my website. And you can see I have a low oxalate handout as well and again I don’t recommend going crazy out of the gates. I just try to look at what’s the 20% of food that you eat the most and let’s try to cut out the high stuff out, right, and then sub that with the lower one out of the gates. That can make a big difference especially if you have a baby who has a lot of eczema issues. If we can really get a good autoimmune diet, kind of get the oxalates and the salicylates down, that could make a big difference. But, like Evan said, we have to look at gut microbiome stuff, we have to look at things you may be getting in contact with in regards to detergents, even essential oils on the skin. Some of these things can be stressful on the body, so we really got to calm all of these things down. Got to look at good bacteria, maybe have to address bacterial imbalances. Again, if you’re not a baby, you’re an adult, we have to look at the hormones because of times if you’re chronically stressed hormonally with the adrenals or you have estrogen dominant issues as a woman that can affect your immune system and that can make you prone to having some immune imbalances and your immune system is kind of hyper responding and overly sensitive and of course we definitely test the gut because we have SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, dysbiosis, H. pylori, fungal overgrowth, right, fungus and candida can actually produce oxalates too so you can have endogenous oxalate production via candida. These things can stress out your body thus stressing out your immune system. So, really looking at the adrenals, looking at cortisol, looking at the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone dominance, really looking at the gut are you able to digest and break things down, are the anti-nutrients in vegetables a problem. Again, I hate cutting out the anti-nutrients in vegetables, if we don’t have to because there’s a lot of good food there. So, cooking these foods down can help but it’ll lower it a notch. It won’t take a high food to make it a low food. It may not make a high food, maybe like a medium food. So, cooking obviously, avoiding a lot of the raw salad steaming sauteing can help a little bit and kind of lessen that load for sure.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. Detox is important and detox can get screwed up by your gut infections. We’ve talked about this before but there’s a pathway called glucuronidation in the body and this gets impaired due to bacterial overgrowth. So, sometimes we’re coming in and fixing the gut but then we’re also trying to upregulate these detox pathways so that could include specific support for the liver that may include binders that may include liver gallbladder combinations, maybe there’s some acid and enzymes that we throw in. You know, when you look at someone’s face or just their skin in general, to me, it’s really the window into their gut, into their immune system. So, if you see somebody with just major, major issues with their face generally, there’s a gut problem, I had a woman, she was young when she first started with me, I think she was around 20, 21, and we got on facetime together and my God, her face was so terrible, she hardly wanted to be seen on facetime but she said, I think, it’s important for you to see me, to see how bad this is, I’m like, yeah, I appreciate you showing me this, and man by the time we got through working through some of the tests and the gut protocols her skin was flawless and I even had to ask her like do you have make-up on, I just want to clarify and confirm do you have makeup. No, I don’t. so, it’s amazing to see what you can do and timeline wise, I mean, we’re talking maybe a few months but within a couple of years, I would say you could completely reverse many of the skin issues that people are suffering with and that’s actually a really short timeline, I mean, we’ve seen people that have had skin issues for decades and as you mentioned they’ve been on these topical steroids or other medications for a very long time and not once has the dermatologist ever said, hey maybe you need to go animal-based with your diet and see how that goes. I’ve never heard that conversation, if you’re a dermatologist out there practicing like that let us know maybe we can chat with you, but in general, that conversation is not happening at all.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I’m in a lot of eczema groups online, on Facebook and it’s amazing how resistant parents are and I just, people are, in general, to change in their diet when it comes to eczema. It’s unbelievable. They’re like oh, I’m gonna go get this food allergy test from there, like, dermatologist and like most of the time that’s just like an IgE kind of skin prick test and then again IgE stuffs, you know, it’s okay, but it’s, that’s kind of more on the anaphylactic side that tends to not be the massive driver of course, you know, if you have any IgE stuff like environmentally like dander and cedar in Austin, obviously we can get a really good high quality HEPA filter with a activated charcoal filter as well to kind of filter a lot of this stuff out to keep the indoor environment good. I’ll put, we’ll put some links down below for the recommended air filters that we use with our patients. Cutting out all of the scents and fragrances in detergents in laundry, everything, no dryer sheets, all that stuff makes a big difference. Keeping the skin moist does help because if the skin’s already dry, you’re more prone to itching, if you itch it, you increase the inflammation, it’s this vicious cycle and the problem is if you’re kind of naturally oriented a lot of the things that may have like an essential oil or something in there that may be more natural that you may think is helpful because the immune system is already hypersensitive that may actually flare it up and make it worse and so one of the things that we’ll use, it’s just a really clean super hypoallergenic moisturizer. I’ll put a couple in the links down below that I found to be successful, there’s a couple off the back of my head, I could think of, um, uh, Vanicream makes one called Vaniply, that’s a really excellent one. There’s one by a La Roche-Posay, it’s a Lipikar Baume, that’s another really good hypoallergenic one. Aveeno makes one that’s decent with a little bit of oatmeal in there, the colloid and the oatmeal can be helpful but keeping that skin moist can be helpful so you’re not scratching. It won’t fix it though, right, there’s no magic solution but it will at least help to calm it down and then I find like if you’re a mom and you’re breastfeeding your kid, you have to change the foods that you’re eating because that is going to get passed down to your child and can stimulate their immune system and so typically for a good month or so and then we do a very methodical reintroduction, I know with my wife, eggs were a big trigger for a while and now she can do eggs and like my kiddos can do eggs but for a while, they couldn’t and so we had to keep that really under control for a bit and probiotics did help as well and really helping to support good bacteria help but we had to really do everything kind of full cycle and we did use a little bit of that Elidel calcineurin inhibitor, just a little bit to calm it down but it’d be like foa a day or two and then we would do all the other things and salicylates were a little bit problematic as well so we did try to cut some of those things down and it’s like the, imagine the immune system’s all wound up and we’re just trying to calm it down, calm it down and once you have it below a threshold so to speak, you kind of have a little bit more wiggle room but until you calm it down to that level, you don’t quite have that ability to move.
Evan Brand: Yeah. Yeah. Well said. There was one other paper too we were looking at on glutathione and this was just a, it was a quite old study but still very, very timely in terms of like glutathione. We have it in our conversations all the time and depressed glutathione levels were observed in patients with psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and other skin issues and so we know that glutathione is gonna be depleted when you’re exposed to toxins whether it’s chemical whether it’s mold toxins or other things, we often see glutathione levels depleted and this is one of your master antioxidants and so you may need to work into the detox protocol, sometimes that can aggravate people so you just gotta work with the practitioner on this because I’ve taken too much glutathione and reacted poorly to it before so you got to go slow and steady with it, sometimes it’s gonna flare people up if they’ve got a big toxic load and it starts mobilizing things that may overwhelm your system and you may feel worse or have some sort of like a die off or what feels like a Horkheimer reaction. What about zinc too? Do you want hit on like some nutrients for skin too?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. So, I think, out of the gates, like probiotics are really helpful. Omega-3 plays a really great role in anti-inflammatory. Vitamin D plays a good role in modulating the immune system. If you’re doing glutathione and you’re breastfeeding mom, be careful because you don’t wanna overly mobilize toxins out of the breastmilk, so you may wanna go really gentle on that or maybe a little bit of NAC and just kind of naturally, you know, increase that very slowly as long as you don’t have any die off, you’re probably okay. I would say zinc is also gonna be excellent as well, it’s gonna be a good building block for the skin, really good building block for the immune system so is selenium, so some of these may just get in a really good multivitamin, uh, some you may get from eating high quality grass-fed meat, fish, some green vegetables, seafood. So, a lot of these may come from whole foods sources, as well as, supplement sources as well. And then, you know, we have some really good anti-inflammatory things that we can do whether it’s curcumin, resveratrol, these are kind of plant-based antioxidants that are very powerful, also, there could be a histamine connection as well. And so, histamine from the environment, from allergens, you know, good air filtration is excellent and then we can do things to help modulate the immune system, like quercetin, like stinging Nettle. These can be very helpful and very calming on the immune system in regards to the histamine response. Anything else you wanna highlight there?
Evan Brand: Yeah. Well said. I think it’s a good start olive lead, we use a lot too and some of the gut protocols and that may help some of the skin issues too. So, it really just depends. I don’t want people to just go out and buy everything we just mentioned and assume it’s gonna fix their issues, I think it’s really important to try to get a good work-up and figure out where your issues are coming from, I think it’s great to be able to look into some of the topical stuff, get rid of your conventional shampoos and conditioners, go high quality organic products with your skin care but beyond that you really need to get some investigation done and figure out what the heck is going on because for years I was doing good clean products topically but I still have skin issues and it was all because of my gut. So, I really encourage people to reach out if you need help. Dr. J and I work with people around the world so we can get at home lab testing done to where we can investigate the root cause of your skin issues and often, we’re gonna be using urine and stool. Those are probably the two most common things you’re gonna be looking at and these are far more effective than what you’re gonna get run from a conventional doctor. We’re gonna be able to tell you what the heck is going on. Your dermatologist is not running stool tests but they should because the issues they’re seeing in their clinic would certainly be improved if they could fix the issues that we’re finding on these stool panels so I think it’s really important to test not guess, figure out what the heck we’re dealing with because you could take probiotics for your whole life and never fix these infections.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. Yeah. I agree. And again, if you go to the dermatologist, it’s pretty typical, right? They may recommend like oatmeal bath or a diluted bleach bath or Eucrisa or a corticosteroid or Elidel. They may recommend these things but that’s not gonna be the solution. Again, some kids naturally grow out of it because their immune system evolves, gets better, their gut becomes less leaky naturally, um, maybe they start making healthier food choices as their parents become more aware of what’s going on, right? There’s a lot of different things that can shift and things can just, kids can grow out of it, and if you’re an adult that probably may not be that way. It’s a little bit different there. So, you’re really gonna have to make changes and you really have to look at the root cause and not just get hyper obsessed with just something topically that’s gonna fix it and that’ll be it, probably not the case. And so, you really have to look at the gut, you really have to look at stress, you have to look at how digesting and breaking down your foods, you have to look at the nutrients that modulate your immune system like zinc and selenium and vitamin D and glutathione, you have to look at gut bugs that can have a negative effect on your immune system and also beneficial bacterial balance. These play a massive role and again you may have to get stricter with the diet, like some people, a paleo template may be enough. Some have to go to way more extremes like autoimmune, cutting out salicylates or at least being salicylate and oxalate conscious that may have to happen as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the good news is this stuff is in general pretty reversible, I mean, like I said, we’ve seen amazing before and after, working with people, and it’s just a wonderful thing because there’s so much of your confidence level that comes from having good skin, I mean, in regards to seeking new jobs getting a raise, finding a date, finding a spouse, I mean, your kids, wanting your kids to not have any, uh, self-confidence issues so I mean, I just tell you just the impact of skin, it could change your income if you don’t feel attractive enough, may be you’re not gonna seek that higher paying job or maybe you’re not gonna seek that raise, If you have self-confidence issues because of your skin or maybe you feel like you can never leave the house without making makeup, I mean skin is one of those things that really is important to address so sometimes it seems like a vanity-based thing but that vanity really does turn into success and so I think it’s really important for people not to feel self-conscious and just you know that you can fix this thing so no matter how down in the dumps you are you gotta keep digging.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And skin can be a really good sign if you’re healthy or not and it’s a lot of times, it’s gonna tell you if you have gut issues, gut, uh, food allergy issues, microbial imbalances, also, consuming good fats, good collagen, good proteins, this is the building block of your skin, so you really wanna make sure you have good dietary, nutritional foundations and we chill out a lot of the food that’s gonna throw off our gut bacteria. Now, topically, there’s a couple of things you can do topically, I mentioned some of the moisturizer that can be helpful to provide moisture relief which then helps decrease the itching, which then decreases that perpetual inflammatory cycle, there’s some soap that you can do that are descent, um, I find just a 10% sulfur soap can be excellent. It’s been used in dermatology for decades but just 10% sulfur soap unscented works wonderfully. Usually, the sulfur comes from like volcano ash or some type of, uh, soil that’s very high in sulfur but sulfur has an anti-inflammatory quality to it. It can have some anti-fungal, anti-bacterial quality so that it can be calming. You don’t wanna lather it on too long because it can be very drying to your skin. But sulfur is good and again, it’s just one part of the equation. There’s no magic solution, magic soap, magic potion, that’s gonna fix it but it can be very helpful as long as you’re plugging in all the other things to the big equation.
Evan Brand: I wonder if that’s because it’s helping with detox support on the skin or something, I mean, if you think about glutathione and the sulfur connection there. I’m mentioning topical sulfur that’s pretty interesting.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Topical sulfur, I mean it’s a lot of different data on it being very helpful for acne, I mean with that it can be very cleansing for the pores, cleaning out the sebum, there’s also the anti-inflammatory effects to it, very helpful with like seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, so I think it has some anti-inflammatory qualities, um, to it, I mean it’s been used in dermatology for decades so it’s natural so I kind of like it.
Evan Brand: Very cool. Well, I think we’ve covered everything I wanted to cover.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I mean I think a lot of it too, with the sulfur is. There could be a fungal, bacterial imbalance issue, right? And I do think sulfur does have antibacterial, anti-fungal, it also helps break down a lot of the keratin, excess in your skin, so like if you have, um, a keratosis pilaris (KP), where you kind of feel like the bumps in the back of your arm, it can kind of help break down those excess keratins that form in the pore so the back of your arms don’t feel as bumpy, so that’s really good too. I know, a lot of women have that. Of course, you know, getting your omega-3s up can also help that too, omega-3s and zinc.
Evan Brand: Yeah. I was gonna say, my kids had a little bit of that early on. We just bumped up the omegas and then boom, we knocked out the keratosis pretty easily so that’s, that’s probably one of the easier things to address. Sometimes, this thing gets tricky, like you mentioned, there’s no magic bullet or potion, a lot of times it’s a combination of us getting small gains and different categories of the body.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s nice. Just get a nice 10% sulfur soap and you know lather that up, put it on your kids for like 30 seconds, rinse them off, it can be a very helpful kind of cleanse out that keratin, keeps the pores really healthy and it’s totally natural. So, I’ll put some links to the ones that I like, uh, down below on the ones that I personally use.
Evan Brand: Sounds good. Well, if people need help, they can reach out, we work with people online so wherever you are in the world with skin issues, we’re happy to help. You could reach out to Dr. J at justinhealth.com or me, Evan Brand at evanbrand.com, and we’re happy to work with you, help you run labs, figure out what we need to do to get you feeling better, more importantly get your skin looking better. If you have issues, don’t give up, uh, it’s okay, we’re gonna get you taken care of.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. And to be a great functional medicine practitioner to really solve a lot of these things, you have to be a master general practitioner, you really have to understand the gut hormones, diet, skin. You really have to kind of connect everything together. If you’re like a master skin person and but you don’t have the diet or anything else to kind of interweave and connect to it then you’re not gonna be able to help your patients 100% so, it’s really important that you, if you’re working with someone, you find a master generalist that really understands how all the systems connect and you don’t want to just work with the hormone person or the gut person, you wanna work with someone that really understands the connection so that’s really important that people are interviewing their practitioners, really try to make sure they have a full 360 kind of perspective on it and if you wanna reach out, evanbrand.com for Evan, they’re be link there for Evan. And for myself, Dr. J. at justinhealth.com. We are available worldwide to help you all out and we’ll put links down below for some of the recommended products that we talked about today, things that we actually use with our family and patients. Outside of that, Evan, phenomenal chat with you man, you have an awesome week, and everyone listening appreciates your support, comments down below and share with our friends and family.
Evan Brand: Take good care. See you next week.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks. Bye you all.
Evan Brand: Bye-bye.
The Gut Skin Connection – How Your Gut Health Can Impact Your Skin | Podcast #330
The gut and skin enjoy a constant dialogue via what has become known as gut-skin axis. In this video, Dr. J and Evan are discussing that while symptoms of gut health issues can be incredibly varied, the skin is often a great barometer for what’s going on inside the gut.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani
In this episode, we cover:
1:51 Different Skin Aspects
5:37 Getting Good Skin
13:12 How Gut affects Skin Health
20:28 Collagen Benefits
28:52 Tips to Remember
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here today we’re going to be talking about the gut skin connection, how your gut health can impact your skin. This is a, you know, quite a big topic of discussion. A lot of my patients have gut health hormone health. And part of that whole sequelae of symptoms is going to be skin issues. And it’s important right skin kind of is your first representation to the world of who you are and your health. And if you’re healthy, you want good skin as a byproduct. So we’re going to dive into that and talk about, you know, things you can do to improve your skin and your gut health. If it’s not at an optimal level, Evan, how are we doing today, my friend?
Evan Brand: Doing really well. And you’re right, when you see someone your initial gut reaction, you know, they say, Don’t judge a book by its cover.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Pun intended.
Evan Brand: Exactly. When you look at somebody, you go, oh, wow, they don’t look healthy, or they look pale, or they look frail. Or they look weak. I mean, we make a lot of quick judgments on people. So you know, for the people listening that are like, well, I don’t really care about my vanity, you know, that’s so vain or whatever. It’s like, Well, do you want a good paying job? Do you want a good spouse? You know, you might not even get to the second date. If the person looks at you and goes, Oh, wow, you know, this person looks unhealthy. They look sickly. So I think it’s, it’s important to try to go beyond feeling vain about it and know that as you mentioned, your skin is it’s it’s a picture of your health picture. And my skin was a really good barometer. For me going through some of my detox protocols, my wife would look at me and say, Honey, you look pale, and I would go take a binder and then all of a sudden my skin tone would get better. It was almost like I was recirculating toxins. And then when I took my liver detox or binder support, my skin looked better. So for me, I kind of personally use it as a barometer. Or if I eat dairy as a treat, I may see acne pop up and I’m like, Oh, look at that. Look what I did. Here’s the effect of that dairy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, totally. Yeah. And the pre show, we were trying to figure out effect versus a fact. Right? And so effect is the end result. A fact is, is the verb so we’re trying to wrap our heads around that the English language is quite the the crazy thing. So yeah, absolutely. So skin is very important. So there’s a lot of different aspects of skin right? Its first aspect is, you know, just keeping acne and skin rashes under control, whether it’s psoriasis, or eczema, or just general acne, there’s different food allergens that can have effect on that. There’s different enzyme and acid and just indigestion with foods, not breaking them down, that can have a big effect on that. And there can also be things like hormones. So whether it’s elevations in testosterone with women, whether it’s, you know, testosterone, androgens, that can have a major impact on women’s skin. Also just inflammation in general food allergens, in general, high levels of insulin can create more oil from that sebaceous gland. And that sebaceous gland, that oil can feed a lot of the bacteria on the skin, which can create, obviously the acne vulgaris bacteria feeding and creating acne. So there’s a lot of different mechanisms, right. So when you look at skin health or anything, is a lot of different components. And so food allergies are one component in digestion, not enough acid and enzymes, a component and of course, things like H. pylori, and bacterial overgrowth and fungal overgrowth, and parasitic infections can all impact that. And then of course, female hormones can play a big role. estrogen dominance is a big thing. Insulin resistance is a big thing. Insulin resistance can feed excess androgens and women, that’s a big thing. And then of course, increase aromatization. And estrogen in men can also feed skin issues as well. So there’s a lot of different connections here that play a big role. And of course, certain nutrients, if you’re deficient in zinc or vitamin A, can also play a big role in skin health as well. And then, of course, poor detoxification, because your skin is the integumentary system. And it plays a major role in detoxifying. So the biggest organ of detoxification in the body. So there’s a lot of different mechanisms here. And we’ll kind of dive through them one by one.
Evan Brand: Imagine how much profit we could reduce from the makeup industry. If Well, I guess it would be a multifactorial process, right. And number one, you’d have to convince women that natural skin is beautiful, and that you don’t need the six inch long eyelashes and all that. But imagine how much of a hit we could put into the makeup industry if we were to improve people’s skin because you have so many women that they’ll say oh, well, I wake up with bags under my eyes. It’s like, well, it’s not the bags that are the problem that needs to be covered up by makeup. Those bags under the eyes are the clue that maybe there’s some lymphatic issues or there’s some detoxification issues. And so many women, yeah, food allergies. You’re right. I mean, I have so many women that report that just by working through some of the protocols that you and I use that they need less makeup, and of course their husbands are always wanting women to look more natural anyway, at least my wife, I look at her and I’m like wow, she’s naturally pretty, I don’t think you need or should be putting stuff on. So and of course, there’s the mental brainwashing of society and the psychology behind makeup and all that that we don’t have to get into. But I think from a biochemical perspective, women should embrace the way they look and use that as a motivating factor. to work on these underlying issues that we’re talking about, meaning don’t just go for the foundation or whatever, it’s called to cover up the bags, let’s fix the bags.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and ideally you get healthier so if you want like a natural healthy makeup option, there’s some decent ones out there, you need less of it to kind of get the job done. You know, because some women it’s, it’s, it’s part of who they are is they’ve been doing it for so long. So let’s just try to reduce it and try to use healthier ones that are going to be less toxic, right?
Evan Brand: Yeah, and the Environmental Working Group will just get that out of the way now the Environmental Working Group has done a great job of their skin deep database you and I’ve covered that I know you’ve mentioned some of the micelle products and some of these others that that are that are helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I like the Marie Veronique has a couple other good companies from a skincare standpoint. So the first rule of thumb when you’re supporting your skin is do with food. Right? Don’t put toxins and food allergies, fix your gut. Use good nutrient dense foods right your skin needs high quality fats. It needs high quality amino acids. It needs collagen in each vitamin A it needs zinc. It needs a lot of good nutrient dense foods to support it. We also want to decrease inflammation right? A lot of the junky omega six fatty acids, trans fats, foods that are refined processed grains lots of sugar that drives insulin. Insulin feeds the sebaceous glands to make oil oil can feed bacteria on the skin and create acne. And then of course, food allergens can also drive eczema can also drive psoriasis, sub harangued dermatitis right, a lot of these things that are fungal or bacterial or autoimmune base can be driven by a lot of these things. So foods really important. And again, there’s a big disconnect in the dermatology community, like you go to a lot of conventional dermatology offices, they’ll say in some of the pamphlets like food does not influence your skin. And that’s an absolute crock of crap. Right. And part of the reason why that’s the case is because dermatologists aren’t educated in nutrition. They’re not doctors in medical school, conventional allopathic doctors have very little education and nutrition. And when they do, it’s primarily from the aspect of disease, vitamin connection, right? scurvy, but low vitamin C very, very low B one, right? A lot of these diseases that are connected to low nutrient levels. But we know health is not about diseases, it’s about a health is on a continuum. And so the extreme end is a disease but there’s a lot of stuff in between, that we’re looking at. And part of that could be skin issues. And so certain nutrients play a big role. And I can tell you having seen 1000s of patients and hundreds who have skin issues, and I’ve been able to have you know 95 99% resolution with these issues, partly because of the fact that diet plays a major influence. So foods, keeping carbohydrates in check reducing insulin, insulin and women drives lots of androgens, androgens will create more cystic acne, inflammation, even dairy like even sometimes butter in really healthy people could be a problem. So I always say anytime you have any acne issues, we’re cutting out 100% dairy, even carry gold grass fed butter out of the gates. And that’ll be one of the first things we try to add back in as the skin gets clear to see if it’s kryptonite or not. But that plays a very important role. I’m trying to get more zinc in your diet, whether it’s like pumpkin seeds or oysters or just high quality grass fed beef zincs very important can always throw in some extra zinc in your molti or in a zinc lozenges things are very important for the skin vitamin A very important some studies back in the 1920s on to dermatologists called Pillsbury and Stokes and they found that probiotics and called Never Oil were very important for skin health. This is 100 years ago. So the fact that dermatologists aren’t up on this literature is just ridiculous. It’s because they aren’t interested in a nutritional intervention. When you have retinae and clindamycin and Accutane and tetracycline and, and different, and you chrissa and you know, all these different medications that are used for skin, right, that’s what their go to is and that’s what they’re educated on. And it doesn’t fix any of the problems anyway, it’s it covers it up. And so a lot of other things that can be done and have been done for a very long time.
Evan Brand: It’s funny that you and I are not dermatologists, but that we have, in most cases, better results than dermatology offices. And at least if it were a comparable success rate, like with their drugs, that’s palliative care. And what we’re doing is root cause care. So maybe if you took Joe Blow and Jane Doe over here, and let’s say they work through you and I and our protocols and testing, and then they go to the dermatology office and just get the Accutane or whatever, maybe in terms of look, maybe you’d make the person look similar because those drugs do work. But then you get off of them and things go backward. But man, all I’m saying is I think we’re better at skin now. I don’t know how to recognize melanoma. My grandfather’s had it and he’s got it cut out. So in those skin cases, yeah, go to your dermatology office. But if it’s more of these chronic issues, these more functional scan issues. I tell you, we’re gonna have much, much better results and somebody listening may hear what you said and go oh my god, he said 95 to 99% success rate. You’re not you’re not inflating those numbers. at all, I can tell you with confidence those numbers are legit that you’re saying because I’ve seen the same thing, even within just six weeks of Gut protocol, sometimes we’ve had 80 to 90% improvement in skin symptoms.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I think dermatologists do a really good job at handling skin cancers. You know, I think that can be very helpful picking up melanomas. There’s also a lot of the autoimmune stuff that they recognize, it’s typically you know, they’re just going to recommend corticosteroids or some kind of, you know, immunosuppressant like Ella dal or you chrissa. They’ve done a lot of options, or they’re just throwing a lot of antibiotics on the skin, which can screw up your skin microbiome as well, your skin has its own microbiome. So some of these things acutely may be fine. If you have a teenage kid that has an acne flare, and you want to decrease the chance of scarring, right? That makes sense. But you know, what’s the long term solution, right, you need a long term solution outside of that, and they may not have those options for you. So it’s good to have someone in your back pocket know where they’re good know whether or not there’s getting to be more holistic ones out there that understand diet plays a big, big role. And that’s good to know. I mean, I think, you know, if, if your kid eats like crap, and your dermatologist says it doesn’t matter, and then that keeps your kids acne flaring. Well, that’s not going to fix any problems. And plus, we know skin requires nutrition, amino acids, fat soluble vitamins. So just kind of from like a foundational level, you need to consume good building blocks. So your body can repair and turn over and use those good building blocks to help your body becomes stronger, right. Food and calories that you consume and nutrients you consume. They’re not just for energy, they’re actual building blocks so your skin can turn over. So very important there. I think also with sunlight and things like that getting some sunlight don’t burn, right, minimal urothelial dose, if you’re going to go outside, make sure you’re using you know, for a long periods of time where you would burn make sure you’re doing a full spectrum sunscreen that’s in a block out UVA and UVB for a long time, we’ve only blocked out UVB light, and we let a lot of UVA come in and people will damage their skin because the collagen will get destroyed. If you’re chronically allowing a lot of UVA exposure, the UVB that gives you the burn is kind of the it tells you whether or not you’re out there too long. But if you block the B and allow the A in, you’re basically allowing yourself to potentially destroy collagen. So if you’re going to be out in the sun, use a full spectrum, UVA UVB maybe even a UVC to make sure you have coverage if you would get burned, and then try to get yourself some sunlight. And then for me topically, I’m going to be using some natural retinol not a lot of the retina the retina has a lot of side effects can create redness and irritation, don’t love it. But I’ll use some of the retinol with some vitamin C and glue to fire and in some of the skincare products that I use, I use a really excellent prebiotic probiotic miss that have good bacteria for my skin. Because I want to really support my skin microbiome. Those are really important things for me on the skincare side. And then of course, like keeping the food allergies down. Now, for some people coming out that have a lot of acne, we’re going to come out of the gates with some autoimmune stuff out of the gates because I’ve seen eggs and nuts and seeds, dairy and butter be problem. So we’re going to be a little bit more strict out of the gates. We’re going to make sure we’re digesting our foods really well indigestion is a problem. We’re going to look at the gut, the gut can play a major, major role. And I’ll pause there and you can you can kind of dive a little bit.
Evan Brand: Sure. Yeah, I’ll take it further. So the gut, to me, the big mechanism is h pylori. Now parasites are big. I mean, you saw my skin was six, maybe I can’t keep up with yours, maybe six or seven years ago, my skin was messed up. And it was because I had various gut infections. I do believe parasites are a big contributor. But really, it’s hard to pick a smoking gun for the gut, because Candida bacterial overgrowth, parasites, they all contribute to the same thing, which is an issue with nutrient absorption, they create this malabsorption problem. But I think h polarize is one of the big ones for people because of what it’s doing with the parietal cells and reducing your stomach acid because then what’s really happening is you have this domino effect of the H pylori, then allowing the purification of your food which then creates the overgrowth of even more pathogenic bacteria, which then may allow parasites to thrive because now there’s not enough stomach acid to kill them off. So I really do think that h pylori was one of my big variables for my skin. And I can tell you with confidence that I’ve seen it in countless countless teenagers and people in their 20s that are still dealing with acne. If we get rid of H. pylori alone, we may have 60 to 75% improvement in the skin just based on that. And then the question is, well, can you bring in enzymes to help reduce some of the malabsorption and 99% of the cases? Yes, rarely is there too much inflammation or gutter rotation where we don’t do enzymes and acids out of the gate. But really, if I were a dermatologist running a brick and mortar practice, you know what I’d have on my shelf, I’d have digestive enzymes, and every client that comes in with skin problems, here’s your enzymes, and that would fix it.
Enzymes and HCl as long as there’s not so much gastritis or gut irritation, definitely a combination of the two for sure. I 100%. Agree and then a good elimination diet plays a big role. These you know, if you have bags under your eyes, that’s called allergic shiners and allergic shiners. They’re basically a pool of the lymph under the iron because there’s a lot of lymph in this area. And so lymphatic increase lymphatic fluid increase is going to happen with inflammation. Think about if you bump your head or get in a fight and get a black guy, what happens there’s inflammation and pulling, while you’re doing that at a at a micro level when you have inflammation from food, and you’re going to see it in the eye area, because that’s where there’s a lot of lymph. So if you’re having allergic shiners, right, don’t carve it up with makeup, try to cut out the foods out of the gates, that’s gonna be a big one out of the gates. Make sure you’re consuming enough water, people that have chronically dry skin, it’s not a hydration issue. Remember, fats provide a lot of the moisture to your skin to be moist and not overly dry. So if you’re having a lot of chronic dry skin, you know, eat consume good water, right, but also really make sure your fats are up and make sure you’re digesting those fats that’s really important. And if you want to topically add some shea butter or some coconut oil to your skin, if it’s the winter and you’re in a really, really low humidity environment, you know, you may need to topically add a little bit of that to during the winter months if it when it’s drier out. So you may want to topically hit it. But you don’t want to get into the habit of only doing the topicals because you got to support your skin inside and out.
You know what’s amazing now that you mentioned it like that. When my wife and I first got together, it will be 11 years ago, our diet was not like it is today. And every winner her and I both we would get really itchy our skin would get red, we get really dry skin. I’m telling you, man, I did not put lotion on but maybe once this entire winter. And I used to have to do that all the time. How funny is that? We could put the lotion industry out of business with this advice too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I mean, you may topically need to add a little bit but you’ll be able to reduce the 80 to 90%. I remember when I was first trying to get healthy 15 20 years ago, 15 years ago, I was trying to low fat thing. I’m the gates and I remember one winner, my skin was so itchy and dry. And I remember I came across an article and I started adding in coconut oil and an olive oil. And I was just doing a tablespoon of a day and I remember being like Wow, my skin the dryness just it reduced at 90% with just internally adding fats, because I’m thinking like oh dryness, that just means more water, right, you need more water, but you need to be able to carry that water to the skin. And the fats provide that kind of support, the fats help bring that hydration to the skin. And so fats for me played a huge role. And I’ve seen that as well. And of course with all this fat phobia, the more dry your skin gets. That means the more inflamed is going to get the more inflamed the more redness and and and potential for other issues are going to happen. So if you don’t have enough fats on your skin that can create this cascade of a lot of other skin issues.
Evan Brand: Well, you know what else is I’ve noticed too, you know, Irish descent, at least some Irish some German. And years ago, I would never be able to get tan, I would just straight burn. And I rarely wear sunscreen, maybe you advise me different. But I typically just wear like a big sun hat in the summer. If it’s like 95 degrees and it’s frickin hot. I might do some zinc oxide if I’m out all day, but if I’m just out like half an hour plane in the garden, and then I’m gonna head back in and cook lunch or something I’m not putting sunscreen on I’m just out there with no shirt. And I used to just burn so bad even from that dose. Now, I don’t burn. The fats are helping me not burn now. Maybe it’s the meats to the collagen. I mean, there’s something changing where I just, I can I can bronze now, which is pretty interesting, especially for an Irish guy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, the fats definitely play a big role and helping to bring calcium to the skin that can be I’ve seen that be something also having a lot more of the bioflavonoids whether it’s Grapeseed, or a lot of the antioxidants, those can go to the skin and also have an SPF kind of factor. I know Grapeseed extract plays a big role. A lot of these oligomeric proanthocyanidins, which are like these antioxidants, and in fruits and vegetables can play a big role. The fats, like I mentioned, the omega threes play a big role.
Evan Brand: Oh, you make a good point. Yeah, sorry, I forgot to I forgot to mention that. Yeah, I mean, I do a ton of blueberries like come spring, early summer, I’m doing a ton of blueberries, I think you’re right, there’s probably some antioxidant factor too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Antioxidant factor, there’s a good fat factor, the fast to play a big role with bringing calcium up to the skin, which I know helps. And then obviously having enough zinc plays a big role because we typically, the more natural skincare is going to use like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for kind of natural sun scare sun skincare. And so of course that that has a deflective aspect to it. And I imagine that the zinc that you consume orally is also going to play a big role. So like in summer months, you know, I’ll bang down six to eight oysters in a week. And you’re getting you know, eight milligrams of zinc per oyster. So if you bang down eight or nine oysters, I mean you’re getting 70 or 80 milligrams of zinc and you know the daily requirements only like 10 so you can get like a week’s worth of your zinc in one oyster session.
Evan Brand: Wow, that’s impressive.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so it’s really good and you can also get some extra from pumpkin seeds too as long as you tolerate the seeds.
Evan Brand: Yeah, I actually had some pumpkin seeds yesterday they were good just some I got some sprouted ones supposedly those are easier to digest so if someone reacts, maybe tried to sprout it I personally don’t have an issue either way. So some one thing to consider Alright, so we hit the gut infection piece. You did great hitting on some of the nutrients Stephen some of the good nutrients that would be in a multi which you and I make some really professional multis.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Alright guys, you’re gonna have 20 or 30 milligrams of zinc in there. So that kind of gives you a good whack and then if you’re adding in, you know, mushrooms or grass fed beef, right or any some of the healthier nuts and seeds that are out there, that and obviously, that’s gonna play a big role and then collagen, collagen really helps because we’re just not getting a lot of collagen based amino acids, right, we’re getting a lot of muscle meat, we’re not getting a lot of skin or joint. So having the skin on your chicken or chicken thighs very helpful, right having soups or bone broth helps. And you can also really take an excellent collagen amino acid support. I know mine, we use collagen from grass fed cows and we also use proteolytic enzymes to help break down those amino acids to make it easy and you can mix them in your water you can mix them in your tea or your soup or your coffee. So it’s just a great way to get extra building blocks for your skin. And it also helps your hair and your nails and your joints.
Evan Brand: I was speaking to college and let me do a little rant here and an anti plug. So the bulletproof collagen bars I used to eat those. Dave Asprey is bulletproof company, who he was the CEO of and then he stepped down couple years ago and now the ex or current CEO of hostess who makes like ding dongs now he’s the CEO in charge of bulletproof product. Anyway, I was at Whole Foods a couple weeks ago, I used to love eating those collagen, like the collagen bars, you know, it’s like a hydrolyzed collagen with like a little bit of stevia or monk fruit in there with some organic cashews. And I go in there, and there’s a new box, and it’s like new and improved recipe and I’m like, Yes, this is gonna be delicious. And I didn’t even read it because I just thought, okay, it’s gonna be awesome, right, you know, and I get home and I start to eat it. And it’s like real slimy. And it used to be kind of crumbly. I’m like, What’s weird wise, it’s slimy. Maybe I got a bad batch or something. And I flip it around, I look at the label. And it’s no longer organic cashews. Now it’s just regular cashews. And then now there’s safflower oil, which Dave was extremely anti bad oils. So now there’s safflower oil in there. And there was one other thing that tripped me out. But yeah, so safflower oil from organic to non organic nuts. And then there was one other thing. So luckily, I was able to return them and get a refund. But that used to be my go to thing that I’d recommend for people to get a good easy source of collagen as a snack, and I can no longer recommend that product.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Interesting. Yeah, I had an experience to where I bought a mainstream collagen brand at Whole Foods, I have my own called Tru collagen, but I ran out. And I needed something right away, because I typically put it in my coffee or tea in the morning. And I grabbed the you know, good one, or named a brand that everyone will recommend put it in my coffee and my coffee tasted sour as heck. And I’m like, this is unflavored what’s going on. And basically, there’s two ways you can manufacture collegen. Of course, like you buy the best raw material you can, but then you got to break that cut, you know that collagen into peptides, right. And so there’s two ways you can do it. You can do it with sulfuric acid, or you can do it with enzymes. And so mine we do it with enzymes, which gives it a very, very neutral taste. So when you mix it and stuff, there’s not an extra taste. But this brand, I guess had used sulfuric acid because that’s the major side effect is you get that little bit of sourness or a little bit of a bitter aftertaste when you mix it and things. Now it’s like, oh, okay, got it, even though it’s unflavored. And you don’t see anything in the ingredients. You know, how you extract those, how you extract those amino acids matters, and it can really affect the taste.
Evan Brand: Wow. So I’d love to put them on blast. But if you don’t want to, that’s fine. And we’ll just tell people that storebought is not the best. And there’s a reason that Justin and I have professional healthcare manufacturers. And there’s a reason that what we have is considered a practitioner grade, you know, I get kind of annoyed when, when people will market supplements as like pharmaceutical grade because pharmaceuticals are crap. They’re filled with corn and fillers and all kinds of garbage. So when I see like, you know, pharmaceutical grade, like vitamin C, it’s like, ah, get out of here with that crap. So I would just prefer that we use the term professional, professional quality. And that’s not bs marketing. That truly is a difference.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, when people say pharmaceutical grade, because there can still be a lot of crap and pharmaceuticals, it’s more like the cleanliness of the factory or the manufacturing facility is very clean. But you could still add a whole bunch of crap into the supplement that’s not clean. But because the the manufacturing process is clean. It’s it’s pharmaceutical grade, right? And so yeah, so it’s professional grade, because we’re also cutting out all of the extra crap that we know isn’t going to be as good fillers, dyes, corn, you know, potential glutens all those different things that aren’t not going to be as good so for sure we keep all that in consideration and then We also do testing, right? I mean, we, I tested bunches of ashwagandha from major, you know, manufacturing people that we get it in and we test it and it’s got lead in it, we’re like nope, see later, you know, because we need to have the highest quality of product because we’re working with patients and we need to, we need to have a clinical outcome. It’s not just selling something and making some money, I need a clinical outcome, I need the highest quality because that matters, the outcome really matters. So you’re 100% right on that professional grade, so where to go. So we talked about collagen, I think low hanging fruit anyone, you could always do tablespoon of cod liver oil a day, tablespoon or two across the world, the vitamin A, and there’s excellent central fatty acids really good at eating high quality animal products is obviously going to be great. If you’re not doing high quality animal products, we’ll fix your digestion. But you could always do some seafood. If you can do that, you could always do some egg yolks, you could do that. You could also do some nuts and seeds, as long as you can tolerate them, especially the pumpkin seeds can be really good or chia seeds can be really good, or at least some algae on that side of the fence can be great. And then I would say make sure you’re pooping every day, make sure your bowels are regular. If you’re not going every day, you can be reabsorbing a lot of toxins in your gut. And if you have a lot of bacterial overgrowth, what happens? The bad bacteria Creek creates an enzyme called beta glucuronidation, this enzyme de conjugates metabolize estrogen. So what happens is you bind these proteins to estrogen. And these proteins are that you’re basically conjugating you’re binding this protein, and that allows you to excrete these hormones. And this enzyme comes in their ad conjugates. It breaks the handcuffs and allows those hormones to go back into general circulation. And so it’s possible that bad bacteria can really create hormonal imbalances. And if you’re a female, and you have potential estrogen dominance, that can be part of what’s going on. And so estrogen dominance can drive hyperpigmentation and skin issues as well. So you got to be on top of that. And of course, if you’re taking the birth control pill, you can almost guarantee that you’re going to be in that estrogen dominant state as well, because you have all this synthetic typically ethanol estradiol in your bloodstream as well.
Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. So we technically could have called this something like the SIBO hormone skin connection or something, but it is all connected. And we do find that when you get gut infections resolve skin’s better. And also, when like you mentioned, you’re knocking out the gut infections, you’re able to lower the beta glucuronidation. And now that pathway, the glucuronidation pathway works more efficiently. And then you get other toxins out to like mold toxin. So you can have skin issues with mold toxin, I certainly did. And that’s because we know that mold toxin can affect the gut barrier, mold can create leaky gut. So if you are treating the infections, you don’t get that toxin out to you’re not fully out of the woods. And in regards to testing, let’s mention that real quick. And then we can wrap up. So if you’re working with somebody like Dr. Justin and I what we’re going to be doing is a GI map stool test or similar, we’re going to be using organic acids testing, maybe some hormone profiles, and maybe some other toxin profiles. So with urine and stool, we can get so much information into this. And your dermatologist is never going to run a stool test. They’re never going to run an organic acids test and find that you have clusters and Candida and strep and klebsiella, Giardia and H pylori and give you herbals to kill it herbal antibiotics antifungals. That’s never the protocol. So I’m not saying don’t go to them. I’m just saying if you want root cause solutions. These are the types of tests and solutions you need to implement. Not a topical steroids, which is exactly what my wife got prescribed when she had a lot of issues. They did a good job with testing, but it was a patch test. And they found that she was reacting to some parabens and all the garbage that was in her conventional skincare products at the time. So they at least did a good job of testing that. But they never tested the actual body. They just tested the chemicals. They didn’t go and say hey, what are the deeper underlying issues? Oh, you’ve got poor methylation poor detox function. You’re not pooping. You’re pooping once every three days. They don’t go into that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, 100% you know, so we got to try to get to the root underlying issue. The problem is when you do steroids, you also weaken your connective tissue, you weaken the skin, and then it sets you up for more dependency. And then it also weakens the immune system and it could also create more blood sugar imbalances, especially if you’re having to use a lot of steroids. And that blood sugar, guess what, that can increase insulin and increase insulin increases what more sebum oil production, potentially more acne. So a lot of times these medicine medications can create a vicious cycle. So you got to be very, very careful with that. So out of the gates, kind of what’s the Reader’s Digest version, work on the diet, work on your carbohydrates, work on certain nutrients, fat soluble vitamins work on digesting your protein, adding college and adding vitamin A and zinc. Get your gut looked at work with a good functional practitioner. If the low hanging fruit things aren’t working? Right, it’s okay to you know, stop guessing and assess what is going on. Also, put your comments down below. Let us know things that have already helped you in the past. I’m curious to know, let us know your successes. Also feel free and share this information with friends or family that are suffering or dealing with issues and want to dive into the next step or want to do deeper testing into it. Give us a thumbs up, I really appreciate it. And we’ll put our links down below you want to reach out to Evan EvanBrand.com, great place to go. You can schedule with Evan worldwide, as well as myself, Dr. J JustinHealth.com. As well, we’ll put links underneath as well where you guys can review our podcast, we appreciate your feedback. This helps us to help more people. So if you’re enjoying this information right now, give us a quick review just a sentence or two, let us know if we’re doing good. And if we’re not give us some feedback, we always want to do better, Evan, anything else you want to highlight?
Evan Brand: Yeah, if people are just sitting there like maybe they’re like halfway awake, or they’re daydreaming, snap back into reality, review us, we will love you forever. We really do need the reviews, it helps us beat out other people. You know, we don’t do ads on this show. Maybe one day I’ll go back to doing some if I have a good partner that we work with again, but for now, this is a non ad show. And so many other shows are just filled with it. You just have to put up with the spam, we try to give you guys all killer, no filler. So I hope you recognize that. Take the two seconds go on your your app. for iPhone users, it’s probably the easiest. That’s the best place to review us on your Apple podcast app, see the show, click write a review. Boom, give us the stars you think we deserve? Give us a few comments. It really helps motivate us, you know this kind of a thankless job, you’ll get hundreds of thousands of downloads and then maybe two people are like, yeah, that was a good episode. So we really want to hear it. And we really appreciate it. It’s what keeps us fueled up and just mentioned the links, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re going to save you more time and more money. Yes, you got to pay to play, so to speak to get labs and console’s done, but I tell you if I knew what I know now, man, I could have saved myself years of suffering with my skin issues throughout high school. I mean, I just had, it wasn’t the worst that wasn’t the pizza face, kid. But I certainly have my my issues with acne. And man, if I would have been able to get it dialed in now like we do for some of our kids and teenagers that you and I work with. Wow. And we’re literally changing the trajectory of their entire life. It doesn’t go this is like I said the beginning. This is beyond the vanity. I mean, I had a kid in California who’s 17 and now that his skin is so much better he’s so much more confident he got a promotion at work so he’s making more money. He’s feeling better he’s got a new partner so he’s you know, he’s he’s with a female now and he was previously too like embarrassed to to want to date anyone. So I mean this this could affect everything. Career finances, this is not just how you look in the mirror. So I want people to go beyond that and think about how much more could you achieve if your skin was better? And I think the sky’s the limit.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep, also scanning god are intimately connected. If you have skin issues, you may not be breaking things down. You may be gassy. You may be bloated. So look within right above below inside out. Alright guys, hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. Really appreciate it. Share, care, thumbs up review links below.
Eating Your Way to Youthful Skin
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Whether you dread wrinkles as a sign of aging or wear them proudly as a product of years of life and laughter, we can all agree that healthy, glowing skin is desirable. Your skin is the first thing people notice when they meet you and can tell a person a lot about your health and lifestyle.
While we all get older, the rate at which we show typical signs of aging is totally subjective. Our diet and lifestyle all affect our quality and rate of aging. Today we are going to dive into various foods and nutrients that support glowing, supple, youthful skin.
What is Skin Made Of?
Skin is our largest organ; it protects us from germs, helps regulate body temperature, and perceives and transmits sensory information. Our skin is composed of three layers:
- Epidermis: the outermost layer of skin, composed largely of fats and proteins.
- Dermis: beneath the epidermis, this layer contains connective tissue, collagen, and elastin—proteins that give our skin support and elasticity.
- Hypodermis: this is the innermost layer of subcutaneous tissue, composed of fat and connective tissue.
You may notice a common theme: our skin is largely composed of fats, proteins, and collagen. So guess what types of foods do the most for our skin? That’s right—fats, proteins, and collagen—as well as vitamins that we will get to later.
Eating Fat and Cholesterol for Healthy Skin
There are various anti-aging foods with powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, including collagen protein, saturated fats, and vitamins A and E.
A low-fat diet actually ages you by depriving your skin of the lipids it needs for optimal health. Saturated fats are the ones our skin craves: we are animals and we need animal fat. Butter, egg yolks, salmon, goat cheese… Fat not only feeds your skin, but it also helps balance your hormones, another anti-aging feature of delicious saturated goodness!
We’re taught to avoid cholesterol, but guess what: 50% of cell membranes are made of cholesterol, both cholesterol that our body produces, as well as cholesterol from our diet. It is crucial for building healthy cells, healthy skin, and more. Cholesterol also helps us make bile to digest the saturated fats that we should be eating, and aids in vitamin extraction.
Important Nutrients for Healthy Skin
- Vitamin A may be the most important fat-soluble vitamin for healthy, youthful skin. The epidermis needs vitamin A to stay soft and firm, while a deficiency leads to ‘cornification,’ or rough, scaly skin, and even acne. Vitamin A also triggers collagen production, which is an essential component of skin.
You can find the precursor to vitamin A, called beta carotene, in leafy greens. This must be converted to the active form of vitamin A, called retinol.
For the full anti-aging effects of vitamin A, try Cod liver oil, butter, salmon, goat cheese, and egg yolks. You’ll also be getting in a ton of healthy saturated fats!
- Vitamin E protects against aging, oxidization, and sunburns. It also prevents wrinkles, is anti-scarring, and supports the pituitary. This is especially important for women during menopause when hormones are changing and the pituitary starts producing fewer hormones.
- Collagen: Collagen is the most abundant fibrous protein in the human body. Collagen is made by specialized cells in the skin, ligaments, bones, and cartilage and is the glue that holds the body together. Between 25% and 35% of all protein in the body is made up of collagen and up to 70% of the proteins in the connective tissues are composed of collagen. Along with elastin, collagen is an essential component of skin.
You can get collagen when you consume things like bone broth. Or, you can use a collagen powder and add it to your coffee or smoothies. I recommend TruKeto Collagen, which is enzymatically broken down to a very low molecular weight that is easily assimilated and absorbed.
Foods that Cause Aging
We’ve gone over what foods you should be adding to your diet, so let’s now take a look at what we should be avoiding.
- Smoking: Tobacco smoke causes premature aging on all fronts. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are damaging to the skin. Even being around second-hand smoke can take its toll on collagen and elastin, the building blocks that give skin its strength and elasticity.
- Stress: When you’re stressed, your body is pumping out more cortisol. This signals to your glands to produce more oil. Stress and cortisol surges can aggravate acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.
- Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates: Sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods can all create excessive inflammation, accelerate signs of aging, and lead to acne at any age. Sugar, in particular, can accelerate signs of aging by leading to cross-linking of collagen fibers.
- Alcohol: Alcohol deprives the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients, causes inflammation, and is dehydrating—leading to rough, dry skin—and ultimately more wrinkles.
The skin is oftentimes the first sign of internal health issues. Eating for your skin is eating for your whole body. The Just In Health Eating Plan emphasizes organic vegetables, meats, and is a cross between a paleo and keto diet. A healthy keto-paleo diet is a way to go. Throw intermittent fasting into the mix, and you are also reaping the benefits of autophagy, which repairs, recycles, and disposes of unhealthy cells.
It is important to know the foods you are sensitive to, as these can cause skin issues (dry skin, acne, wrinkles) as well as more serious internal health problems. The best way to know for sure if you are sensitive to something is to do an elimination diet or a food sensitivity test.
Sunscreen: What You Need to Know
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Summer is upon us, which means vacations, BBQs, poolside lounging, and all-around more time outdoors! I have previously discussed the benefits of sunshine and spending time outside, however, for many of us, our sun exposure will be shooting up pretty quickly with the changing of the seasons. If you haven’t built your “sollar callus,” you may be more prone to burning in the sun. The most common way we are taught to prevent sunburn is by using sunscreen. Today I want to talk to you about the pros and cons of using sunscreen, and the safest ways to protect yourself against sunburn and skin cancer.
Dirty Sunscreen Secrets
This year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published a report with shocking results: nearly two-thirds of sunscreens on the market don’t actually work, or contain worrisome ingredients that are absorbed into the body. The United States tends to have very lax safety standards regarding skin care ingredients. In fact, about half of the sunscreen sold in the US wouldn’t pass the European Union’s safety standards!
Here are some common ingredients you can find in sunscreens sold in the United States:
- Oxybenzone: Easily absorbed into the skin, and can be detected in urine, blood, and breast milk samples. Studies show that oxybenzone is a potential endocrine disruptor, affecting hormone levels. Due to their increased susceptibility and potential bioaccumulation, children are at an even higher risk. (*)
- Octinoxate: Animal studies on octinoxate report lower sperm counts, sperm abnormalities, and delayed puberty. It can be detected in a mother’s milk. Octinoxate has hormone-like activity, and affects the reproductive system, thyroid, and alters behavior.
- Homosalate: Another widespread sunscreen ingredient, homosalate disrupts estrogen, androgen, and progesterone.
A major problem with many ingredients in sunscreen (and other skin care products) is that there really just hasn’t been enough research done to prove their safety. And from the little we do know, all signs point to avoiding these ingredients.
How to Choose the Right Sunscreen
We know our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what you put on it. This is why the ingredients in all personal care products matter, especially for the products that we apply and leave on, like sunscreen and lotion.
Firstly, avoid spray sunscreens. Inhaling these ingredients pose a whole new set of health dangers, and it’s hard to apply them correctly. The FDA has even raised concerns regarding spray-on sunscreen. Plus, using spray-on sunscreens subjects anyone in the vicinity to breathing in these airborne toxins.
It’s important to note that SPF can be misleading. When you properly apply SPF 50 sunscreen, it blocks 98 percent of UVB rays; SPF 100 blocks 99 percent. The misinformation regarding SFP values leads consumers to believe they are more protected than they actually are. This false sense of protection causes sunbathers to spend more time outside, applying sunscreen less frequently, and ultimately, higher incidence of sunburn.
In addition to the known toxic ingredients in sunscreen, about 40% of sunscreens contain the seemingly harmless vitamin A. While this sounds innocuous, studies show that vitamin A ingredients react poorly with UV rays, increasing the risk of skin developing tumors and lesions. It is recommended to avoid sunscreens, lip products, and skin lotions containing vitamin A, also listed as retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinol.
Badger is a widely available sunscreen that is EWG-approved. The sun protection comes from non-nano zinc oxide. Many mainstream sunscreens use “nanoparticles” which help the sunscreen absorb into your skin. While this helps the sunscreen rub all the way in so that it’s no longer visible, it also means you’re absorbing all of the ingredients into your skin and bloodstream.
The non-nano particles in a safe sunscreen such as the Badger brand mean that they are not readily absorbed. These are the sunscreens that will leave you with a little bit of a whitish-blue tint to your skin, but it’s much better than the alternative!
Safe Sun Habits
Food for thought: The EWG reports that melanoma doesn’t tend to appear on parts of the body that get daily sun exposure. Plus, people who work indoors are at a much higher risk for melanoma than those who work outside.
It’s commonly accepted that increased sun exposure leads to increased risk of melanoma. However, studies show that:
- Those who wear sunscreen are more likely to develop melanoma.
- Melanoma patients who got higher amounts of sun exposure tended to have less aggressive tumor types,
- Higher sun-exposure melanoma patients were less likely to die than other melanoma patients. (*)
Now, this may be due to the toxicity of mainstream sunscreen ingredients. However, there are many ways to minimize sunscreen usage.
- Build your solar callus: Gradually work up a tan. Many of us emerge in the summer after many months indoors. You may only be able to start with 15 minutes outside if you are pale and prone to burning. However, over the course of days/weeks, you’ll build up your ‘solar callus’ and you will be able to spend more and more time outside.
- Seek the shade: You can reap the benefits of sunlight without having to be under direct sun.
- Cover up: Instead of always relying on sunscreen, you can simply layer up. Using clothes or sun cover ups are a great way to decrease the sun’s intensity on your skin.
- Choose a healthy sunscreen: When you know you’re going to need sunscreen, choose a natural, non-nano sunscreen, such as Badger sunscreen.
UV from the sun actually provides our bodies with an essential “stress” which signals to molecules on our skin to convert to the active form of vitamin D. Vitamin D is considered perhaps the most common medical condition in the world. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to virtually all forms of cancer (prostate cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, gastrointestinal cancer, bladder cancer…), cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease.
The sun is perhaps our greatest healer, but we must respect its intensity. By practicing safe sunning practices, you can get vitamin D without burning or ingesting the toxic side effects of mainstream sunscreen ingredients!
Top Anti-Aging Foods
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Everyone ages, the question, therefore, is not will you age, but how will you age? Will you suffer from chronic pain and inflammation, develop diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and cancer, lose your mental capacities or your ability to walk and run? Or will you remain in good health with good posture, retain a great state of mind and mental clarity, keep balanced hormones and healthy relationships?
The truth is, the choice is yours, and it is exactly that: a choice. If you are determined to live a long life with your body and energy at their fullest potential, you can do so! However, there are no magic creams or pills that will prevent you from showing signs of aging. The secret to aging gracefully and successfully lies in a series of healthy diet and lifestyle choices which we will outline below.
What is Aging?
Disease, dementia, cancer, loose saggy skin, slowed brain function, slow and weakened body: these are NOT predetermined signs of aging! These are the consequences of the Standard American diet (SAD) and lifestyle that have been normalized by our society. Recent discoveries have shown that inflammation, the shortening of your telomeres, and mitochondrial deterioration are what control the aging process.
What Causes Aging?
Inflammation causes the diseases and health decline that are hallmark symptoms of aging, which can eventually lead to autoimmune disease and cancer. This can be combated by finding the root cause of inflammation (commonly diet-related) and taking steps to prevent it.
Telomeres sit at the end of our DNA, and their length is related to our biological age (different from our chronological age, which counts birthdays, your biological age is how old your body is in relationship to your health). Telomeres are shortened by unhealthy habits such as smoking, and eating inflammatory foods.
Our mitochondria produce 95% of our energy, in the form of ATP, but the byproduct of the energy production is harmful free radicals which cause damage to the mitochondria. Science has shown certain foods, as well as the enzyme CoQ10, to be powerful in defending against free radical damage.
How to Age Successfully
We are able to curtail disease, wrinkles, and a general decline in health through taking proper care of our bodies. A big part of preventing disease and deterioration as you age is dependent on your diet. The following foods are just some of the many healthy options we have that are full of the nutrients and minerals vital for good health and longevity:
Bright colored fruits and veggies provide beta-carotene and vitamin A, which protect against cellular damage and premature aging. They are also great for your skin and eyes, meaning less wrinkles and better vision. These include: bell peppers, carrots, sweet potato, and broccoli.
Leafy greens, such as spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and kale, contain several top antioxidants. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Beta-carotene, vitamin C, and sulforaphane are cancer-fighting antioxidants present in leafy greens. The folate in spinach improves your short-term memory and might even lower the risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Vitamin K1 is found in collard and salad greens, which is linked to vascular health, strong bones, prevention of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and can treat certain cancers.
Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, making them an unexpected friend of your eyes. They are a natural source of vitamin D, as well as choline, which protects your brain, nervous system, and heart. Be sure to buy organic, pastured eggs for all the benefits they have to offer!
Blueberries are chock-full of antioxidant power. By fighting oxidative stress, blueberries can help neutralize the damage caused by free radicals. They help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis while boosting your vision and immune system!
Citrus contains vitamin C, which helps your body produce collagen. Collagen is responsible for healthy joints as well as tight, healthy skin. The quercetin in citrus has anti-aging properties and also helps fight inflammation.
You are what you eat, so if your goal is to be healthy and thriving in old age, the food choices you make today need to be healthy ones. Luckily, these foods are not only dense in important nutrients, they are also delicious!