Have You Heard of the Skin Gut Axis

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We constantly are hearing reports on both sides: should we or shouldn’t we protect our skin from sun exposure. Yes, we know that prolonged sun exposure, sun burns and other factors can play a roll in skin cancers but is limiting sun exposure in whole good for us?

As many of us know much of our vitamin D synthesis takes place in our skin and utilizes sunlight for this process. Without the contact of sun directly on our skin it limits our ability to produce vitamin D. Okay, but how does this effect your gut?

Recently a group of scientist, Bosman et. al., have been looking into the correlation of skin vitamin D synthesis and the effects on gut health. Novelly coining this as they skin gut axis.

Their study looked into the effects of vitamin D production from narrow band UVB light on the skin and how it changes our gut microbiome. And this is what their results looked like.

First they compared UVB group to a non-UVB exposure group. After treatment the group with UVB exposure had a 7.3nmol/dL increase in vitamin D levels. This group also showed an increase in microbiota diversity by analyzing 16s RNA. Overall showing and effect of increasing the diversity of microbes in the gut.

But they decided to take the study one step further since we could argue why not just take vitamin D supplements to increase the levels and not expose yourself to sunlight. So next they decided to study the UVB group without vitamin D supplementation vs. a non sunlight exposed group taking vitamin D supplementation. Their results looked like this.

The group that increased vitamin D levels with sunlight vs. supplementation. The study showed even further increase in microbiota diversity and numbers.

So why is this important. We know our gut biome is reaponsiblw for a whole host of processes including.
✅vitamin synthesis.
✅neurotransmitter production.
✅and so much more.

To me this once again shows the importance of natural processes such and vitamin D synthesis from sun exposure. Sometimes the artificial ways just do not cut it. After all, we evolved for millions of years along side this wonderful sun. ☀️

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