skin the gut microbiome and smoothies 62bc49edc4510

Skin, the Gut Microbiome and Smoothies

Do you want glowing, healthy, youthful skin?  Do you know that your inner skin is your gut and you need a healthy gut in order to have healthy skin? When your gut microbiome is out of balance, there is an increase in inflammation and permeability of the intestinal lining or leak gut. Your intestinal lining is designed to serve as a strong barrier between your gut and the rest of your body. You are in effect like a donut; what you eat still has to go through another protective barrier before it gets in your blood stream.  When your gut lining becomes leaky, particles of food enter your bloodstream, triggering your immune system to attack them, and ultimately your own tissues. This leads to inflammation, food sensitivities and allergies as well as autoimmunity. When imbalances in your gut microbiome occur there is an abnormal growth of gut bacteria called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis in the microbiome has been associated with numerous pathologies including inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, allergies, asthma, autism and cancer. Skin diseases can also result from disbiosis including acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. An unbalanced gut microbiome or dysbiosis is actually a very common problem for many people and over the course of 25 years I’ve had to help thousands of people.  It starts with diets high in processed foods and sugar, consuming conventionally raised meat and dairy products full of hormones, and encompasses rounds of antibiotics and chronic stress. Evidence for the impact of stress on the gut microbiome dates back to over 70 years ago when dermatologists linked emotional states like depression, worry and anxiety to an alteration in the gut microbiome leading to skin conditions including hives, acne and skin inflammation.

The good news is that even if your microbiome is currently out of balance you can change it and we’ve helped thousands achieve this change. The bacteria in your gut is very responsive to the foods you eat or don’t eat which favors certain strains and starves out others. In a recent study, researcher Lawrence David found that within just a few days not only was there a variation in the abundance of different kinds of bacteria in the gut, but also the kinds of genes they were expressing.  

We start with removing foods that most people are sensitive to and that support certain types of bacteria if there are digestive issues. DigestMax enzymes are added to the diet to augment your digestive capacity and correct any deficiencies. Biotransform or GI Balance is an amino acid formulation for gut lining repair and restoration along with detoxification. Probio probiotics are used to reconstitute and restore the cohort of bacteria that are a part of a healthy microbiome. 


Once the gut microbiome correction and rebalancing has occurred we teach and institute a nutritional lifestyle program for continued maintenance.  

Smoothies are a fun and easy way to deliver nutrients efficiently to a healthy gut for healthy skin.  As an example, here is a list of ingredients you can use in a smoothie for gut and skin health.

  1. Fruits (fresh or frozen): apple, avocado (fresh), berries, cherries, figs (fresh), guava, kiwi, mango, papaya, passion fruit, peaches, pear, watermelon
  2. Vegetables and greens: beets, carrots, celery, chard, collard greens, cucumber, kale, lettuce, spinach
  3. Fluids: almond milk and coconut milk (unsweetened), hemp milk, fermented coconut water, filtered water, freshly squeezed or pressed juice, herbal teas
  4. Fresh Lemon or lime juice; optional add some rind for extra aroma and taste
  5. Fresh herbs and spices: basil, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mint, nutmeg, parsley, turmeric
  6. Hemp or pea protein powder
  7. Raw seeds, nuts, and nut butters (do not use roasted): chia seeds, coconut, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, soaked almonds, walnuts or cashews, sunflower seeds
  8. Optional additives for flavor and sweetness: Add 2-4 large and pitted dates (dates have high amounts of natural sugars, but are a low glycemic index food and one pitted date contains 1.6 g of fiber) ; Add Vanilla and/or peppermint (check to be sure they are organic and contain no additional ingredients); Add bananas, dates, grapes, and pineapple for more sweetness; Add Stevia as drops, plant leaf, or powder; Add supplemental nutrients: collagen (for example Collagen Active), coconut oil, maca, probiotics (for example ProBio 350 or Probio Plus), spirulina/chlorella (algae), vitamin C

Thickeners like using 1 tablespoon (11 g) chia is another option.


Here is a Classic Green Smoothie Recipe:

 Nutrient dense, sweetened with Pineapple and grapes added for sweetness to balance some of the less flavorful greens, and the clean taste is achieved with the addition of cilantro and lime.

YIELD: 1 smoothie 1 cup (235 ml)

Brewed chamomile tea 1 cup (30 g) fresh organic spinach 1/2 cup (75 g) seedless green grapes 1/2 cup (42.5 g) pineapple, frozen 1/4 medium organic green apple 2 tablespoons (30 g) hemp protein powder 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro Fresh lime juice, to taste

In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy cold in a tall glass.

To get on a  AFH microbiome restorative program or benefit from other AFH health strategies please email, visit, or call (925)736-9828.  Take care and stay healthy.


Jeffrey Mark, M.D.

Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

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