Skin Integrity is Vital to Natural Immune Defense

November 5, 2007 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Skin Integrity is Vital to Natural Immune Defense
The healthy structure of the skin is vital to maintaining the skin's role as part of the immune system. New research showed that ongoing stress irritated the skin, as nerves are wired directly to the skin. This resulted in a decrease of the integrity of skin itself, an increase of immune-suppressing glucocorticoids in the skin, and a decrease of front line immune soldiers that are naturally part of the skin (antimicrobial peptides).

Interestingly, glucocorticoid medications are widely used to suppress the symptoms of skin inflammation that could in fact be caused by a stress-induced immune suppression leading to skin infection. Such use of glucocorticoids would make the problem worse, by further suppressing the natural immune defense system of the skin.

This means that nutrition that supports improved stress tolerance or nutrition that supports skin integrity is the foundation for healthy skin and supportive of proper immune function of the skin.

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