14/08/2014 16:44 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Are Probiotics The Secret To Clear Skin?

There's been much debate over the impact of certain foods on the skin but the latest miracle ingredient is more surprising than most.

Dermatologists in New York have been prescribing probiotics - which supplement the "good" bacteria that live in the stomach - alongside antibiotics to clear-up acne. This combination might sound implausible, but the results have proven otherwise.

"By taking oral probiotic supplements or by eating probiotics in your diet, you can theoretically restore a healthy environment in your gut and keep the skin from getting inflamed," New York dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe told Fox News.

Yogurt with berries

Probiotic supplements like yoghurts with 'live cultures' have traditionally been used to relieve digestive problems and protect the body from yeast infections. So, what's the connection between our skin and our stomach?

The Cut spoke to Dr. Frank Lipman, Gwyneth Paltrow's holistic doctor, to find out more about the benefits of including probiotics in our diets.

"When our gut flora is not healthy, and there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria, a lot of problems can arise - including chronic inflammation, which is a cause of acne and other skin problems," Dr. Lipman explained.

"Some bad bacteria, fungus, and yeast can even cause inflammation in and of themselves. So, if you are looking to clear up your skin, you have to start with your gut."

What's his recommendation for cleaning-up your gut? Try eliminating certain foods and eat more ingredients rich in probiotics such as miso, pickles and kefir.

"Cut out wheat, sugar, and dairy from your diet for two weeks, and take probiotics to help reduce inflammation in the gut that may be linked to acne," he says. "You can also take a fish-oil supplement to reduce inflammation."

As with most skin health issues, it all comes back to maintaining a balanced, healthy diet.

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