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ADVERTORIAL: dr. john’s corner Skin Deep Your skin is the largest eliminatory organ in your body. It functions as a barrier to the outside world, yet has the ability to absorb nutrition. It acts as your body’s cooling system and assists the maintenance of your skeletal system. The glands in your skin keep it flexible and moist, as well as assisting in the regulation of body fluids and wastes. The hairs on your body are nourished by your skin, and help maintain temperature. The oils in your skin prevent loss of cellular fluids. A serious burn destroys these oils. A major concern here is dehydration due to the loss of fats which burned. Since water and fat don’t mix, it’s easy to see that these fats resist excess loss of body fluids. Your skin can absorb nutrients, especially if fat soluble. Years ago, I heard of a child kept alive with olive oil massages following destruction of his esophagus from drinking lye. Chemicals used as pesticides affect the nervous systems of insects and can transit through skin and impact our nervous system. Solvents used to break up grease can disrupt the fats in the skin allowing toxins to enter the body. Mechanics have now begun to wear gloves when working in solvent tanks. The oils in your skin are critical for the manufacture of vitamin D. Your skin can synthesize cholesterol for the manufacture of vitamin D when irradiated by the sun. Vitamin D is required to maintain bone integrity as well as providing adequate calcium to white blood cells for immune support, and for muscles to contract and relax properly. A low fat diet can create more skin problems and a host of other conditions. When we think about the vast array of bacteria lining our intestines, what’s often forgotten is the microbial garden growing on our skin. Without healthy bacteria on the skin, it’s common to see fungal infections there. Just as antibiotics damage gut flora, they damage the skin as well. Dr. John A. Briggs Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine specializing in complete family health care 20 nE LILLIch - cLATskAnIE, OR 97016 (503)728-4732

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