Are Gut Health Supplements Worth The Investment? Here's What A Registered Dietitian Has To Say

Hippocrates — considered the father of medicine in ancient Greece — once said that "all disease begins in the gut" (per Healthline). Modern medicine has been steadily adding to a growing body of evidence that suggests the opposite is also true: That maintaining a happy gut microbiome is the key to good health and vitality. Shira Barlow, a registered dietician and nutrition expert who penned the book "The Food Therapist" and hosts the new podcast "Good Instincts" every Monday through Friday, says good health and good skin can be yours — so long as you're taking care of your gut. But do we need to be spending exorbitant amounts of cash on gut health supplements to do it?

In her most recent episode "The Future of Beauty," Barlow says, "There are a lot of beauty brands breaking into the wellness space with ingestible beauty products." She explains that these supplements, which are designed to be used in tandem with traditional skincare products, are meant to help you glow from the inside out. But upon examining the ingredients in the edible skincare products recently released by RMS Beauty, Barlow notes, "These are essentially gut health supplements that are being rebranded as 'ingestible beauty,'" adding that the $50 price point is rather steep for what you're getting.

Supplementation vs. a healthy diet

On the podcast, Barlow also breaks down the ingredients in Miranda Kerr's supplement, Noni Glow, confirming that it's chock full of antioxidants and vitamins that are great for our skin. However, she points out that instead of shelling out for daily supplements, "We can also amp up our antioxidant and vitamin intake through food. Leafy greens and orange and yellow vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes and pumpkin — which are also in season right now — are very good sources of both."

After giving us the rundown on a few more heavy hitters in the skincare supplement game, Barlow gives us her expert opinion — setting the record straight on the ingestible beauty craze once and for all. "I really believe, first and foremost, an inside-out glow starts with a healthy diet, getting enough water, and a healthy gut. Because of this, there are supplements out there that target gut health that are perfectly fine products, but are overpriced, in my opinion, because they are being marketed under this big beauty umbrella. And in that case, you're better off just spending on a really high quality probiotic like Seed or Renew Life."

Barlow follows this up by recommending that if you're going to spend the money on a skincare supplement, try to find one with beneficial ingredients you just aren't getting from your diet alone. Otherwise, support your gut health through a balanced diet, and both your skin and your wallet will thank you.