Monday, May 28

is there a relationship between diet and acne?

pimples, blemishes, matter what you call it, acne is a nightmare!

about 90% adolescent population is plagued with acne. it's sort of a right of passage. but, did you know about 50% of the population over the age of 25 has to live with acne. even more, did you know that acne is more common in Western populations?

let's talk myths

chocolate: zero evidence that cocoa is related to acne

greasy foods: fat and grease has no effect on the cause or worsening of acne

dirty skin: dirt on the skin does not cause acne. in fact, scrubbing or over-cleasnsing may worsen acne.

possible causes

hormones: hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy can result in acne

medication: steroidal medications are known to cause acne

diet: high carbohydrate foods and dairy may trigger acne

diet vs acne

could the way we eat have anything to do with acne? maybe!

perhaps that's why there are no cases of acne in paraguay and papua new guinea. what both of these regions share is their traditional village communities and the active steps taken to preserve the hunter-gatherer and agriculture based culture. i bet you won't find boxed or canned foods there.

studies have shown

"people with acne may have hyperinsulinemia and foods that are low in the glycemic index (GI) may contribute to the hormonal control of acne,” says Alan R. Shalita, MD, the distinguished teaching professor and chairman of the department of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York. “i would encourage patients with acne to moderate the amount of carbs that they eat and not to overdo dairy. there is some suggestion that dairy products may contribute to acne.", he says.

an Australian study split a group of 50 males from ages 15-25. one group was fed a low GI diet of lean meats, poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. the other groups was fed a typical Western diet of highly processed food, high GI foods, and refined sugars and flours. after 12 weeks, the group on the higher-protein and low GI diet showed a 50% improvement in acne . "a diet high in processed foods pushes glucose and insulin levels higher, exacerbating the problem, but low-glycemic foods do the opposite," Mann said. "the mechanism and the results are clear as day."

gluten sensitivities and allergies may also be linked to acne. when the small intestine becomes damaged by gliadin (a protein in gluten), antibodies and inflammatory chemicals are released. this increase in antibodies and chemicals can aggravate acne.

the gist

just like high-performance cars, we run better, faster, and longer on premium fuel. think about it. if you start the day with a donut, you know you're going to feel sluggish by 9:30am. what if you follow that donut with a sandwich, and end with a hamburger? chances are you're not going to feel like a workout or a jog after work. so, if a high-sugar, high-carb diet can effect your entire day, isn't it possible it could effect your complexion as well? sure, genetics play a role. but, what if a poor diet just makes things worse?

whether it's hyperinsulinemia with the inability to regulate insulin normally, a gluten sensitivity, or your body revolting against junk food, cutting the processed food and refined sugars and flours could do the trick!

you know, high-protein, low carb diets with low GI foods increase energy and help you lose weight. throw clearer skin into the mix, and i can't think of a reason not to try it! i mean, who doesn't want more energy, a leaner body, and clearer skin?

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