**Last Edited 9-21-08**
Quick summary of the helpful supplements is here:
> 3000mgs of Taurine, split up throughout the day
> B complex 25, once per day, or split up throughout the day
> 2000+mg salt per day (improves glucose tolerance, improves digestion, necessary for proper adrenal function, natural anti-histamine)
> Soluble fiber supplement like Glucomannan taken right before each meal
> Reduce/eliminate as much as possible:
- refined sugars and refined carbs in the diet (refined sweeteners, breads, cereals, grains, etc)
- inflammatory foods/ingredients/additives such as hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats)
--Also helpful, not essential--
> 4000 IU Vitamin D per day, (2000IU morning and night, reduced hyper proliferation, improves insulin resistance)
> Peppermint Tea to reduce androgens, improve digestion
> Most calories should come from meat and vegetables, a whole food based diet.
Other threads about taurine that were started since this thread began:
Question about Taurine Taurine is not available in a few countries, and this posts provides a good explanation about why that is.
The Bigger Picture as I See It Summary/Outline of my plan so far, includes a more comprehensive supplementation routine including taurine to not only help acne but help prevent other western diet related diseases as well.
How many have had success with taurine? Summarizes pretty succinctly what the success rate of supplementing taurine has been for many members, and the variations in their regimens.
My Progress with Pictures A thread that documents in pictures the improvement one member is having with daily sugar free Red Bulls, and a low sugar diet.
My Experience with Taurine Another members experience with taurine clearing their acne. Includes before/after pictures, and detailed regimen.
Here's is a link to the post that contains a "before" picture, and an "after" picture of my skin 1 month on Taurine and b-complex. http://www.acne.org/...p...t&p=2138868
Acne Flow Chart This is a chart made by one member to visually demonstrate many factors on the causes and treatments for acne, including taurine, fructose, etc.
I'd also like to thank sie For her contribution of information and research on Vitamin D. Her thread on her experience with Vitamin D and calcium is here
**Edit - 12/13/07: Since this thread began, many forum members have found many studies on how fructose/inflammation can contribute to acne and several very interesting studies that suggest several ways that taurine helps combat acne. I'll summarize the overall conclusion here.
- Taurine is a sodium regulator; if your blood sodium is too low it'll increase it and vice-versa. Studies have shown that increased salt intake improves glucose tolerance in diabetics.
- High fructose foods/beverages cause the liver to convert the fructose to triglycerides in an attempt to avoid being overwhelmed by it, which are extremely inflammatory fatty acids.
- Any source of inflammation causes a depletion of taurine.
- Stress has been shown in studies to cause or exacerbate inflammation link, which may explain why many notice a connection between stress and acne - could taurine depletion be a factor?
- One role of taurine is to inhibit the over-production of skin cells. Therefore a deficiency in taurine will lead to hyperproliferation of skin cells due to the absence of it's inhibitory effects.
- Skin cell hyperproliferation in the pores is stage one in the development of acne.
- Fructose is a known contributor to insulin resistance. In studies, when researchers need to intentionally induce diabetes/insulin resistance they feed the subjects a high fructose diet.
- Insulin resistance causes the body to have to create more and more insulin in order to achieve the same affect.
- Increased insulin levels trigger increased production of the hormone IGF-1. IGF-1 causes hyperproliferation of skin cells.
- Increased insulin levels have also been shown to increase androgen levels.
- Increased androgen levels have been shown to trigger excess sebum production.
- Excess sebum production is stage 2 in the production of acne.
- Fructose -> insulin resistance -> increased insulin production -> hyper proliferation of skin cells, and increased androgen levels -> increased oil production -> excess oil + excess skin cells = plugs in the pores = ACNE
- Vitamin D has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
- Vitamin D is involved in the migration of skin cells and has been shown to reduce hyperproliferation and reduce systemic inflammation.
- A Vitamin D deficiency can cause a taurine deficiency and vice versa.
- Taurine has been shown to be able to reverse the effects of fructose-induced insulin resistance in rats.
- Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. Sulfur is well known to be naturally anti-bacterial, and sulfur is a major component of skin repair and healing. Many OTC and prescription acne medications (both internal and topical) are sulfur-based.
- High fructose diets have been shown to cause physical damage and scarring to the liver, and supplementation of taurine was demonstrated to reverse that damage, facilitate liver repair, and improve liver function back to normal.
- One major function of the liver is to neutralize and eliminate circulating and used up hormones to keep them all in balance and prevent excess levels of them.
- Liver damage prevents the liver from doing all of the many jobs it has to do as effectively as it was intended to, resulting in hormonal imbalances, and most likely many other imbalances as well.
- Fructose is a chelator, which means it binds to minerals making them unavailable to the body. As a result, they are carried out of the body. Zinc, magnesium, calcium, copper, chromium, etc, all get chelated by fructose.
- Many members of this forum, as well as several studies, have observed that supplementing with various minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, chromium, etc. improves acne. Ever wonder why we're deficient in them in the first place?
- Zinc and Vitamin A (both associated with improving acne) increase natural taurine production.
- A diet high in sugar and refined food products alkalinizes the stomach, leading to hypochlohydria. The typical western diet is notoriously high in sugar and refined food products.
- hypochlorhydria leads to food allergies because food isn't being properly broke down. The most common food allergies include: wheat, dairy, soy, nuts, eggs, shellfish/seafood, and citrus.
- Many members of this forum have noticed a connection between their breakouts and intake of several of those foods.
- hypochlorhydria leads to a loss of the ability to absorb specific minerals, such as selenium (anti-androgenic), zinc (well known treatment for acne and proper wound healing), magnesium (anti-inflammatory), and many others.
- hypochlorhydria allows for the proliferation of harmful bacteria and Candida/yeast infections, associated with leaky gut syndrome.
- Taurine is a major component of bile, and improves digestion of lipids.
- B vitamins increase stomach acid production.
Original post follows:
This is a long post, but please bear with me, it's worth it!
I think a lot of the factors that aggravate acne have to do with how the western diet is overloaded with fructose-heavy sugars. Table sugar is half glucose and half fructose. I noticed any time I ate anything with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in it, my skin would get worse. So I tried removing HFCS from my diet as much as I could, and saw an incredible difference! It went down significantly! But not completely. Then I noticed that being deficient in b vitamins would make me more likely to get acne along my jawline. I noticed that when I added nutritional yeast to my diet, and the jawline acne improved. So I started a general b vitamin supplement, and the jawline acne went away. But what did that have to do with sugar? So I looked it up. Sugar causes your body to lose b vitamins! But my acne wasn't 100% gone yet! For a long time I didn't know what the missing link was. Then at work a few weeks ago, a girl came by my work with Red Bull samples. I read the label, and all the sugars were fine, no fructose, no sucrose (which is made of half fructose) (**edit: Red bull does have sucrose listed, I didn't notice this until later, but the pure glucose added helps balance out the fructose I think), had some added b vitamins which was good, and some Taurine. I didn't know what Taurine was, but I took a risk. Within the next few days of drinking one red bull a day at work, my skin got amazingly clear! So I looked at the label again. The only thing in there that could be doing it was the Taurine because I was already taking a b-vitamin, and I really doubted the caffeine was helping...lol So I looked up Taurine, and found that in studies, Taurine was able to reverse fructose-induce diabetes in rats! I also found that Fructose is metabolized in the liver instead of with insulin like glucose, and HFCS heavy diets tend to overload the liver so it can't handle it all and so instead turns it into triglycerides which are highly inflammatory fats. For example, for every 1% increase in triglycerides in your diet, your risk of a heart attack goes up 150%. But knowing that fructose is handled by the liver, and that HFCS overloads the liver suddenly made me remember the liver flush threads and how they seemed to really help a lot of people! Suddenly the pieces were all fitting together! In the western diet, our main source of sweeteners are either table sugar (half fructose, have glucose), HFCS (80% fructose, 20% glucose), or Honey, which has the same sugar profile as HFCS (that was a big surprise for me!) No wonder our livers are overwhelmed, we're riddled with inflammation, and it tends to mostly happen with western diets! It's all about fructose! Fruit ordinarily has only small amounts of fructose compared to the levels of fructose our processed food diet provides. But with our overwhelmed livers, we can't even eat natural fruit anymore without breaking out!
Also, with more research on Taurine, I found that it is a sulfur containing amino acid. Sulfur is well known for it's anti-bacterial and healing properties, so that made even more sense. In addition to that, it is a key component of bile acids that helps your system digest lipids properly. A few months ago, I had been taking an enzyme by Enzymedica for digesting lipids (fats), and it really helped, but was way too expensive to keep up, so I had to stop taking it. But Taurine does the same thing! I got a bottle of 60 caps for like $13, so it's waaaay cheaper!
So here's what I'm doing that seems to be so far completely eliminating my acne:
- a low level General b-vitamin supplement (Taurine needs vitamin b-6 to work properly, and vitamin b-6 needs all the others b-vitamins to work properly. That's also why taking megadoses of single b-vitamins causes problems because it causes deficiencies in all the other b-vitamins, so make sure it has all the b vitamins in balanced amounts, but not too high levels. I actually split my b vitamin in half, and take half a capsule every day.)
- 1000mg/day supplement of Taurine **edit: since this post I have increased my taurine to at least 3000mgs/day, and it's more effective**
- Avoiding fructose as much as possible! Including HFCS, and sugars that contain fructose, like sucrose (cane sugar) and honey. Also HFCS is in a LOT of foods, so you'll need to become an avid label reader, but I'm sure many of you already are.
- Avoiding sweet fruits for now so my liver can recover.
- I'm also avoiding hydrogenated fats for good measure because they're inflammatory.
So there ya have it! My acne is gone, it's not expensive (it costs me about $25 for 2 months of supplements), and it's not complicated!
I'm sure if you added the liver flushes, that it would work even faster, but I just couldn't get myself to drink olive oil like that! lol But liver flushes aren't a required or necessarily recommended part of this regimen because I don't have any personal experience with them, and the regimen works fine without them.
If some people could try this and let me know if it works for them, it would be really appreciated!
Also, my daily face washing routine is just warm water and a wash cloth, nothing fancy.