Good Things For The Many Factors That Lead To Acne

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First: Don't Panic
It's not as difficult as it looks. Everything is inter-related and the same basic diet and lifestyle habits are repeated over and over. Because they are good for everything and how humans should eat and live. So, take a deep breath... and read:

Good things for Acne
(For when you only have time for the answers, but with links to more info. And see also this thread for more details on the Ultimate Question on Acne, Diet, Health and Everything!, a collection of links to numerous of the most valuable discussion threads ever. Including the best of SweetJade, the fairy Godmother of this forum. Click on it!)

Covering all these interrelated things:
-Stable Blood Sugar/Insulin/good Glucose Metabolism (no link because it's below in this post)
-Anti-Inflammatory diet and lifestyle
-Hormone Balance
-Healthy Liver Function
-Healthy Adrenal Function
-Good, Complete Digestion/Healthy Digestive Tract
-Allergies and food intolerances
-Reducing Hyperkeratinization/Hyperproliferation - Stage 1 in the formation of acne.
-Good Sleep/Light exposure/Circadian cycle.
-Hyper/Hypothyroid - lowers SHBG levels, increases inflammation
-Immune system
-Topical treatment - care from the outside.
-Exercise - The right kind. Affects nearly everything, like blood sugar, sleep, stress, mood...
-Body Fat - affects inflammation and hormone levels
-Brain health, Stress, Mood, Willpower, Depression, etc Because your diet can't clear if you stress out over everything.
-Oily skin, fat metabolism and Sebum quality
-Your Health - Numbers to know and monitor, home tests
-Anti-Aging - because someone asked and the same diet and lifestyle habits help that too.

All this may seem overwhelming, but it's really not. Notice how inter-related most of these things are and how the same nutrients and habits appear over and over because they help so many issues. Also, most things listed here are just plain good for you period. Things everyone should do regardless of acne. Good for whatever ails you. For anti-aging, disease prevention, wellness, happiness...

What you want is a healthy lifestyle with natural circadian cycle, stress management, physical activity and a nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory blood sugar stabilizing diet habits that don't include anything you have an intolerance for.

More on WHAT TO DO.If you just want to be told what to do, skip to here.

Other great threads:

-Food and Recipe thread index
-Doctors and other experts admitting to the diet and acne connection thread
Members who've cleared their skin via diet and lifestyle habits
-Why you should avoid/limit dairy, especially cow, especially unfermented, etc.
-Improving fructose metabolism for those that break out from fruit

-Diet and health tips and tidbits
-Autogenic and Biofeedback for stress, anxiety, emotions
-The Necessity And Benefits Of Sulfur
-Epigenetics - what you do to yourself affects your genes
-Farm subsidy and other bad things they do to our food
-'Recent' Advances in Acne Pathogenesis Information
-Patent request for an enzyme that works on a gene involved in acne
-SHBG - Sex hormone binding globulin
-ZAG enzyme which impacts normal formation and exfoliation, possibly inhibited by lectins in grains/seeds

Special Posts:
Clinical studies on the connection between diet and acne

The truth about Calcium and healthy bones- for those afraid to avoid or limit dairy
Vitamin D
Coconut Oil
Omega 3s and our supposed lack of ability to convert ALA from plants to EPA and DHA

Will always be in progress. I'm working on it all the time adding good things and links to sources and more info. Refer back when you need reminders of all the factors. I know I need reminders. I'm sure there's plenty I've forgotten in these lists.

Good things for Blood Sugar/Insulin/Carb Metabolism
Insulin is a master hormone that influences almost all other hormones. Elevated Insulin stimulates Androgen and IGF1 production, while simultaneously inhibiting production of the proteins that bind them--SHBG and IGFBP-3. Androgens stimulate oil production, IGF1 causes hyperkeratinization and hyperproliferation of skin cells. We become somewhat insulin resistant during puberty. It stimulates & helps utilize resources for growth.

Elevated Insulin also causes inflammation which worsens acne and scarring. Inflammation is also aging and the root cause of degenerative diseases. Causes loss of elasticity in tissues. In addition, when cells become insulin resistant leaving sugar floating around in the bloodstream, it causes glycation which also reduces elasticity in tissues.

Post filled with links to research about insulin resistance, puberty, role in acne, IGF-1, etc:

Note: This is not about avoiding carbs or eating low carb!! It's not even about never consuming sugar or having a dessert. It's about habitually avoiding High Glycemic Load meals, drinks. And about the nutrients and habits that improve the body's ability to manage blood sugar and insulin response. Just know that every time you consume more sugar than your cells can take in at that time, damage will occur. Your body can counter damage. Just not at the rate that's become normal in this soda drinking, nutritionally void refined food consuming, chronically stressful, unsleeping, sedentary society we've become.

Also, many hormones are involved in blood sugar regulation. Insulin sends blood sugar down and cortisol sends blood sugar up. And cortisol is a major culprit in metabolic syndrome. Part of the reason sleep, stress and physical activity are as big a players in the formation of diabetes and acne and related conditions.

Glycemic Index - is a measure of the effects of a food on blood sugar levels.
Glycemic Load - as above but takes into account the amount of food eaten. For example, a small piece of candy can have a lower GL than a bigger amount of a lower GI food.
Simple chart of the GI and GL of some common processed and unprocessed foods. http://archderm.ama-...TABLEDOB10212T1
Nutrition Data article on GI and GL and their own Fullness Factor index

Insulin Index- A measurement of blood insulin levels in response to various foods. Turns out that certain amino acids also stimulate excess insulin and so even low GI foods can be insulinemic. Dairy is insulinemic, being high in the most insulinemic amino acids: leucine, valine, lysine, and isoleucine. Discussion: and website http://www.mendosa.c...sulin_index.htm

So, The Good Things for Blood Sugar/Insulin:

Diet habits
-Avoiding foods and drinks that spike blood sugar like sugars, refined grains, high GI foods not eaten in combination with low GI foods, - making a high GL meal.
-Eating Fats, protein and fiber to lower the GI of a meal, doesn't mean diet needs to be high fat or high protein. And very high fiber might not be good for you either.
-Avoiding over eating. High calorie meals can also be high GL meals even when composed of fat and protein. And because cell mitochondria are capable of processing only so much glucose so consuming more than your body can handle will result in excess glucose in the blood stream causing serious health problems.
-Resistant Starches
-Consuming vinegar before carb meals - acetic acid in vinegar blocks a digestive enzyme as well as improving stomach acid PH. Have a couple spoons of ACV in glass of water or have salad with vinaigrette prior to meal.
-Intermittent fasting or calorie restriction - Skip a meal now and then. Or spend a day having minimal calories, now and then.
-Eating foods high in the nutrients listed below.

Anything that improves circulation, Blood pressure, cholesterol, so:

-Exercise!!! - also increases insulin activity in order to provide energy for exercise, especially beneficial is short bursts of very intensive activity like interval training such as walking combined with sprinting, stairs, or hills. Or weight/resistance training. Any short bursts of intense exercise will help blood sugar, so take the stairs!!
-Omega 3 EFAs - from fish, krill oil, flax seed, chia
-The Omega 6 EFAs: G.L.A and linolenic acid
-Anthocyanins - phytonutrients primarily in red and purple fruits and veg, strengthens capillaries.
-Capsaicin - from chili peppers
-GINKGO BILOBA - for circulation
-Ginger - for Blood Pressure
-Limiting salt - also for blood pressure
-Potassium - blood pressure - balances sodium intake
-B3/Niacin/Inositol/Niacinimide - helps improve just about all the bad things in your lipid profile as well as circulation & BP. But high doses can reduce insulin sensitivity and harm the liver.
-Chamomile tea - studies show it both improves blood sugar and complications of diabetes as well as being calming to help with stress and sleep.
-Curcumin - in the spice Tumeric, so have some curry with plenty of veggies! Or yellow mustard.

Nutrients specifically involved with insulin signaling and glucose/fructose metabolism
-Chromium - essential for insulin activity
-Biotin - works with chromium?
-Fiber - slows metabolism of carbs. If you must cheat, such as to have a slice of birthday cake, you can take a supplement like psylium or Glucomannan
-Alpha lipoic acid - Insulin signaler, helps insulin transport glucose into cells
-Vanadian - same as above
-Magnesium - part of carb metabolism, helps body use carbs for energy, may stimulate release of insulin. Study finding magnesium supplementation reducing insulin resistance.
-Vitamin D - It's actually a hormone, not a vitamin. Helps maintain insulin levels. Also helps Blood Pressure, immune system...
-Zinc - involved in insulin storage and release
-CoEnzyme Q10 - carb metabolism
-B3/Niacin/Inositol/Niacinimide - also involved in the activity of in enzymes that transport and break down fats, proteins, carbohydrates. Has been shown to improve blood sugar, androgen levels, hirsutism and acne in women with PCOS . But high doses can reduce insulin sensitivity and harm the liver. -See also d-chiro-inositol from buckwheat and d-pinitol from Carob
-Taurine -Thread also has a lot of info on fructose malabsorption.
-Sulforaphane- sulfur compound in Brassica veggies like broccoli, cabbage, watercress....
-Resveraterol - especially beneficial for insulin signaling in the brain. (yes the brain makes it's own insulin.)

Other nutrients that have been shown via studies to play a role in lowering blood sugar/things people with insulin resistance/diabetes tend to be deficient (although we all tend to be deficient)/Things that supplementation has tended to lead to improve insulin resistance for whatever reason:
-Vitamin E
-NAC - shown to increase insulin sensitivity and lower androgen levels in women with PCOS.
- Inositol part of the B vitamin group, comes in many forms d-chiro-inositol -abundant in buckwheat and Myo-inositol also high in seeds have both been studied and found beneficial to insulin sensitivity/carb metabolism and sufferers of hormone disorders such as PCOS. They have have insulin-sensitizing capabilities. Myo-inositol is integral to properly functioning insulin-receptors and has also been linked to the activation of serotonin. Myo-inositol is a component of the phytic acid found in seeds.
-polysaccharides in Tea- and there's more in black tea than in green, white or oolong

And lots of things that help deal with damage from and/or degree of poor glucose metabolism like C, B vitamins, E, zinc, CoEnzyme Q10. All kinds of antioxidants.

Other habits/issues:

-Sleep/Circadian Rhythm- You need bright light exposure in the daytime and darkness at night and regular sleep. Affects melatonin/seratonin, insulin sensitivity, carb metabolism/insulin sensitivity, hormone production and release, stress, digestion. Researchers have begun to believe sleep plays just as big a role in the development of diabetes as obesity and exercise.
-A healthy liver - part of sugar metabolism, especially regarding fructose.
-Healthy Adrenal function - for proper cortisol levels, which is involved in glucose metabolism. Adrenals also involved in hormone production.
-Low body fat - visceral fat(around your middle) secretes hormones that impair insulin sensitivity.
-Muscle mass improves insulin sensitivity.
-No smoking - Smoking reduces insulin sensitivity.

Also, some people may suffer from Fructose Malabsorption or even be fructose intolerant and may need to take steps to improve fructose malabsorption or avoid fructose. See also Good Things for Liver, Sleep/Circadian Rhythm - adequate bright light exposure in daytime affects carb metabolism. Fructose is best absorbed when in equal amounts of glucose. See this Chart of fruits and the amounts of each type of sugar to help you avoid those fruits with excess fructose.

And There's evidence that Saturated fat lowers insulin sensitivity and low fat diets have been found to improve diabetes.

And this was posted by a member here, but I don't yet have any additional source:

Decreased SHBG is associated with the liver's conversion of excess blood glucose to triglycerides, which I think is why a low carb diet seems to work so well. (less carbs = less blood glucose)

Also, see this list for reasons besides acne that you should try to keep blood sugar stable:
146 reasons why sugar is destroying your health. Except that it's not just actual sugar, but refined carbs easily turned into sugar by your body, and any high glycemic or insulinemic meal.

Edited by alternativista
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Good things for Digestion/intestinal health:
Poor, incomplete digestion leads to poor nutrient absorption, inflammation, and food intolerances, etc. And sometimes seriously inconvenient condition such as IBS. The digestive tract has it's own nervous system called the enteric nervous system with as many nerve cells as are found in a cat's brain. You really do have a gut instinct. Not only is it affected by stress, it affects your mood. Seratonin is made by the enteric nervous system.

-Healthy liver function
-Managing stress
-Good sleep habits
-Avoiding things you have an intolerance for/things you can digest. If it give you indigestion, gas, bloating, discomfort, don't eat it. At least not until you've healed your possible damaged digestive tract.

-Digestive Enzymes - protease enzymes that break down proteins, lipase that break down fats...
-Plenty of raw foods, to preserve enzymes not to mention vitamins destroyed by cooking.

-HCL (Hydrochloric Acid) digestive acids: Particularly important for digesting protein.
-HCL Supplements or make your own:
-Stimulating digestive acid (HCL)- Achlorhydria and hypochlorhydria by:
--Capsaicin (have a little hot peppers, cayenne, chili powder, hot salsa. But don't over do it)
--Apple Cider vinegar or other source of Acetic acid before meal, such as vinaigrette on salad. (Also helps keep stable blood sugar.)
--Black Pepper. At least according to Alton Brown, the Good Eats TV guy.
--B vitamins - some are precursors to HCL,

For Stomach/Intestines (leaky gut/IBS/Candida overgrowth/Gastritis)
-Avoid NSAIDs - aspririn, ibuprofin, etc. Damages linings. If you must take it, do it iwth a big glass full of water.
-Avoid wheat and gluten grains - also damages stomach and intestinal linings.
-Probiotics and the insoluble fiber (aka prebiotics/resistant starch) to feed them, the bifidobacterium lactis strains may prevent intestinal hyperpermeability study. Article: You can take mega doses periodically or take supplements or eat fermented live cultured foods daily. Recipes for fermented foods:
-Reducing candida via restrictive diet, less sugar and more fiber and probiotics, consuming anti-fungals like garlic or herbs or purchased cleanse product.
-N-Acetyl-Glucosamine (NAG) - This is what your mucin linings are made of. And what wheat glutin binds to which is why it's so damaging.
- Colostrum
-Insoluble Fiber -
-Diet habits that encourage probiotics growth: limit sugar, consume plant foods for fiber. Soluble fiber will then be fermented by probiotics to create short chain fatty acids, acetic, propionic and butyric and lower intestinal ph which will make it very hard for pathogens to survive.
-Mucilaginous foods help build/repair mucin lining in digestive tract (it protects stomach lining from your digestive acids): Okra, aloe vera, cactus, malabar spinach (easy to grow and very pretty plant), purslane (a nutritious citrusy flavored weed which may be growing in garden or sidewalk crack near you and good source of Omega 3s and alpha-linoleic acid), kelp, Chia/salvia seeds, Flax seed, psyllium seed, fenugreek seed, pectin... If it's slimy or if it's a seed that absorbs water and turns to a gel, it's mucilaginous.
-The B vitamin Choline is also an important factor in mucin. Eggs are one good source.
-Bone Broths - very easily digested nutrient source rich in the building blocks for tissues, tendons, bones, skin, etc.

Digestion problems such as IBS/'leaky gut' can be caused by parasites.
-HCI- stomach acids are your main defense
-protease enzymes such as papain or brolelain from pineapple and papaya. Take on an empty stomach.

-Bile - what the liver secretes toxins into to get rid of them. From there they get bound up with fiber and eliminated from the body.
-Taurine - a major component of bile. The body makes this from other sulfur amino acids and other sulfur compounds (so eat your greens, cabbage, onions), but some people may not be making enough.

-Niacin/Inositol - involved in the activity of in enzymes that transport and break down fats, proteins, carbohydrates...

-Avoid foods you lack the ability to digest or have any kind of intolerance to-Avoidi/limit sugar that among other things, feeds candida and causes an imbalance between it and probiotics.
-Avoid artificial sweeteners - a 2008 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, which discovered that sucralose (Splenda) increases the pH level in your intestines, and reduces the amount of good bacteria in your intestines by 50 percent!
-Not binge eating. Eat moderate meals. Never stuff yourself.
-Chewing food well for more complete digestion
-Lots of Water - to make sure food makes it all the way through... But not so much with the meals as it may dilute digestive acids.

Prepare foods properly to minimize problematic anti-nutrients. Particularly with any kind of seed: grains, nuts, legumes/pulses. Phytates inhibit availability of nutrients, Lectins are inflammatory, can cause damage to cells, intestinal linings, etc and may even have a direct role in acne. Lectins are in all foods, but particularly in seeds. And you can minimize the lectins in seeds by soaking, sprouting, and/or fermenting in addition to combining with certain nutrients. All about Lectins, what to do about them, which can permeate the intestinal linings and how they may have a direct affect on acne besides the inflammation and impact on digestion:

Circadian Rhythm - Sleep and adequate bright light exposure in daytime affects carb/fructose metabolism which among other things impacts ability to absorb nutrients. Important nutrients like Zinc.

Article explaining various problems caused by poor digestion and steps to digestive health.

Consider if you suffer from Carb or Fructose Malabsorption and address it. See more info under Good Things for Blood Sugar above. And this article:
List of foods and the types/amounts of sugar: http://www.nal.usda....ther/herr48.pdf Fruits begin on page 7.

Collection of studies on gut permeability including studies on nutrients and foods that restore it.

Regular bowel movements - you should have them and it shouldn't be difficult. Sign of healthy GI tract. Constipation may give time for substances your organs have already tried to eliminate, to be reabsorbed. Such as excess hormones.

Edited by alternativista
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Things good for the liver: in a nutshell--sulfur, activates detoxifing enzymes in the liver.
Because, among other things, the liver removes excess hormones from circulation including insulin and the hormones directly involved in acne formation. If it can. If it's not overtaxed by fructose metabolism, excess glucose or toxin removal, etc. Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) and IGFBP-3 are also synthesized by the liver. And thyroid hormones are converted in the liver. The liver really is key in hormone issues of all sorts.

CYSTEINE, METHIONINE - sulfur containing amino acids. Essential, but body can make one from other. Precursor to glutathione. Aids liver in fat metabolism, removing toxins, antioxidant.
TAURINE- sulfur containing amino acid made by body from the above. Major component of bile. Read about role of bile and fiber in removing excess hormones and toxins.
N.A.C - Form of cysteine available in supplements
SAMe - Form of methionine available in supplements

MSM - sulfur containing supplement, well known for softening skin.
GLUTAMINE - amino acid involved in body's PH, liver enzymes, also cell turnover, muscle mass, heals leaky gut
GLUTATHIONE - important anti-oxident made from Cysteine, Glutamic acid, and Glycine.

SULPHUR PHYTOCHEMICALS - From Allium (garlic, onions, leaks), Brassicas and greens (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach ) tumeric (in curry and mustard) contain unique sulfur-containing phytonutrients, such as indole-3-carbinole (I3C), glucoraphanin sulforaphane. I3C and sulforaphane help activate and stabilize the body's antioxidant and detoxification mechanisms. Other sulfur compounds, which are produced as a result of cutting, chewing or digesting cabbage, increase the liver's ability to produce enzymes that neutralize potentially toxic substances. Try green smoothies, curries and stir fries with these veggies, etc.

These chemicals play a major part in DNA methylation - which means they play a major part in healthy gene expression. And are major cancer fighters. See the sources cited in this Mercola article for research.

CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE - from broccoli, cabbage, apples, others. Helps the liver in removing toxins and excess hormones from circulation.

LIPOIC ACID an important anti-oxident nutrient.
QUERCETIN - Flavanoid abundant in apples.
Molybdenum - needed for sulfur amino acid metabolism

In addition to the above plant sources, animal proteins are also high in sulfur- eggs, chicken, fish, dairy...

Also, avoid excessive amounts of fructose and glucose, such as that in added sugars, HFCS in processed foods and drinks and large high sugar fruits. Fructose is metabolized by the liver. Excess glucose is taken up by the liver for storage. List of fruits and the types/amounts of sugar: http://www.thepaleod...uits_table.html

Also avoid long chain fatty acids from seed and vegetable oils besides coconut and olive oil. These oils are very prone to rancidity and taxing on the liver. Be careful about whole grains and other seeds that have been ground exposing them to more oxygen. Ground flax seed and whole grain flowers should be stored in the fridge or freezer. Shelled nuts as well. For most nuts, buy only the new crop in the fall and store in the freezer.

Herbs and such purportedly good for strengthening the liver:
Milk Thistle aka silymarin - prevents toxins from entering the liver cells and stimulates the formation of new liver cells
BETAINE from beets, spinach and other foods, which promotes the regeneration of liver enzymes and the flow of bile. It also has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism, cancer. More info
Lipoic Acid, as in Alpha - Chelates/prevents damage from inorganic metals such as mercury, found in spinach, broccoli, tomatoes...

More about the metabolic functions of the liver

More about sulfur, it's many benefits and how/why you need it for your body to create a form of water soluble vitamin D that's needed for many of the vital functions Vitamin D performs:

Edited by alternativista
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This section got destroyed when I used the new editor and didn't notice in time to undo. I'll have to recreate as much as I can. Below is a little bit that wasn't destroyed and some stuff from the top of my head. If you have any long and complicated posts, open it in 2 windows before editing in one so you have something to copy and paste content from if it gets destroyed.

Good things for allergies and food intolerances.

Reactions from food intolerances affect:
Chronic Inflammation which affects everything
Digestive tract health (and Vice Versa)
May directly cause the formation of a pimple.

Types of intolerances which may or may not involve immune response. Such as lactose intolerance caused by a lack of the necessary enzymes, gluten intolerance, etc.

Many acne and related studies mention Type IV delayed responses which are cell-mediated responses and don't involve antibodies.
This recent report from various acne authorities on supposedly recent advances in the pathogenesis of acne cites Type IV Cell Mediated Responses.

Various types of antibodies, the types of reactions they cause, studies, testing, Elimination diets, hypo-allergenic foods, list of related foods:

Natural antihistamines:
Vitamin C
Pro-Anthocyanins or anthocyanids (spelling?) in berries, tea, mostly dark red-blue things

Other substances involved in immune and inflammatory response besides histamine and antibodies:

* Free Radicals

* ROS - Reactive Oxygen Species

* PGE2- Proinflammatory Prostaglandins

* Leukotriene B4

* Cytokines (Interleukines 1 - 12a/b sometimes, TNF-a/Tumor Necrosis Factor-a, etc)

* NO - Nitric Oxide

* Peroxide (from lysed PMN/Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (white blood cells/neutrophils))

* Lactic Acid

* PPAR beta/delta - Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors beta/delta

* Substance P

...more in the inflammation section.


Most allergic reactions come from 8 foods: wheat/gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, eggs, shellfish, true nuts...

Digestion - many intolerances are due to digestion issues and some may go away when you heal those issues. Those issues could be caused by excessive consumption of foods that you can't digest, foods that permeate/damage intestinal linings like wheat gluten and soy. And from stress. Many intolerances start in times of stress, likely at least in part due to the harm stress causes to digestive tract.

Nutrition - there is also a belief that many allergies are a result of a nutritional deficiency and there's a nutrient antidote to the allergen.

You may also have Intolerances to topicals, environmental contaminants, etc.

Edited by alternativista
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Good things for Inflammation:

Chronic Silent Inflammation is aging and the root cause of many diseases. Including Acne. This inflammation is subclinical meaning there is no outwardly visible sign. And there are many causes such as omega 6 EFAs, high glycemic foods, trans fats, food intolerances, stress, etc. Elevated insulin levels cause inflammation which worsens acne and scarring. It also causes loss of elasticity in tissues. All tissues. Dr. Perricone claims chronic inflammation causes cells to be malformed and not exfoliate properly causing clogged pores.

Nicely written summary by member Quezalcoatl:

"Acne 'forms' due to the recruitment of leukocytes that are responding to inflammatory signals released by epithelial cells. Once the leukocytes get there, they release their own inflammatory signals, which leads to hyperproliferation of keratinocytes. This hyperproliferation results in inadequate desquamation (desquamation = breakup of cells as they shed), which then can lead to a blocked pore, which can then lead to colonization by P. acnes (due to the anaerobic environment)."

Delayed type inflammatory response and role at initiation of acne lesions
Acne involves a delayed type inflammatory response involving antibodies other than IgE antibodies as well as inflammatory responses that don't involve the immune system. IgE antibodies cause immediate reactions that are what most people think of and all most allergy tests test for.
Inflammatory events are involved in acne lesion initiation-http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/12839559
Immunohistochemical evidence of chronic inflammation in acne vulgaris http://www.ncbi.nlm....7?dopt=Abstract

Production of Superoxide Anions by Keratinocytes Initiates P. acnes-Induced Inflammation of the Skin-

Some inflammatory bodies stimulate hyperproliferation of skin cells "Interleukin-1a influences hypercornification of the infundibulum as well as theinflammatory response by inducing the production of vascular endothelial growth factor in dermal papilla cells and follicular keratinocytes of the pilosebaceous unit. New retinoids have been developed based on controlling cellular proliferation and differentiation in the pilosebaceous unit by their action on nuclear receptors of cells"

The body has many inflammatory responses, some involving the immune system and some not. See below for a list.

The Good Things
-Avoiding anything you have an intolerance for Click to go to Food Intolerance section.
-Eating an anti-inflammatory diet high in antioxidant rich plant foods, herbs, teas and Spices, and Fish. Prepared in the best way to preserve nutrients including a good amount of raw foods.
-Consume Linoleic acids??? - I have to investigate where this came from, make sure it's not linolenic acid.
-Consume lots of Antioxidants
--Teas - green, white, rooibos...
--All kinds of plant nutrients like resveratrol, EGCG, quercetin, curcumin.... Just eat a lot of colorful and flavorful plant foods, herbs and spices.
-Avoid/limit pro-oxidant/inflammatory foods: Bad fats, meals that elevate insulin, sugar, fructose especially from HFCS, trans fats, hydrogenated fats like margarine and crisco, polyunsaturated vegetable oils and other sources of certain omega 6 EFAs. And anything you have an intolerance for. When overloaded with it, the liver turns fructose into triglycerides to get rid of it quickly. (Limit when the source is a nutrient dense food like fruit and veggies, avoid/severely limit when the food has no value or is easily substuted (margarine, crisco, veggie oils, foods fried in such fats)

Nitric Oxide - important messenger in the body but excessive levels cause inflammation, lead to all kinds of inflammatory conditions, like acne and many more serious things.
-Avoid auto exhaust, cigarettes/smoke.

Antioxidant/anti-inflammatory nutrients:
-B vitamins
-Carotenes: beta carotene, lycopene
-Lipoic Acid
-Omega 3 EFAs
-Gamma Linolenic Acid (an omega 6 made by the body from linolenic acid, but can be hampered by many dietary issues) Spirulinais a good source of GLA and many other valuable nutrients. Also, Hemp Seed, Borage Oil, Black Currant Oil...
Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) enzyme formed in the body. Omega 3 and other nutrients needed.
-Squalene - another reason for olive oil.

-Sulfur - sulfur containing amino acids and other sulfur compounds from garlic, onions, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, Tumeric which is in curry and mustard, etc. Try Green smoothies, stir fries, curries..

Olive oil

-Melatonin - so follow natural Circadian Cycle of bright light in day, darkness at night and sleep well. Eat foods needed to produce seratonin in daytime. See Good Things for Sleep

Antioxidant content of over 3000 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide http://www.biomedcen...75-2891-9-3.pdf

Avoiding anything you have an intolerance for. Reactions cause inflammation.
Natural antihistamines
Good digestion
Low body fat -visceral fat(around your middle) in particular causes inflammation.
Avoiding/managing Stress - See good things for Adrenal Health.
Good Sleep -

Regular low to moderate intensity physical activity Walking, dancing, yard work, etc. Prolonged intense workouts such as jogging, half hour to hour intense cardio, etc are inflammatory and damaging due to oxidative stess. Also, our energy systems were never designed to fuel for such prolonged intense activity.
Study: Exercise as a Mean to Control Low-Grade Systemic Inflammation
Study: Oxidative Stress affects acne

Discussion thread: Quercetin & Other Inflammation Modulators, Topical or Oral

Sites: Look up foods and check their inflammation rating.
eicosanoids - part of the inflammatory and immune responses. Includes prostaglandins, prostacyclins, the thromboxanes and the leukotrienes. Derived from omega 3 or 6 EFAs. Those derived form omega 3s are anti-inflammatory, those from omega 6 EFAs tend to be inflammatory. The amounts of these nutrients consumed affect the development of inflammatory conditions like cardiovascular disease, triglycerides, blood pressure, and arthritis. And acne.

Angiogenesis - another factor in inflammatory responses

C Reactive Protein (CRP) a hormone that reflects your net state of inflammation. High concentrations of CRP mean greater inflammation; lower concentrations mean less inflammation. Recent studies have shown that high glycemic load carbs are associated with greater inflammation as measured by CRP.

Some of the body's pro-inflammatory molecules:
* Histamine
* Free Radicals
* ROS - Reactive Oxygen Species -ions or very small molecules that include oxygen ions, free radicals, and peroxides - increased by stress, inflammation, part of allergic response)
* PGE2- Proinflammatory Prostaglandins
* Leukotriene B4 (leukocytes are white blood cells)
* NO - Nitric Oxide
* Peroxide (from lysed PMN/Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (white blood cells/neutrophils))
* Lactic Acid - from prolonged extreme physical exertion
* PPAR beta/delta - Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors beta/delta which impacts hyperkeritinization
*Substance P
*cytokine interleukin-1 - regulate inflammatory responses

Edited by alternativista
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Good things for hormone balance

This is primarily about the sex hormones that most people think cause acne, although there are many others involved such as insulin, cortisol and IGF1.

Note: you don't necessarily have abnormal levels of these hormones in your bloodstream which is what most doctors will test. But acne prone skin has been found to have more receptors for androgens and estrogens. http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/2950033

Healthy glucose metabolism - because Insulin stimulates the production of other hormones. And excess insulin seriously screws up hormones.
Healthy Liver Function so it can remove excess hormones from circulation
Healthy Adrenal function - affects hormone production
Regular, adequate Sleep and bright light exposure - because so much is timed by your sleep and wake cycle as well as natural exposure to bright light and darkness. Hormone production and release, for example. Also for seratonin/Melatonin production.

Blood sugar stabilizing, anti-inflammatory nutrient dense diet and lifestyle habits - reduces stimulation of hormone production and increases Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) levels. SHBG binds up excess hormones.

Avoidance of dairy and high GL meals - to lower IGF-1 levels


for Androgens:
This mostly affects sebum production, but while oily skin doesn't help, it isn't what clog pores. Skin cells that don't exfoliate freely clog pores. (See the Hyperkeratinization section for more info) Many clear skinned people have oily skin and many dry skinned people have acne. However, testosterone also influences cell proliferation and differentiation and so may also be a factor in hyperkeratinization. See also the Sebum Quality section for nutrients that lead to sebum that flows freely to protect skin rather than sticky sebum that contributes to clogged pores.

- Inhibiting DHT: Di-hydrotestosterone is a form of testosterone that binds to receptors in skin to stimulate oil production, hirsutism, male pattern baldness.
You inhibit DHT by inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase enzymes that converts Testosterone to DHT, or by inhibiting DHT from binding to receptors.
Some of us have more of the enzymes that convert Testosterone to DHT than others. One of the ways we are predisposed to acne. <a" alt="wink.gif">One of the reasons is that our skin/sebum is deficient in linoleic acid. And one of the many things linoleic does for healthy skin is inhibit these enzymes. See the Sebum Qualitysection for more info.
--Avoid dairy, which contains 5alpha-P a precursor to DHT. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/20046583
--Zinc - inhibits enzyme (5-alpha reductase) that converts testosterone to DHT.
--Lycopene - Yeah, as in tomatoes. Click on the link. Inhibits DHT and IGF-1.
--Beta Sitosterol - compound in plant oils, prevalent in Saw Palmetto, Pygeum, Nettle, but also avocados, pumpkin seeds, other high fat plant foods.
--Spearmint/peppermint tea - specifically good for hirsutism as it affects DHT specifically involved in hair follicles (Type II 5-alpha reductase inhibitor).
--EGCG in green tea - although there may also be components in tea that can stimulate androgens.
--Fats--GLA, ALA, Linoleic Acid and Oleic Acid -Type I & II 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (can also work topically)
--Flax lignans - DHT inhibitor, but also estrogenic
-Melatonin -
-Licorice- Extract in supplements, topicals or in tea. Dan's AHA lotion has licorice, as do many Eucerin products. See also this study on herbal oils/extracts including licorice.
No Smoking! - Affects adrenal function and may result in increased androgen production.

Discussion thread on natural androgen and DHT inhibitors
-Niacinimide? Seen in lists of DHT blockers on hairloss sites, haven't found a better source. But niacinimide is a known treatment for acne and a component of Nicomide, a prescription topical and oral treatment for acne.
-DIM -

- Prescription drugs cyproterone, spironolactone block androgen receptors.

More info on 5 alpha reductase enzymes and their role in human disease: http://www.ncbi.nlm....36/?tool=pubmed

Estrogen/Progesterone -
PMS issues and irregular cycle and acne that comes and goes with your cycle may be indicators of estrogen dominance. It's about a possible excess of estrogen relative to a possible deficiency of progesterone. Acne and other symptoms often occur with the monthly fluctuation of progesterone. (Excess estrogen blocks testosterone receptors making DHT dominant. Looking for more info) In addition, there are more estrogen receptors in the skin with acne than in normal skin. Also, the enzyme cathepsin D plays a role in proper cell desquamation and it is regulated by estrogen so perhaps that's another way estrogen impacts acne More info:

(Note: you can be estrogen dominant and have excess testosterone or DHT at the same time.)Offsite articles on Estrogen dominance
-Healthy Adrenal function
-Healthy Liver Function - eat those cruciferous veggies.
--CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE - helps the liver remove excess hormones and toxins from circulation. In apples, sulfur containing veggies like cabbage, broccoli, kale families.
--d-chiro-inositol - in buckwheat
--GLA - such as evening primrose, borage or black currant oil.
-Vitamin C - boosts production of DHEA, a master hormone that regulates estrogen and progesterone production.
-SAMe -
-Vitamin B6 and magnesium are necessary for the liver to remove excess estrogen.
-DIM/Broccoli Pills/cruciferous veggies - removes excess estrogens

Also, supposedly B6 has been found in research to prevent monthly menstrual-related breakouts, but I haven't found the studies that show how/why. Perhaps it's about being needed by the liver to remove excess estrogen. Mentioned here: And B6 doesn't work alone. Many other nutrients are needed.

Boosting progesterone can help:
-Vitex/chasteberry - boosts progesterone production by improving pituitary gland function.
-Progesterone Cream - increases progesterone levels, improves thyroid, blood sugar, inhibits DHT and more.

MACA root -

a food high in nutrients needed by the endocrine system that helps the body balance itself.

It is better to work on health than to directly try to alter your estrogen, testosterone and progesterone levels with supplements. You can make things worse. It's difficult to know what's really going on with your hormones. Notice how doctors prescribe BCPs by trial and error. However, I think there's less harm in inhibiting DHT conversion, especially in females or topically only in males.

For Both Androgens and Estrogens
-Consume vegetables for fiber. Because when the liver removes excess hormones, they are secreted via bile into the stomach where they will hopefully be bound up with fiber and eliminated from the body. Otherwise, they go back into circulation.
-Avoidance of chemical xenoestrogens, hormone mimickers and endocrine disruptors - They are everywhere! List of sources here in this DIM thread and here. Avoid eating and drinking from plastics. Get a water filter and drink from glass, ceramic or stainless steel.
-Consuming or avoiding excess amounts of plant foods high in phyto-androgens or phyto-estrogens. These can help or hurt men and women.
-Lose excess body fat. Fatty tissues contain enzymes that convert testosterone to estrogen as well as the enzymes that convert testosterone to DHT. And hormones are stored in fat.
-Resveratrol link1 and link 2 Both good info, studies...
-Vitex/chasteberry? I've seen a few article say it improves pituitary gland function in which case it should help everyone.
Omega 3 EFAs - Also important for zinc absorption
Vitamin D - It's actually a pre-hormone, not a vitamin. See also the vitamin D council

Boost SHBG Levels with insulin controlling diets - SHBG binds to hormones rendering them inactive. Low levels associated with acne, hirsutism, hypothyroidism, PCOS, etc. Also, a low fat diet has been shown to increase levels. Estrogen also increases SHBG.

Also, I found the below statement in this article:

Some studies suggest that hair loss and baldness may be associated with high-fat diets. High fat diets stimulate estrone, which is converted to bad estrogen....Excess estrogen blocks testosterone receptors and DHT becomes dominant.

The study wasnt

Interesting post:
Fiber, Androgens and Acne: The role of fiber and bile in removing excess hormones.

Post filled with links to research about insulin resistance, puberty, role in acne, IGF-1, etc:

Edited by alternativista
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I would have to give a major bump to bitter melon (100% natural). If you do high amounts of anaerobic activity and hence need a decent supply of carbo's. Take a couple of bitter melon capsules with your high carb meal and you should avoid a break out.

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Something happened to all the links in this one during one of my many updates. I must have copied and pasted the displayed text rather than the html. I'll try to get them redone. Damn. there were some good ones.

Good Things for Sleep and Circadian Cycle

So much is timed by a proper wake sleep cycle, including hormone production and release, all kinds of hormones which are what control how your body functions. Affects melatonin/seratonin, insulin sensitivity, carb metabolism, hormone production and release, stress/mood/adrenal health, digestion... People with poor quality sleep or sleep deprivation exhibit increased levels of interleukin-6 (IL6), the chemical that causes inflammation throughout the body. Lack of sleep plays just as important a role in developing diabetes as diet and obesity. You need to sleep well. And it requires regular exposure to bright light and to darkness.

Sunlight stimulates the pituitary and hypothalamus and thus influences the levels of nearly every hormone in your body. Thyroid, Seratonin/melatonin, D, sex hormones... I've seen lots of articles on this, but none specifying whether they mean you need to be in direct sun or just outside in bright light. But you need both so get a little direct sun, and a lot of bright outdoor natural light.

Sleep thread with more info including gadgets to help conform to as natural as possible exposure to light in the right spectrum for wake/sleep and still do your modern job:

-A regular sleep schedule

-Plenty of bright light, preferably sunlight, during the day. Get outside. Do it in the morning, before lunch and before you get that afternoon slump. At some point after lunch we experience a dip in core temperature that triggers melatonin production unless you are in the bright light.You could also go with it and take a brief siesta if that works for you and the length of the day, but get out in the light again after.

-Slow down and relax in evenings. No exercise within 3-4 hours of bedtime.

-Darkness at night. Dim lighting in evening. No light for sleep. Mimic nature as much as possible. Avoid the blue light from electronics. There's software that changes the color tone of your PC if you must use it late into the night.

-Early bedtime. Again, mimic the natural pre-electricity age as much as possible.

-Don't turn on lights if you get up during the night. Get dim night lights for bathroom if you must.

-Exercise during the day to very early evening. Not within a few hours of bedtime. But do stretch and try some deep breathing before bed.

-Wear socks to bed. warm feet and hands cause blood vessels to enlarge, allowing more heat to escape your body, which in turn lowers your core temperature faster

-Shower or bath before bed. Also about body temp, but also just plain makes you feel better. I can't sleep without bathing. I'll wake in the middle of the night feeling icky.

-Eat dinner early and have only a very small snack of some sleep enhancing food near bedtime. see below for foods.

-Healthy adrenal function - so manage stress, exercise and sleep!

Melatonin -

-Supplement - a couple of milligrams at bedtime may be helpful for those with sleep problems.

-Habits to improve melatonin production:

--Boosting seratonin production in the daytime via bright light and the necessary nutrients will improve melatonin production. Seratonin is converted to melatonin when triggered by darkness. That process stops when you are exposed to light. And the whole process is muddled when you spend your days in dim indoor lighting. What you want is a surge of melatonin at night for sleep.

---Nutrient precursors to seratonin are methionine, folate, B12, B6, TMG (betaine) and zinc, C and maybe some calcium and magnesium. And of course, amino acid tryptophan. From here (lost the link, sorry)Potassium is involved in conversion (one of the missing hyperlinks).

---Bright light exposure.


--Darkness triggers conversion of seratonin to melatonin in preparation for sleep.

--Omega 3 EFAs


-Magnesium - relaxes muscles as well as being precursor to seratonin and affecting function of the pineal gland that detects light and dark.

--SAMe - methionine and magnesium supplement

--ZMA supplement - zinc, magnesium, B6 supplement

--Epsom Salt baths - full of magnesium and sulfur, absorbs through skin

-(I've also seen thiamine (B1) and taurine recommended. Didn't find reasons for the thiamine, only that a deficiency is found in people with sleep problems and supplementation helps. The taurine has a sedative affect despite being in all kinds of energy drinks, due to it's role in the production of GABA a neurotransmitter linked to sleepiness)


-Foods containing tryptophan or melatonin: banana, milk, oats, rice, pumpkin/sunflower seeds and any complete protein. Early in the day to produce seratonin.

-Foods containing seratonin (and the right ratio of other stuff) - plantain, banana...

-10 foods to help you sleep and more good info in the next few posts.

-A little glucose/fructose - And I do mean a little. Teaspoon of honey, small banana, etc. Does many things. Releases a little insulin to get tryptophan to the brain where it's converted to seratonin. Fuels liver which is part of that process as in the hibernation diet.

-Calcium and potassium containing foods.

-Camomile Tea- enhances your calm

-Valerian Root - Ditto

-Green tea - richest source of L-theanine supports the production of GABA and helps deal with stressors, but it has some caffeine, so quit drinking it in the afternoon onwards.

Pretty good paragraph on wikipedia seratonin article:

Serotonin levels can not be increased by diet or supplements of tryptophan alone. For example, increasing foods rich in tryptophan (eg, meats, proteins) does not increase serotonin levels, due to competition with other amino acids.[49] What is required to increase serotonin production is an increase in the ratio of tryptophan to phenylalanine and leucine. Fruits with a good ratio include dates, papaya and banana. Foods with a lower ratio inhibit the production of serotonin. These include whole wheat and rye bread[50] Much research has indicated that vigorous aerobic exercise improves mood, believed to be facilitated by an increase in serotonin levels.[51] Research also suggests that eating a diet rich in whole grain carbohydrates and low in protein will increase serotonin by secreting insulin, which helps in amino acid competition.[49] However, increasing insulin for a long period of time can sometimes onset insulin resistance, which is related to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and lower serotonin levels. It is also believed that muscles use many of the amino acids except tryptophan, allowing men to have more serotonin than women.[52] Bright light therapy is another popular method which prevents the conversion of serotonin to melatonin.[53] A similar effect is obtained by spending more time in natural sunlight. Recently, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of serotonin in lab animals.[54] Myo-inositol, a carbocyclic polyol present in many foods, is known to play a role in serotonin modulation.[55"]

Myo-inositol, a carbocyclic polyol present in many foods (whole grains, nuts legumes and other seeds and many fruits), is known to play a role in serotonin modulation.[55]

More on Myo-inositol - one of nine different types of inositol and can be found naturally in many foods such as fruits, nuts and beans.It is a precursor to a number of signaling molecules that essentially tell cells how to behave. Of the nine different types of inositol, two have insulin-sensitizing capabilities: myo-inositol and d-chiro-inositol (My focus for this article is going to be on myo-inositol.) Myo-inositol is integral to properly functioning insulin-receptors and has also been linked to the activation of serotonin (a feel good hormone) receptors, which could relieve depression and improve appetite, mood and anxiety (1, 2). Study on women with PCOS found that "After 3 months of MYO administration, plasma LH, testosterone, free testosterone, insulin and HOMA index resulted significantly reduced; no significant changes were observed in plasma FSH and androstenedione levels. Both hirsutism and acne decreased after 6 months of therapy."

DHEA - steroid hormone that keeps us asleep. Produced in the adrenals and stimulated by melatonin.

Prolactin -

Avoid progestin - synthetic hormone in birth control, inhibits seratonin production.

Note exposure to light also affects carb metabolism

Article on sleeps effects on glucose metabolism and endocrine system, in other words, hormones:

http://www.scienceda...91025075844.htm And you'll find links to plenty of related articles.

Interesting related threads:

Studies on light:

Effects of dim or bright-light exposure during the daytime on human gastrointestinal activity. - it plays a role in your digestion

Bright light exposure reduces your sweet tooth

Bright light exposure during the daytime affects circadian rhythms of urinary melatonin and salivary immunoglobulin A. - melatonin is important for sleep, is an important anti-oxidant and helps to inhibit hyperproliferation of cells. And IgA are the antibodies that live and function in your mucosa including your mouth. They are the first line of defense in your immune system.

Edited by alternativista
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Very good lists!! :dance:

What about good things for anti aging/longevity?

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(dancedd @ Mar 30 2009, 08:05 PM)

Very good lists!! eusa_dance.gif What about good things for anti aging/longevity?

Ok, it's all of the above.

Good Things for Anti-Aging/Longevity

Aging denotes a postmaturational deterioration of cells and organisms with the passage of time, an increased vulnerability to challenges and prevalence of age-associated diseases, and a decreased ability to survive. Causes of this deterioration may be found in an enhanced production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative damage and incomplete "housekeeping."

Nutrient dense Antioxidants

Antioxidants that protect skin from sun damage:
So they've found that flavanoids in cacao protect skin from UV damage from the sun: http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/19735513. As does lycopene, green tea, proanthocynids in red-purple fruits and veggies as well as in teas and cacao, EGCG in Tea, astaxanthin. And Linoleic Acid, something we acne and other skin problem prone people are deficient in. And of course, all kinds antioxidants counter the damage such as vitamin C.

And then there's topical use of Aloe Vera Gel. It might be easier to list what Aloe vera doesn't help. If there is such a thing.

Antioxidants made by the human body (endogenous): glutathione, superoxide dismutase, alpha lipoic acid, catalase, and CoQ10. Nutrients, precursors, lifestyle that promotes their production:

--Glutathione precursors: L-Cysteine (or methionine), L-Glutamic Acid and L-Glycine, lipoic acid, Meltatonin... In eggs (best source), avocados, strawberries.

--Alpha Lipoic Acid
ALA a potent antioxidant is used to regenerate glutathione. Prevents glycation (the free radical damage caused by sugar’s toxic effects) causing collagen “crosslinking”. When collagen crosslinks it becomes stiff and inflexible. It protects against free radical damage in both fat and water-based environments. ALA binds with heavy metals and helps to transport them out of the bloodstream.

Avoiding calcification of soft tissues with the avoidance of flouride, and with vitamin k1/k2 and any other nutrient/process involved in the body's use of calcium. K1 is in greens, k2 in eggs, organ meats, fermented dairy, etc, and is more effective as the body must convert K1 to K2.
Systemic calcification means that calcium that is supposed to be deposited in the bones is instead being lodged in soft tissues where it does not belong. Many age-related diseases can be linked to calcification including kidney stones, arthritis, cataracts, heart valve insufficiency, bone fractures, wrinkled skin, bone spurs, senility and, of course, coronary atherosclerosis. Restoring optimal vitamin K status may help to protect against all of these disorders. These also occurs to the pineal gland which is what reacts to light and triggers melatonin production. Why sleep gets more difficult as we age.

Telomere Length-
Telomeres are tiny units of DNA that cap the end of each chromosome. They shorten with time because they cannot replicate completely each time the cell divides. Eventually, the telomeres are gone and the cell can no longer be replicated. And you die. Some people start out with longer telomeres than others. Short telomeres can be indicators of risk for various diseases.

Free radicals and oxidative stress shorten telomeres and thus anything that causes them shorten your life: smoking, pollution, stress, extreme exercise, etc. The right kinds of exercise such as interval training and walking/chores, etc lenthen them. As does glutationine which is manufactured by your body from sulfur-containing amino acids.

Other nutrients that lengthen telomeres: D, B12, Omega 3 EFAs, Zinc, Vitamin C, E, polyphenols in grapes, cacao and green tea, curcumin (tumeric), beta carotenes, Magnesium, CoQ10, etc. Really, anything that reduces or prevents oxidative stress. Anything that's an anti-oxidant, anything that boost the immune system, anything that reduces inflammatory response... Also anything that prevents or repairs damage to DNA such as magnesium and CoQ10. http://articles.merc...20509_DNL_art_1

(Note that HGH stimulates the release of IGF1 which is a factor in hyperkeratinization and thus acne. So it's a balancing act for us older folks who want to keep up HGH levels. I'm still looking into that. The reduction of HGH as we age may be a factor in growing out of acne...)

Edited by alternativista
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Very good lists!! :dance: What about good things for anti aging/longevity?

Ok, it's all of the above.

Good Things for Anti-Aging/Longevity

Anti-inflammatory Diet and habits

which involves:

Good Blood sugar metabolism

Good Digestion

Good sleep it gets harder as you get older

Low Blood Pressure - high blood pressure is really damaging.

Exercise that stimulates Human Growth Hormone (HGH) such as weightlifting or interval training. That's moderate intensity activity interspersed with short bursts of intense activity. Like walking and sprinting 30 seconds or stair or hill climbing, spinning, etc.

And you want a healthy liver throughout your life to remove toxins and excess hormones, etc.

Healthy adrenals, especially if you are a woman and don't want a miserable Menopause.

Thanks. yeah I already thought its pretty much all of those lists combined. Alot of us here are not teenagers anymore have adult acne and so anti aging lifestlye is also important :cool:

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Good things for Adrenal Health/Stress

The Adrenals produce cortisol, adrenaline, dopamine, Pregnenolone, DHEA, cholesterol (which is used to make the hormones), etc. Pregnenolone is the precursor to testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, etc. Impaired adrenal function can contribute to impaired thyroid function and all kinds of hormone issues including a miserable menopause.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, blocks progesterone receptors. Too much cortisol causes imbalance such as estrogen dominance as production of other hormones decline. Cortisol is also involved with glucose metabolism, inflammatory response and electrolyte balance. And excess cortisol depletes all kinds of nutrients including many known to help address other factors involved in acne such as zinc and B vitamins. See, it's all interrelated. Adrenal function also affects thyroid and ovary function.

Proper cortisol levels from properly functioning Adrenal glands levels balances hormones.

May also affect gastrointestinal flora affecting digestion, immune system, etc.

See also Good Things for the Brain, Stress, Mood, Depression, ADHD, etc.

Good Things to Do:

Sleep well along with keeping as natural as possible light/darkness cycle ( see circadian rhythm)

Reduce stress - exercise, sleep. Meditate if that helps you. For me, that's what walking is for.

Avoid caffeine - stimulates adrenaline, can contribute to adrenal exhaustion. A small amount of caffeine is good for you though, just keep it early in the day.

Improve digestive tract - Your gut actually produces more of the neurotransmitter serotonin

Get/give hugs-

Good Things to Consume:

Vitamin C - needed to produce several hormones, gets depleted by stress. Inhibits elevated cortisol levels.

Pantothenic acid (B5) or the more potent Pantethine/CoA - Needed for production of many hormones. More info including food sources: (i.e. those evil seeds plus avocados, mushrooms, red peppers.)


Vitamin D

Vitamin E


Choline - in egg yolks, meat. is used to synthesize a neurotransmitter called acetytcholine which regulates the flight or flight response and many other important things.

-Camomile Tea- enhances your calm

-Valerian Root - Ditto

-Green tea - richest source of L-theanine supports the production of GABA and helps deal with stressors, but it has some caffeine, so quit drinking it in the afternoon.

No smoking! - affects adrenal function

List of supplements that may help from this site

PABA, adrenal glandulars, ACE (Adreno-Cortico-Extracts) injections, licorice root, ginsengs, TMG (tri-methyl-glycine) and DHEA among other possibilities.

Licorice root tea- supposedly normalizes the body's response to stress. (Edited because I just noticed it said 'glycyrrhizin supposedly normalizes...' I suspect the cat added that 'word', but maybe I named a specific compound there that just gained some extra letters thanks to the cat. I'll have to look it up again. It looks like glycerin with extra letters, but don't know what glycerin would be doing in that sentence)

It's important to note that many organs are involved with adrenal health and adrenals affect many organs.

Alternative medicine

Another Dr Lam article, scroll down to number 5: (But be sure to read number 1. Improper use of nutritional supplements)

Recognition by most conventional western doctors

Vocabulary Word of the Day

Adaptogen - a metabolic regulator which increases the ability of an organism to adapt to environmental factors, and to avoid damage from such factors. Many of the herbs and nutrients mentioned above are adaptogens. There adaptogens that calm response to stress and those that stimulate, although they stimulate without the negative effects of things like caffeine, nicotine, and amphetamines.

Edited by alternativista

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Nice work alternativista! A credit to the org

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is it safe to eat anything (minus the food allergies) as long as it is in moderation?

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Nice work alternativista! A credit to the org

Thanks. Where have you been?

is it safe to eat anything (minus the food allergies) as long as it is in moderation?

Sure. But it depends on what your idea of moderation is.

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In progress... Just so you know. This is something I've only recently started looking into.

Good things for Hyperkeratinization/Hyperproliferation/Hypercornification of skin cells and a delay in, or impairment of apoptosis (- programmed cell death) in keratinocytes that prevents the desmosomes (patches that hold cells together) from disintegrating at a normal pace allowing them to become extra rough and 'sticky' and more likely to clog pores. Sebum doesn't clog your pores, dead skin cells do.

Hyperkeratinization - excess of keratin that blocks dead skin cells from leaving the follicle, a natural protein found in the skin. This results in an increased adherence/bonding of dead skin cells together that blocks hair follicles causing keratosis pilaris or blocks oil ducts causing acne. It's also a factor in many other skin conditions.

Acne-prone skin produces more dead skin cells than is typical, and these cells aren't properly shed. This condition, called retention hyperkeratosis, is the reason regular exfoliation is so important for acne prone skin types. In normal functioning skin, excess dead skin cells are constantly being sloughed away naturally. In acne-prone skin, dead cells remain stuck on the skin's surface and within the follicle, creating a clog (impaction). This plug of cellular debris and excess oil forms a blackhead or, if bacteria invade, an inflamed blemish.

This tendency is genetic. wink.gifOne of the ways we are predisposed to acne. Info on a gene involved in hyperkeratinization:
According to the Mayo Clinic, Keratin buildup is linked to other conditions such as keratosis pilaris, allergies, eczema, dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma and ichthyosis vulgaris, sebhorreic keratosis. (Rhinitis? I have that too! ) Causes include genetics and excessive UV exposure, also according to the Mayo clinic. "This excessive exposure interferes with the normal process of skin cell development, and causes discoloration and excess keratin buildup. These growths often appear as dry patches of skin"

Hyperkeratinization/Hyperproliferation is
- Stimulated by IGF-1. Inhibited by IGFBP-3. IGF-1 production is stimulated by insulin and is in Dairy.
-IGFBP-3 - a hormone that accelerates cell apoptosis is called IGFBP-3 (insulin like
growth factor binding protein 3). Increase levels by controlling insulin levels.
-BTC also in dairy, binds to EGF receptors - influences hyperproliferation of cells (from
Cordain's The Dietary Cure for Acne pdf which explains how acne forms and why hyperkeratinization/hyperproliferation is the first stage in the formation of acne. Note: That link doesn't work anymore but if you google the title and PDF you'll find places to download it.

Also, chronic silent inflammation is a root cause.

Study: 'pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha) has been demonstrated in vitro to cause comedonal features, e.g., hyperproliferation and abnormal differentiation, in isolated pilosebaceous units.' Dr. Perricone's main theory in his Acne prescription book is that inflammation causes malformed cells which don't shed properly. Studies supporting this along with another study on role of inflammation at formation stage due to immune system response.

'Follicular hyperkeratosis may be triggered by a relative deficiency in linoleic acid, peroxides from sebum components, and especially by inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-1. http://www.ncbi.nlm....Pubmed_RVDocSum

Excerpted from Cordain:

In vitro experiments of isolated follicles have shown that added IL-1 alpha caused the follicle to form scales similar to what is seen in living acne patients. Additionally, comedones from acne patients have elevated concentrations of IL-1 alpha.
And later in the acne comedone formation process, IL-1 alpha along with P. Acnes, turns the clogged pore into an inflamed pimple.

The Good Things:

Dietary Habits:
-Blood sugar stabilizing diet and habits. Inhibits IGF1 and Inflammation, Boosts IGFPB-3
-Intermittent Fasting
-Consuming more anti-inflammatory foods than inflammatory, which means no high GL, nothing you are intolerant of, no hydrogenated/trans fats.
-Avoiding or limiting Dairy which contains IGF-1, BTC and stimulates the production of IGF-1 by being insulinemic.
-Several studies show low protein diets lowering IGF-1. But don't go extreme low protein.
-Omega 3 EFAs - lowers IGF-1 levels
-Vitamin D - Slows cell proliferation, needed to make Taurine
-Healthy Liver Function - for its role in fructose metabolism. See taurine link.
-Taurine/Sulfur Your body makes taurine from sulfur containing amino acids.
Zinc, Vitamin A - Both also needed to make Taurine.
B2 - but take a B-complex
-Vitamin A - normalizes cell proliferation. One of the ways accutane and topicals help.

-Linoleic Acid and other EFAs for sebum quality. Also helps topically, try grapeseed oil or blend of olive and grape seed.
-Calcium (To maintain levels, get magnesium to help absorb calcium, avoid excess sodium)
-Lycopene - shown to decrease IGF-1 levels as well as inhibit DHT
-Melatonin - slows cell proliferation and division - so See Good Things for Sleep/Circadian Cycle. Also
-ZAG enzyme (zinc-alpha-2-glycoprotein) which normally dissolves the proteins holding together skin cells lining the pore, so that they can flake away and not block the pore. We tend to increase production of this enzyme as we age, perhaps a factor in growing out of acne.
- cathepsin D is another enzyme that dissolves the proteins -Estrogen regulates cathepsin D levels so perhaps that one way estrogen/estrogen dominance is a factor for many people.

According to Cordain, the ZAG enzyme is Inhibited by antinutrients called lectins which are in all foods, but especially seeds (which includes grains, nuts and beans) and dairy from grain fed animals. Can be reduced by soaking, sprouting, fermenting before cooking. Or bound up by certain nutrients, as seen in many centuries old traditional food combinations. (see page 5 of the thread)

-Enzymes - that break down proteins such as protease, papain, bromelian, or from diet by eating more raw foods. May help topically. (see ZAG enzyme)
-inositol hexanicitinate/niacinimide? - forms of B3. niacinimide is in the prescription acne medication Nicomide. Do not mega dose which can lead to insulin resistance and damaged liver. Take with a B-complex. Can't find anything good to link to...
-Avoid elevated IGF-1 levels by avoiding dairy and high GL meals.

-Sulfur compounds such as MSM, NAC, methionine, cysteine, taurine, sulfurophanes in plants such as onions, garlic, cabbage, spinach, kale and other dark greens, broccoli, etc. MSM is well known to make skin soft and to help with acne, but it breaks others out. (It caused me to have a new, strange kind of non-inflamed acne. But it made my skin soft in just a few days, like magic.) Topical sulfur is also beneficial and purported to increase cell turnover and aid exfoliation. Try epsom salts.

NAG/N-Acetyl Glucosamine- affects keratinization. Study on topical NAG and acne/rosacea:

Don't smoke - Interferes with the whole insulin/IGF1 loop. As does wheat gluten.

Topical Beta Hydroxy Acid (salicylic acid) which exfoliates inside of pores.
Topical Alpha Hydroxy Acid (there's all kinds from fruit, sugars, dairy) which breaks down the sticky substance sticking cells together.

Study on Gene that causes hyperkeratinization tendency:
Wiki about IGFBP-3
wiki of IGF system-related studies
Cordain and IGF-1 and IGFBP claims

Other things to look into:

-Enzymes that break down cells:
- llamelar granulars in skin that release enzymes and lipids involved in desquammation. Studies find that acne prone skin is deficient. http://www.dermalins...t_is_Acne_.html

-PPARS - peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors PPAR alpha receptor is involved in regulating the sebaceous glands, is yet another thing impacted by insulin, therefore blood sugar stabilizing diet habits. see resveratrol link, also this discussion. And my new post concentrating on PPARs:

And this study: that indicates that 'PPAR-beta/delta activation stimulates keratinocyte differentiation, is anti-inflammatory, improves barrier homeostasis, and stimulates TG accumulation in keratinocytes.'
- PPAR & chloropyll, fish oil and resveratrol (see the resveratrol thread)
-CYP1A1 enzyme inhibitors,
-Other enzymes involved in androgen conversion to DHT: 5-alpha-reductase type I, 3-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and 17-beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type II
-The relationship of diet and acne http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC2836431/ Full paper. Big section on PPARS, lipids in sebum, etc.
-Antiproliferative effect of vitamin A and D analogues on adult human keratinocytes in vitro. http://www.ncbi.nlm....ubmed/18509257/

-diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 and 2 (DGAT) enzyme involved in lipid metabolism. Inhibited by Niacin? More about lipid metabolism and DGAT

FoxO1 - FoxOs play a pivotal role in the regulation of androgen receptor transactivation, insulin/insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)-signaling, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPArγ)- and liver X receptor-α (LXrα)-mediated lipogenesis, β-catenin signaling, cell proliferation, apoptosis, reactive oxygene homeostasis... Retinoids work by upregulating FOX01 http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22110774
Fox01 key to acne pathogenesis thread:

Apoptosis - programmed cell death One of the ways IGF1 and IGFBP come into play. The other is hyperproliferation.

corneocytes become overly cohesive to one another because there is a delay in, or impairment of, apoptosis (programmed cell death) in keratinocytes that prevents the desmosomes from disintegrating at the proper time. One of the most important hormones in the body that influences apoptosis is called IGFBP-3 (insulin like growth factor binding protein 3 (what binds up IGF1)). Higher blood concentrations of IGFBP-3 accelerate apoptosis, whereas lower levels inhibit apoptosis.

From page 49 of Cordain's Dietary Cure for Acne

-sebaceous hyperplasia and it's causes

Study on role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hypoglycemic food and milk consumption, in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris: http://www.canibaise...a-milk-acne.pdf

Acne Vocabulary
keratinocytes - your skin cells, basically. They make up the majority of the cells in the outermost layer of your epidermis.
Desquamation - the natural elimination of cells from the SC
apoptosis - programmed cell death.
desmosomes -
Retention Hyperkeratosis - rapid build up of cells in the follicles and the subsequent inability of the body to slough off those skin cells thereby creating a tough, glue-like substance leading to follicular blockage. Studies have found that individuals suffering from acne lack the necessary enzymes to break down the cellular glue that leads to the blockage. Since the follicle is blocked it provides the perfect non-oxygenated environment for P Acnes bacteria

arachidonic acid - " the possibility that an increase in arachidonic acid plays a role in cutaneous and scaly disorders was first described in 1975 by a study which discovered that there is a build-up of arachidonic acid, and its lipoxygenase products within the lesions seen on the skin of patients with psoriasis (Hammarstrom et al., 1975 )" Similar studies on excema, and other possibly good references cited on role of fish oil and acne.

Lipogenesis is the process by which acetyl-CoA is converted to fats. The former is an intermediate stage in metabolism of simple sugars, such as glucose, a source of energy of living organisms. Through lipogenesis, the energy can be efficiently stored in the form of fats. Lipogenesis encompasses the processes of fatty acid synthesis and subsequent triglyceride synthesis


Insulin-mediated reductions in IGFBP-3 levels may further promote unregulated follicular growth by affecting the nuclear retinoid signaling pathway. Retinoids are natural and synthetic analogues of vitamin A that inhibit cell proliferation and promote apoptosis.52 The body's natural retinoids (trans retinoic acid and 9-cis-retinoic acid) act by binding 2 families of nuclear receptors: retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs). Retinoid receptors, in turn, activate gene transcription by binding as RAR-RXR heterodimers or RXR-RXR homodimers to retinoic acid response elements located in the promoter regions of target genes whose function is to limit growth in many cell types.53
Insulinlike growth factor binding protein 3 is a ligand for the RXRα nuclear receptor and enhances RXR-RXR homodimermediated signaling.54 Studies in knockout rodents show that the RXRα gene is required for actions of the 2 endogenous retinoic acid ligands (trans retinoic acid and 9-cis-retinoic acid),55- 56 and RXRα agonists and IGFBP-3 are growth inhibitory in many cell lines.57 Additionally, RXRα is the major RXR receptor in skin.58 Consequently, low plasma levels of IGFBP-3 induced by hyperinsulinemia may reduce the effectiveness of the body's natural retinoids to activate genes that normally would limit follicular cell proliferation.

From Cordain's Kitivaan Islander study http://archderm.jama...ref-dob10212-42 good source for many studies on the role of insulin and IGF1 on keratinization, proliferation and aptosis of skin cells.

Post filled with links to research about insulin resistance, puberty, role in acne, IGF-1, etc:

Edited by alternativista
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Good things for Nutrition

Be sure to visit the Food and Recipe Index for all kinds of nutrition info as well as links to recipes and 'what to eat' threads.

-Good Digestion

-Eating primarily nutrient dense foods - colorful, bright or dark plant foods, fish,

-Eat a lot of super foods like Greens, broccoli, cabbage, onions, garlic

-Preparing foods in the best way to preserve nutrients and reduce/avoid substances that impair digestion, nutrient absorption or have other negative effects.. Chop fine or crush and let sit before cooking to let enzymes work on anti-nutrients. Soak/sprout seeds, grains, legumes. And above all, don't over cook.

-Avoiding substances that inhibit absorption of nutrients - sugar and HFCS, for example

-Storing foods in ways that protect nutrients. Light tends to damage things with the exception of things like greens and fruits. They produce anti-oxidents to protect themselves from the sunlight they need for photosynthesis. And they keep doing it after being cut/picked provided they stay are stored in the light.

Nutrients for Acne:

-Anti-inflammatory - vitamins, omega 3 EFAs, sulfur, all kinds of flavanoids... Get from almost all plant foods except those high in omega 6 EFAs (grains) and fish.

-Nutrients beneficial for the liver and Adrenals, blood sugar metabolism, hormone regulation...

-Hormone balancing - zinc, EFAs

-B vitamins such as 3 and 6, part of carb, fat and protein metabolism.

Nutrients that help the absorption of other nutrients:

Fats - needed to absorb many nutrients.

Tip: nutrients measured in I.U.s are fat soluble and need to be consumed with some fats. Nutrients measured in grams (mg, mcg) are water soluble. A few are both, like Alpha Lipoic Acid.

Links to a bunch of studies on nutrients and skin, mostly about how anti-oxidants prevent sun damage and reduce the amount of free radicals produced by skin cells from sun and pollutant exposure.

Substances in food, even good, nutrient dense foods, that some people need to limit or prepare properly:

Sugars -

Caffeine -

Purines - uric acid buildup and gout.

Oxalates -

Phytates - in seeds

goitrogens - in sulfur containing veggies like cabbage and broccoli. Cook to reduce, cook in water to reduce more, but you will lose nutrients and these are among the most nutrient dense beneficial foods. Also substances like chlorine in tap water, pools, splenda; Flouride, Bromide in softdrinks and commercially baked goods.

Tyramine - in all kinds of unrelated foods. May trigger migraines. Formed over time so the fresher food the better.

Lectins - in all foods but mostly seeds(grains, nuts) and products from grain fed animals. damage intestines, are inflammatory, maybe the the real cause of many food intolerances as Lectins are high in most of the top 8 causes of food allergies like wheat/gluten, soy, peanuts, dairy... And may have a very direct affect on acne. See ZAG enzyme thread:

More info on these naturally occurring compounds as well as food additives can be found on the FAILSAFE diet website. 'FAILSAFE stands for Free of Additives, Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. It was originally designed to treat ADHD children, but has proven useful for a wide range of symptoms.'

Intermittent fasting - Mimics the benefits of calorie restriction which improves just about all factors of health and longevity, including blood sugar. There are different methods outlines in this thread:

80/20 Rule - Some people have to be stricter than others, often due to issues that can be improved like digestion, fructose malabsorption, physical activity, etc. But most of us should be able to do well followint the 80/20 rule. This means make 80 percent of your foods/meals very good. The most nutrient dense, low glycemic, etc. And 20 percent of your foods can include whatever indulgences you want: bread, dairy, sweets, ice cream, sugary drinks. Provided you aren't intolerant to those indulgances of course.

The top 12 foods that most need to be organic due to pesticide use/absorption:

Peaches, Apples, Sweet bell peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Lettuce, Grapes (imported), Pears, Spinach, Potatoes

And really, domestic grapes, all berries and all stone fruit. They appear just a bit further down the list.

Foods with the least residual pesticides:

Broccoli, Eggplant, Cabbage, Banana, Kiwi, Asparagus, Sweet peas, Mango, Pineapple, Sweet corn, Avocado, Onion

Edited by alternativista

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Massive thanks! I think this should be stickied on top, as every new member should read it!

It's pretty much the Holistic Club in a nutshell.

My only thing to suggest is in the digestion part adding ACV before each meal.

And I haven't seen anything about water?

I would suggest adding a Stress post.

I know a study about EFAs helping a lot in depression. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, stuff like that?

I love the connectedness of all the posts. A lot of stuff is repeated in almost every post, so it's not really that confusing for a new member wondering what he is supposed to do. And maybe a post on stuff that should be avoided? I think lots of people add everything mentioned above, but there are still some things that maybe should be omitted.

Thanks again!

[Here's some stuff from Ask Shelley:

How to increase stomach acids?

What is Skin Food?

[in a nutshell: eggs, fish, oysters, clams, caviar, Wheat germ oil, Cod Liver oil, Fish oils, Liver (cow or chicken), pate, liverwurst , Coconut oil, Ghee, Olive Oil , Almonds, brazil nuts, pistachios , occasional Kefir, Quinoa, Wild Rice, Cream of Wheat.

I disagree with the grains, as they may cause acne in our case, but maybe for skin in people without acne they are beneficial]

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Thanks for posting this great info alternativista. I'm particularly interested in hyperkeratinization. Do you know of any great threads about sulfur ie MSM.

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Nice work alternativista! A credit to the org

Thanks. Where have you been?

I would love to say somthing like I come and go like the wind...but I bought a PS3 and got fat. Nah, I didnt get fat lol. I just stopped caring about the little things and now im back full force to express my outlandish but work ideas. I spend all my time with my fiancee which is great! I always feel bad as we met on here and hardly come back (here). Sorry I have gone off topic. I really like what your upto here. Your carrying the torch it seems. Welldone. I always love to learn new ideas.

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Massive thanks! I think this should be stickied on top, as every new member should read it!

It's pretty much the Holistic Club in a nutshell.

Thanks. Yeah, it just seemed like we were going through a period here with few people providing information and so many people asking what to do. And yes, there's plenty more to add.

Thanks for posting this great info alternativista. I'm particularly interested in hyperkeratinization. Do you know of any great threads about sulfur ie MSM.

I'm interested in hyperkeratinization too. That's one thing I never looked into much. And right now, it seems I've got a bad case of keratosis pilaris. Here's a general thread on sulfur. There should be threads specifically on MSM.

There's also quite a bit to look into in the Resveratrol thread I linked to under hyperkeratinization. About PPARs and receptors, prostaglandins, how accutane works...

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I'm interested in hyperkeratinization too. That's one thing I never looked into much. And right now, it seems I've got a bad case of keratosis pilaris. Here's a general thread on sulfur. There should be threads specifically on MSM.

It's a recent find for me as well. There's a keratosis pilaris forum I've been trolling around the past few days. For me, it's of special interest because I have a huge problem with clogged pores. And the genetic factor hits close to home because both of my parents do not have great skin.

If you find anything interesting, be sure and let me know/post it. I'll do the same :dance: !

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Adding a category I just thought of before I forget and as always, far from complete...

Good things for the Immune System:

-Zinc increases the production of white blood cells/T-cells
-C needed for production of all cells.
-D - also bolsters protective chemicals directly in the skin
-B complex
-Copper, Iron
-Probiotics - boosts production of: macrophages (that attack virii) and anti-bodies in intestines. Increases T-cell count.
-Omega 3 EFAs
-Green Tea - catachins increase Tcell count (white blood cells)

-Managing stress, therefore exercise, massage- Cortisol weakens immune system, inhibits NK cells.
-Stimulating lymph through massage or exercise. Bounce on trampoline, jump rope.
-Enzymes Bacteria, viruses, molds and fungi are protein/ amino acid-based. Proteolytic enzymes (proteases) taken on an empty stomach (or obtained from eating raw plant foods) literally go into the bloodstream and digest these invaders.
-Anti-microbial nutrients such as plant sulfur compounds (garlic, greens, tumeric), chlorophyll...
-I3C Indole-3-carbinol in Kale, broccoli and other cruciferous veggies.
-Coconut - only source of lauric acid, converted in body to monolaurin which can disable bacteria and viral cells and prevent them from replicating.
-Garlic - sulfur compounds stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production.
- bromain and papain enzymes from pineapple and papaya taken on an empty stomach. Without an protein in your stomach to digest, these enzymes can head out and break down cell walks of bacteria, viruses and even parasites thoughout yor system.

Boosting IgA antibodies that work in your mucosal linings and are one of the most important parts of your immune system. They are your first line of defense against airborne and ingested pathogens.

-Endorphins and anything that produces them - laughter, music, affection, physical activity, some foods like chocolate, anything you enjoy, sex! Boosts the production of IgA and perhaps other antibodies.

-Natural Circadian Cycle/Sleep
Study: Bright light exposure during the daytime affects circadian rhythms of urinary melatonin and salivary immunoglobulin A. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/10373104 Abstract says 'These results are consistent with the hypothesis that bright light exposure during the daytime enhances the nocturnal melatonin increase and activates the mucosal immune response.' Which basically means it's good for IgA antibodies that work in mucus linings that are an important part of your immune system.

Natural Killer (NK) Cells - white blood cells that are always patrolling the body on a search and destroy mission for bacteria, viruses, fungus (yeast), cancer cells, and all foreign pathogens. They also regulate the immune system response by secreting communication signals called cytokines. Cytokines alert other cells of the immune system immunologic army such as macrophages.

Boost NK cells with -- everything that boosts production of other white blood cells - C, Green tea, E, zinc, garlic, selenium... Beta carotene, glyconutrients, mushrooms

Glyconutrients (which also bind lectins, see Hyperkeratinization for links to more info. The ZAG enzyme thread is full of info on glyconutrients)

Thought to act as natural immune system boosters by enhancing natural killer (NK) and T Helper (TH1) cell function in the body. (These cells help fight infection among other duties.) Good food sources of helpful glyconutrients are garlic, onions, yams, sweet potato, parsnip, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, berries, pineapple, pawpaw, rice bran and aloe vera. Glyconutrients are also available in supplements.

Glucosamine is an example of a common glyconutrient supplement. that binds up the wheat gluten lectins.

Glyconutrients also boost stem cell production!!! Stem cells have the ability to replicate any cell in the body to repair damaged tissue.


  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA), which is found in high concentrations in the mucous membranes, particularly those lining the respiratory passages and gastrointestinal tract, as well as in saliva and tears.
  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG), the most abundant type of antibody, is found in all body fluids and protects against bacterial and viral infections.
  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is found mainly in the blood and lymph fluid, is the first to be made by the body to fight a new infection.
  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which is associated mainly with allergic reactions (when the immune system overreacts to environmental antigens such as pollen or pet dander). It is found in the lungs, skin, and mucous membranes.
  • Immunoglobulin D (IgD), which exists in minute amounts in the blood, is the least understood antibody.

IgA, IgG, and IgM are frequently measured simultaneously to give doctors important information about immune system functioning, especially relating to infection or autoimmune disease.

IgG antibodies are produced for several hours or days after exposure to an allergen and are called Type III delayed hypersensitivity reactions. These are the reactions that tend to cause so many mystery skin, vascular, respiratory and joint problems including acne.

More info, especially about the IgG antibodies :

vocabulary lessons:
leukocytes - white blood cells. cells of the immune system. found throughout the body not just in blood, such as the lymphatic system. There are several types including lymphocytes and macrophages.
T cells, B cells and NK cells are all types of white blood cells known as lymphocytes.

TH1/TH2 balance

Macrophages are white blood cells that bind up and digest damaged or wornout cells & other debris and pathogens. They also stimulate lymphocytes and other immune cells to respond to pathogens. They secrete enzymes and other regulatory factors to the immune response

Edited by alternativista

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Topical Good Things

Help your skin help itself.

See also Good Things for Sebum Quality

Acne is not about cleanliness. The bacteria on your skin is the least important factor in acne formation. The pores have to get clogged first and except in cases of some extreme environment full of pollutants, or pore clogging topicals, they get clogged way below the surface by dead skin cells that don't exfoliate properly. That's where you want to try to stop acne. Acne comes from the inside and there's no benefit and quite a lot of harm from scrubbing your face, harsh cleansers and anti-bacterial soaps and topicals.

Take care of your Acid Mantle. This is the level of acidity on the surface of your skin created by sweat and sebum. It should be about 5.5 with 'normal ranges' between 4.5 -6. It protects your skin from bacteria and fungus as few can survive in an acidic environment. The PH level is also important for the function of the enzymes that separate skin cells so they are shed freely without clogging pores.

The acid mantle gets washed away with soap, which is alkaline, and can take many hours to restore. Meanwhile your skin is vulnerable to bacteria and fungus. Importance of Skin PH thread. Avoid harsh, irritating soap, cleanser, and topicals. Wash with water only or when using alkaline cleansers, follow with something acidic such as the diluted ACV toner below. But why waste money on cleansers when they don't help? Note, even plain tap water is slightly alkaline.

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner - Mix 1/3 or less vinegar with filtered water. Or better yet, brewed green tea which is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant (may prevent free radical damage from sun, pollution), reduces the oxidation of skin lipids a factor in acne, may inhibit DHT and reduce oiliness, soothing, and seems to help with the vinegar smell. The ACV is also a mild exfoliant.

Avoid exposure to chlorine: Get a shower filter to filter out the chlorine. If you take baths, there are also vitamin C bath balls that bind up the chlorine. Both of which will have the added benefit of stopping you from breathing in the chlorine in the form of vapor. And don't hang out in pools or hot tubs.

Free residual chlorine in bathing water reduces the water-holding capacity of the stratum corneum in atopic skin..Study involving 10 minute exposure at concentrations similar to that in swimming pools.

Effect of regular sauna on epidermal barrier function and stratum corneum water-holding capacity in vivo in humans: a controlled study.

A more stable epidermal barrier function, an increase in stratum corneum hydration, a faster recovery of both elevated water loss and skin pH after exposure to 2 x 15 min sauna at 80 degrees C could be demonstrated in volunteers with regular sauna. Heart beat rate and ionic concentration in sweat as well as epidermal blood perfusion showed a training effect under regular sauna. A decrease in casual skin sebum content on the skin surface of the forehead was observed in these volunteers.
I wonder if the same results can be obtained with an infrared sauna. I'm not sitting in a hot room.

Oils -

Jojoba, Camellia, rose hip seed, almond, grape seed or other plant oils. There are claims that rose hip seed oil has retinoids or retinoid like properties and is used for scars in South America.

Acne prone skin/sebum has been found to be deficient in linoleic acid. (also applies to other skin problems and to other animals) but doesn't necessarily correlate to a dietary or systemic deficiency, just topical. Topical application has been found to correct this and can be done by applying it elsewhere on the body although results will be slower. Linoleic acid is an important component in sebum that functions normally protecting skin and has many benefits. More info: Grapeseed and Safflower oils are both over 70% linoleic acid. These oils are prone to oxidation and should come only from a quality source, be in a dark bottle and should be stored in the refrigerator.

Castor oil/Oil cleansing - google it. Especially good for removing makeup. Helps clear blackheads.

The oxidative breakdown of squalene and other skin lipids may be directly 'acnegenic to the skin' and topical application of antioxidant nutrients Vitamins E, A and C were found to support of normal keratinization http://www.ncbi.nlm....32/?tool=pubmed Other antioxidants include zinc, sulfur/quercetin, D, green tea, nicotinamide, caratinoids, CoQ10, lactoferrin, etc. see this journal article about the role of oxidation of squalene in sebum and acne http://www.ncbi.nlm....32/?tool=pubmed

Topical Nutrition Antioxidant/anti-inflammatories absorbable through the skin

-Polyphenols in tea and coffee

-A - various retinol and tretinoin creams

-C - Needed produce collagen

-E in the form of d-alpha-tocopherol


-Niacinimide- also helps with hyperpigmentation. There is a prescription acne topical involving niacinimide. More below.

-Vitamin D from the sun - antioxidant and anti-comodone...

- Zinc and sulfur. It's usually sulfur that provides the benefit in those old world mineral hot springs, baths and spas. There are all kinds of prepared ointments, soaps and lotions. Or use epsom salt or tumeric (can stain) for sulfur and mineral powder makeup and mineral sunscreen for zinc.

Clay powder for masks - Many people like the Aztec Indian Healing clay powder that can be mixed with various ingredients such as ACV. Or you can buy food grade bentonite clay to use internally and externally. People also use it in tooth powder that can help remineralize teeth. It can be sodium bentonite or calcium bentonite. Or a mix.

Or Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque- a dirt cheap sulfur and zinc filled clay mask. People used to rave about it. I don't know why I don't see it mentioned much anymore. Clay masks can worsen dry skin


Milk of Magnesia - Topical application absorbs oil and some magnesium gets absorbed through the skin which is very beneficial. But!!!, It's alkaline and the surface of your skin should be acidic to protect it from bacteria and other microbes. So use with caution. Maybe consider limiting this to days when you really need to look your best, won't be able to blot away oils for some reason like makeup, really humid miserable days, etc. And first apply something acidic to neutralize the alkalinity like diluted ACV. Some people have reported success with Magnesium citrate, with the citrate implying that it is more acidic. It's a clear liquid, usually in a glass bottle (which is always a good thing) that I've only seen in dollar stores.

Epsom Salt Soaks/Baths/concoctions- Rich in sulfur and magnesium which are absorbed through the skin. Good for wounds and all kinds of skin irritations. Also relaxes muscles and will really help you sleep.

Aloe Vera - soothes all kinds of irritations. Reduces inflammation and therefore scarring. Supposedly the same PH as skin should be. Worked as well for my rosacea as the prescription cream I was prescribed. And good for mixing in other ingredients for your own topical concoctions. Also makes a good hair gel, I hear.

BHA/Salicylic Acid - Hydroxy acid that specifically helps exfoliate inside of pores.

For Hyperpigmentation

According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, author of the Skin Type Solution, topical products containing soy increase hyperpigmentation because of their phyto-estrogens. Unless, the manufacturer has removed the estrogenic components as she says Aveeno, Neutrogena and RoC do. And if so, soy can help. However, the CosmeticsCop kinda says the opposite.

Dr Baumann, a mainstream, non-holistic pro-drugs-and-topicals doctor recommends a diet low in high glycemic foods and high in anti-inflammatory foods for acne sufferers, btw.

Niacinimide - Does all kinds of good things like helping with hyperpigmentation, skin elasticity and acne. I mix a capsule with aloe vera. Olay and Paula's choice also have products with niacinimide.

Kojic acid - inhibits melanin production

Edited by alternativista

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i dont know. i find this acid mantle theory a bit weird. im a big fan of doing the baking soda mask and its great for unclogging pores and preventing breakouts the next morning if you do it at night. its also good at exfoliating, but baking soda is a very basic substance so technically im really hurting my skin's pH.

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