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How much of a role does Healthy eating really play on Acne?

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#1 misterhealthman

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:08 PM

At one point I was a health nut. I can remember going about 9 months without eating sugar. That was my freshmen year in college 2005-2006. I do believe that eating healthy is a huge step towards healthy skin. However, fast forward to today and I eat a lot more sugar and junk than back then, yet my complexion is far better. I mean really whats the deal? I tried all things back then 2, lots of fish oil, Vitamin b5. Probiotics, eating all organic etc. Yet I don't really take a lot of that stuff today and yet my complexion is better....Any thoughts?

#2 databased

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:04 PM

QUOTE (misterhealthman @ Dec 15 2009, 03:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any thoughts?

Yes.

A) IMO, acne is caused by insufficient levels of zinc superoxide dismutase (ZSOD) in the skin.
B) The single biggest producer of SOD (still needs zinc) is melatonin.
C) Carbohydrate malabsorption interferes with the digestion of both tryptophan (required to make melatonin) and zinc (required to make ZSOD).
D) Day-long bright light exposure significantly reduces carb malabsorption.

Thus, acne is not caused by what you eat, but by failing to get tryptophan and zinc digested (and all the other things you can do to disrupt your melatonin cycle). What you eat can influence acne -- just not in any of the ways people imagine. If I live all day outdoors in bright light and sleep long/hard/productively each night, I can eat at McDonald's 3 times a day and have little or no acne. Eating the exact same diet while living in dim indoor light will give me 3-9 new lesions each day.

People who claim to switch to a "healthy" diet are usually switching to a high-fructose diet. A large sweet apple can have as much excess (over molar glucose) fructose as a can of Coke. While living in dim indoor light (as most folks do) that fructose can increase the amount of carb malabsorption, which will interfere with digesting tryptophan and zinc, increasing the odds that you will have insufficient ZSOD levels in the skin to prevent acne.

There are innumerable paths to affecting the levels of ZSOD in the skin, but it is strictly a matter of chemistry and has nothing to do with common conceptions of "healthy" or "junk" food. Eating sweet, high-fructose apples is simply a good statistical bet for raising the odds of acne, for example. Going vegetarian will make it harder (though not impossible) to get large amounts of tryptophan in the diet. Will going vegan help your acne? Impossible to say without analyzing exactly what you're eating to see how it affects the intake of carbs most prone to malabsorption (e.g., fructans) and the amounts of tryptophan and zinc (and how much you're doing to disrupt normal melatonin flow, like using caffeine/alcohol/drugs).

Your experience that "eating healthy" did not reduce acne has been repeated by many other posters here. Following current popular fads about what "healthy foods" are is clearly no cure for acne, and can easily make acne worse. Most people who eat "healthy" just chase down a high-fructose diet in the fruit section of the grocery store instead of getting it from the soda section (usually, they'll even reproduce the caffeine of soda by switching to "healthy" green tea!). A "healthy" diet that actually helped acne would include little or none of the high-fructose fruits (like apples, pears, mangos, etc.) and would include a high percentage of green leafy things that are not prone to exacerbate carb malabsorption and have some ability to elevate SOD levels on their own -- the sort of diet that would not satisfy a sweet tooth.

IMHO.


#3 ItalianBoy

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:16 PM

QUOTE (databased @ Dec 15 2009, 11:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (misterhealthman @ Dec 15 2009, 03:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any thoughts?

Yes.

A) IMO, acne is caused by insufficient levels of zinc superoxide dismutase (ZSOD) in the skin.
B) The single biggest producer of SOD (still needs zinc) is melatonin.
C) Carbohydrate malabsorption interferes with the digestion of both tryptophan (required to make melatonin) and zinc (required to make ZSOD).
D) Day-long bright light exposure significantly reduces carb malabsorption.

Thus, acne is not caused by what you eat, but by failing to get tryptophan and zinc digested (and all the other things you can do to disrupt your melatonin cycle). What you eat can influence acne -- just not in any of the ways people imagine. If I live all day outdoors in bright light and sleep long/hard/productively each night, I can eat at McDonald's 3 times a day and have little or no acne. Eating the exact same diet while living in dim indoor light will give me 3-9 new lesions each day.

People who claim to switch to a "healthy" diet are usually switching to a high-fructose diet. A large sweet apple can have as much excess (over molar glucose) fructose as a can of Coke. While living in dim indoor light (as most folks do) that fructose can increase the amount of carb malabsorption, which will interfere with digesting tryptophan and zinc, increasing the odds that you will have insufficient ZSOD levels in the skin to prevent acne.

There are innumerable paths to affecting the levels of ZSOD in the skin, but it is strictly a matter of chemistry and has nothing to do with common conceptions of "healthy" or "junk" food. Eating sweet, high-fructose apples is simply a good statistical bet for raising the odds of acne, for example. Going vegetarian will make it harder (though not impossible) to get large amounts of tryptophan in the diet. Will going vegan help your acne? Impossible to say without analyzing exactly what you're eating to see how it affects the intake of carbs most prone to malabsorption (e.g., fructans) and the amounts of tryptophan and zinc (and how much you're doing to disrupt normal melatonin flow, like using caffeine/alcohol/drugs).

Your experience that "eating healthy" did not reduce acne has been repeated by many other posters here. Following current popular fads about what "healthy foods" are is clearly no cure for acne, and can easily make acne worse. Most people who eat "healthy" just chase down a high-fructose diet in the fruit section of the grocery store instead of getting it from the soda section (usually, they'll even reproduce the caffeine of soda by switching to "healthy" green tea!). A "healthy" diet that actually helped acne would include little or none of the high-fructose fruits (like apples, pears, mangos, etc.) and would include a high percentage of green leafy things that are not prone to exacerbate carb malabsorption and have some ability to elevate SOD levels on their own -- the sort of diet that would not satisfy a sweet tooth.

IMHO.


Do you usually copy/paste this?

#4 Packerfan785

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 04:18 PM

I agree with databased. The two times my skin was the clearest were when I was outside all day and had little control over what I ate.

I have some questions though. How come some people can stay inside all day and still be clear? What do you make of people who cut out dairy/gluten and become clear? What can we do to enhance Zinc/Tryptophan/Melatonin absorption besides being outside all day? (I think all of us could be outside more, but only so much time is possible for most of us)

Edited by Packerfan785, 15 December 2009 - 04:19 PM.


#5 alternativista

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:20 PM

QUOTE (Packerfan785 @ Dec 15 2009, 04:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have some questions though. How come some people can stay inside all day and still be clear?
There are several genetic factors that make people prone to acne that some of us have, some of us don't.

QUOTE (Packerfan785 @ Dec 15 2009, 04:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you make of people who cut out dairy/gluten and become clear?
Those people had an intolerance that affected their digestion, increased inflammation and even directly caused pimples to form.

QUOTE (Packerfan785 @ Dec 15 2009, 04:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What can we do to enhance Zinc/Tryptophan/Melatonin absorption besides being outside all day? (I think all of us could be outside more, but only so much time is possible for most of us)


Do a combination of healthy eating, supplementing zinc, exercise, sleep, eat tryptophan containing foods early in the day and get as much bright light as you can. Get light/dark exposure that mimics nature as much as you can. And of course, avoid anything you have an intolerance for.




#6 alternativista

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:50 PM

QUOTE (databased @ Dec 15 2009, 04:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your experience that "eating healthy" did not reduce acne has been repeated by many other posters here.


And many other posters have cleared their acne with a better diet. As have tons of Atkins and South Beach dieters who weren't even trying to clear their skin.

Lists of People whose skin has cleared from diet and lifestyle changes.

#7 TheScientist

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 05:59 PM

@databased
You make some really interesting points, but comparing an apple to a can of coke is silly, after looking at all the facts. You pinpointed the fructose intake in both but totally disregarded everything else, inside of each. Can you name any good health benefits of coke(or properties)? Apples, to name a few have vitamin a, c, etc. My point is, your writing seems a little misleading to me causing me to believe that eating fruit (rather, an apple) is the same as having a can of coke. - When it is clearly not, considering all the properties in each. The sugar in fruit is 100% natural with no added sugar/alternatives, therefore fine for a human to consume and take advantage of.

Edited by TheScientist, 15 December 2009 - 06:04 PM.


#8 .JacktheLad.

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:05 PM

QUOTE (TheScientist @ Dec 15 2009, 11:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
@databased
You make some really interesting points, but comparing an apple to a can of coke is silly, after looking at all the facts. You pinpointed the fructose intake in both but totally disregarded everything else, inside of each. Can you name any good health benefits of coke(or properties)? Apples, to name a few have vitamin a, c, etc. My point is, your writing seems a little misleading to me causing me to believe that eating fruit (rather, an apple) is the same as having a can of coke. - When it is clearly not, considering all the properties in each. The sugar in fruit is 100% natural with no added sugar/alternatives, therefore fine for a human to consume and take advantage of.


exactly its good sugar that will get used up fast and not cause an insulin response as bad as say a can of coke.


i agree diet does play a role (not in my experience so far, but my father who went on a no carb diet to lose weight, lost all his back acne for first time in best part of 30 years)

#9 alternativista

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 06:21 PM

QUOTE (want2beme @ Dec 15 2009, 06:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (TheScientist @ Dec 15 2009, 11:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
@databased
You make some really interesting points, but comparing an apple to a can of coke is silly, after looking at all the facts. You pinpointed the fructose intake in both but totally disregarded everything else, inside of each. Can you name any good health benefits of coke(or properties)? Apples, to name a few have vitamin a, c, etc. My point is, your writing seems a little misleading to me causing me to believe that eating fruit (rather, an apple) is the same as having a can of coke. - When it is clearly not,


exactly its good sugar that will get used up fast and not cause an insulin response as bad as say a can of coke.

i agree diet does play a role (not in my experience so far, but my father who went on a no carb diet to lose weight, lost all his back acne for first time in best part of 30 years)


Oh, but he loves to make that apple/coke comparison and insist we are all dillusioned. But apples can raise your blood sugar, not like a coke, but still. Stick to small fruits, ideally the lower sugar varieties. And have a couple of almonds or something with it.


#10 whoartthou1

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:17 AM

hmm, now that i think about it, when i tried dieting i was eating a good amount of fructose (Sweet potatoes have a lot of sucrose which turns into fructose), apples, bananas etc etc.

I am going to try going outside 3-4 hours a day and see what happens

#11 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 05:20 AM

It has to just be that 'acne' isn't one skin condition. I believe there are a number of different skin conditions with completely different causes that present with skin eruptions on the face. But I hate the term 'acne' because it isn't one thing. I think of it like saying 'a rash.' A rash could be psoriasis or a rash could be chicken pox--two totally different causes.

I wish I could say I had experienced times where I didn't worry about what I ate and my skin was clear. But unfortunately, if I don't worry about what I eat, I could DIE, not just get acne. Gluten effects me so badly that even the tiniest ingestion leaves me in a mentally psychotic state (the last time I was glutened I had to be restrained because I was screamed and bashing my face into the ground, I don't even REMEMBER this barely! It's like remembering a hazy dream) and I get horrible breakouts that last for months as well as rashes. It's seriously scary. And that's just gluten, I have a number of other severe food allergies as well.

I think cases like mine as well as acne like mine are pretty rare. My acne isn't 'normal' either. It's very, very painful, like having bits of glass stuck in my skin.

Sorry to describe all this so graphically, lol. I'm not trying to whine or feel sorry for myself or anything. I just think it's important to point out that acne isn't one disease, and that there is so much arguing here about what to do about it and I think before we can really say what to do about it we need to know what the person's actual skin condition is, and what's causing it. A protocol for someone like me with a damaged leaky gut and autoimmmune issues and food allergies is going to be so different from someone who is breaking out due to stress and lack of proper sleep. It sounds like a lot of you guys who become clear when on vacation, or away at school, or whatever, when you're eating whatever you want and not worrying about it are probably just experiencing minor breakouts due to stress or hormones during adolescence. A lot of that stuff may clear when you are older. But I also think there are people here in a condition similar to my own.

It's all very complicated. Posted Image

#12 Green Gables

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:26 PM

At one point I was a health nut. I can remember going about 9 months without eating sugar. That was my freshmen year in college 2005-2006. I do believe that eating healthy is a huge step towards healthy skin. However, fast forward to today and I eat a lot more sugar and junk than back then, yet my complexion is far better. I mean really whats the deal? I tried all things back then 2, lots of fish oil, Vitamin b5. Probiotics, eating all organic etc. Yet I don't really take a lot of that stuff today and yet my complexion is better....Any thoughts?


If you read Dr. Ayers blog, he talks a lot about how ideal gut flora and stomach acid levels enable us to eat more crap without disastrous side effects. He also explains how more and more of us are deficient in gut flora because of a) being formula-fed as a baby (breast milk is the main avenue by which babies initially seed their gut with proper bacteria) and b) lack of fermented food intake and c) processed diets that affect gut flora and d) chronic stress lifestyles that reduce the level of stomach acid.

I've never had a processed diet, my parents started doing paleo before paleo was a thing, but all of the others apply to me. Now this is TMI, but lately I've been on Betaine HCL, a digestive enzyme, and probiotics. I've noticed that my stools are "normal" and I actually have regular bowel movements. I don't think I ever knew what it was like to NOT be backed up because it's been that way forever. As far as acne, I've been controlling acne through spiro so I can't comment on that. I do feel like I have more energy throughout the day too.

#13 AutonomousOne1980

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 01:08 PM

the information you gave isnt enough to explain anything that happened to you or your experiances. your definition of healthy eating must be expanded beyond simply not eating sugar or taking a few supplements.

what you eat has a definite impact on how well you body functions, and this can affect any disease process or healthy person to varying degrees.

avoiding refined sugar is defintly healthy, but avoiding sugar from fruits is unhealthy because they are not the same and fruits have fiber,vitamins and hundreds of plant chemicals, simple clarifications and re-evaluations in statements, claims and beliefs you personally hold about health and dietary knowledge, would also benefit you greatly.

it wouldnt be agood idea to take the information you gave and come to the conclusion, "nothing matters ever or effects anythings else so i should just give up" and that following your own defintion and theory of healthy eating, is a useless pointless plan. perhaps following your own false impression of healthy eating IS a bad idea, because you lack real knowledge, but avoid egocentric tendancies here, my definition of what healthy eating is may be quite different from yours, and this is where we all would benefit(or not) from the exchange of information (bad or good, false or true), on a site such as this one!!!


good luck!!

Edited by AutonomousOne1980, 27 August 2012 - 01:13 PM.