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Gluten--Where's The Research?

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#1 Toulouse

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:40 PM

Can someone here point me to any research that has been done on the acne-gluten connection?
What would really be nice is an extensive poll done on acne.org by those who've gone gluten-free.

I don't have any of the digestive symptoms, for example, but have discovered that those foods with the most gluten give me the most breakouts. But I'm still on the fence about it because of the difficulty of isolating it: foods with high gluten tend to have a high GI; gluten is in practically everything now.

So I guess my biggest questions are:

1. Where's the formal research on acne & gluten?
2. Does gluten affect acne even if you don't have an intolerance, and if so, how?

Thanks

Edited by Toulouse, 04 September 2012 - 12:41 PM.


#2 Riddled

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:52 PM

Gluten is very bad, it may kill you!

#3 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:02 PM

I don't think there has been a lot of formal medical research. There is a lot of information here from people who've offered their personal accounts of how gluten effects their skin. I don't know if we have one central poll about it though. Start one!

#4 Toulouse

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:18 PM

Yeah the more I look into it, the more I think I'm going to settle with a "low gluten" diet. Gluten seems to be in nearly everything and these 100% gluten free diets look nasty/unrealistic. $6 for a loaf of gluten-free bread that's half the regular size is a joke lol.

thanks

#5 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:56 PM

Nasty/Unrealistic? lol... you should see how awesome I eat. I dine on some delicious food every day, probably more than most people.

#6 alexisc

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:51 PM

Gluten is one of the main causes of my acne and I would have never guessed it. You owe it to yourself to do gluten free for a few weeks and see if it helps your skin. If it dosen't then you know you have no issues, and if it does then you know you do. The bloodtests are usless, mine said I wasn't intolerant to gluten but without that and corn I'm acne free! Another thing, many gluten free products contain corn which is a very common allergen people forget about. I am more allergic to corn than gluten and corn is in everything! My advice: Try going gluten and corn free and see if it helps you. I have a great diet and a huge variety of foods to eat. You don't have to worry about every trace of gluten as you do not think you are celiac.

#7 DaftFrost

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:56 PM

Nasty/Unrealistic? lol... you should see how awesome I eat. I dine on some delicious food every day, probably more than most people.


I'd like to know your recipes. Personally I am just a little bit bored of my typical food. Smoothie, soup, fried meat and vegetable, and salad.

#8 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:04 AM

Check out my blog, or the recipe thread. I have a few recipes there. I don't use complicated recipes though, honestly. I don't know, perhaps it's just a matter of taste, but diet is basically all meat, smoothie, soup and salad too. I just don't find it boring. I mean, the word "salad" is pretty general. It's not like I eat the same salad every night. I use a lot of different flavors to change things up. It's difficult to come up with recipes to share because I always just make the salad up as I go along.

Honestly, though, I've never been the type of person to get bored, just in general. Long before I was ever healthy/gluten free I ate the same stuff week after week too. I always got the same sandwich at Subway, the same meal at Taco Bell, the exact same pizza every time, etc.

#9 Bearishly

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:09 AM

Yeah the more I look into it, the more I think I'm going to settle with a "low gluten" diet. Gluten seems to be in nearly everything and these 100% gluten free diets look nasty/unrealistic. $6 for a loaf of gluten-free bread that's half the regular size is a joke lol.

thanks


Perhaps my personal experience will help:
I thought gluten was causing my acne because when I experimented with getting rid of it, my face improved fairly significantly. The improvement stopped well short of clear, though, and after totally changing everything to gluten-free, I realized it was actually insulin/blood sugar-related. Now, I can eat gluten in small amounts (like every other grain) with no problems.

I think it's possible that some people see immediate results from cutting out gluten, rush to assume they have an intolerance/allergy, then think they have even more allergies because cutting out gluten alone isn't enough. After all, being gluten intolerant is trendy.

It'll be interesting to see if there is any serious research on this going forward. Obviously the big agribusinesses aren't going to want a lot of negative info coming out about one of their main cash crops, but if it stays in the spotlight for a few more years, it may sink deep enough into the public consciousness to warrant closer inspection (like peanut allergies).

What's working for me: eat lots of nutrient-dense foods, stay away from filler. Carbohydrates are unnecessary because your liver can make all the blood sugar it needs from fat and protein.

#10 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:53 AM

Yeah, when you have a gluten allergy it becomes apparent very quickly. My reactions are immediate, and very severe. Where as there are things that are damaging to my gut and bad for my overall condition yet I don't have an allergy exactly (like black beans). They are just not healthy foods and my body can't handle them over a long period of time. I think gluten is that way for most people. Everyone benefits from lessening/removing it from their diet. But when it's a legit allergy or intolerance, there's no way you can handle even small amounts.

#11 Toulouse

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:13 AM


Yeah the more I look into it, the more I think I'm going to settle with a "low gluten" diet. Gluten seems to be in nearly everything and these 100% gluten free diets look nasty/unrealistic. $6 for a loaf of gluten-free bread that's half the regular size is a joke lol.

thanks


Perhaps my personal experience will help:
I thought gluten was causing my acne because when I experimented with getting rid of it, my face improved fairly significantly. The improvement stopped well short of clear, though, and after totally changing everything to gluten-free, I realized it was actually insulin/blood sugar-related. Now, I can eat gluten in small amounts (like every other grain) with no problems.

I think it's possible that some people see immediate results from cutting out gluten, rush to assume they have an intolerance/allergy, then think they have even more allergies because cutting out gluten alone isn't enough. After all, being gluten intolerant is trendy.

It'll be interesting to see if there is any serious research on this going forward. Obviously the big agribusinesses aren't going to want a lot of negative info coming out about one of their main cash crops, but if it stays in the spotlight for a few more years, it may sink deep enough into the public consciousness to warrant closer inspection (like peanut allergies).

What's working for me: eat lots of nutrient-dense foods, stay away from filler. Carbohydrates are unnecessary because your liver can make all the blood sugar it needs from fat and protein.



Great points.

That also goes back to my original point about the difficutly of isolating the two components in a research setting (GI & gluten) when there is no gluten intolerance. With .75% of the population having a real gluten intolerance and over 80% with acne, obviously there's a lot more than just gluten at work here. My opinion is that genetics (the overwhelming factor), high GI consumption, and our horrible dairy industry contribute (of the US) the most to acne today.

I'll give it a whirl but I suspect high GI is the bigger explanation.

When you think about it, we're really in the stone-age with this condition. I've never been a conspiracy theorist, but as they say--follow the money. And there's TONS of it being made. It really makes me wonder what kind of miracle enzymes are sitting (locked up) in some laboratory that have the ability to cure the whole intrapore desquamation/hyperkeratosis issue. Diet can do a lot to reduce oil production (except at puberty), but until strides are made into the intrafollicular shedding pathology we have it's rather pointless.

Yeah, when you have a gluten allergy it becomes apparent very quickly. My reactions are immediate, and very severe. Where as there are things that are damaging to my gut and bad for my overall condition yet I don't have an allergy exactly (like black beans). They are just not healthy foods and my body can't handle them over a long period of time. I think gluten is that way for most people. Everyone benefits from lessening/removing it from their diet. But when it's a legit allergy or intolerance, there's no way you can handle even small amounts.


Sounds like you have the real thing. What happens when you eat gluten?

Edited by Toulouse, 06 September 2012 - 11:12 AM.


#12 Bearishly

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 11:19 AM

When you think about it, we're really in the stone-age with this condition. I've never been a conspiracy theorist, but as they say--follow the money. And there's TONS of it being made. It really makes me wonder what kind of miracle enzymes are sitting (locked up) in some laboratory that have the ability to cure the whole intrapore desquamation/hyperkeratosis issue. Diet can do a lot to reduce oil production (except at puberty), but until strides are made into the intrafollicular shedding pathology we have it's rather pointless.


I don't understand your point exactly. Acne is not one single condition with one single cause, but rather a symptom of a myriad of imbalances in people's bodies. It's not just about reducing oil production, reducing inflammation in your body that happens to be manifested as acne is actually a much more important step because that inflammation is likely happening elsewhere as well. Plenty of people have incredibly oily skin with no inflammation.

If there was a miracle enzyme somewhere, someone would commercialize it and make money. For lots of us, the best defense we have against acne right now (without awful side effects) is disciplined lifestyle change. Obviously, this isn't a popular theory amongst dermatologists and the like so they won't tell you that and people run in circles with creams and pills instead. But the real dirty money being made is in the food industry pushing increasingly worthless food on people to fill their stomachs while controlling the government recommendations for what should be eaten. They have a far greater impact on our population as a whole.

But this is the Information Age. We have access to the knowledge we need to heal our bodies and it is out there. It's up to us to take the initiative to find it and take action ourselves.

#13 alternativista

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:01 PM

Can someone here point me to any research that has been done on the acne-gluten connection?
What would really be nice is an extensive poll done on acne.org by those who've gone gluten-free.

I don't have any of the digestive symptoms, for example, but have discovered that those foods with the most gluten give me the most breakouts. But I'm still on the fence about it because of the difficulty of isolating it: foods with high gluten tend to have a high GI; gluten is in practically everything


It's in practically all processed foods. Not in real food.

#14 Toulouse

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:02 PM


When you think about it, we're really in the stone-age with this condition. I've never been a conspiracy theorist, but as they say--follow the money. And there's TONS of it being made. It really makes me wonder what kind of miracle enzymes are sitting (locked up) in some laboratory that have the ability to cure the whole intrapore desquamation/hyperkeratosis issue. Diet can do a lot to reduce oil production (except at puberty), but until strides are made into the intrafollicular shedding pathology we have it's rather pointless.


I don't understand your point exactly. Acne is not one single condition with one single cause, but rather a symptom of a myriad of imbalances in people's bodies. It's not just about reducing oil production, reducing inflammation in your body that happens to be manifested as acne is actually a much more important step because that inflammation is likely happening elsewhere as well. Plenty of people have incredibly oily skin with no inflammation.

If there was a miracle enzyme somewhere, someone would commercialize it and make money. For lots of us, the best defense we have against acne right now (without awful side effects) is disciplined lifestyle change. Obviously, this isn't a popular theory amongst dermatologists and the like so they won't tell you that and people run in circles with creams and pills instead. But the real dirty money being made is in the food industry pushing increasingly worthless food on people to fill their stomachs while controlling the government recommendations for what should be eaten. They have a far greater impact on our population as a whole.

But this is the Information Age. We have access to the knowledge we need to heal our bodies and it is out there. It's up to us to take the initiative to find it and take action ourselves.



I'm not suggesting that there's "one single cause". But the huge majority of us do have a pathology in our ability to shed skin cells and make new ones normally/at appropriate rates. I'm just saying it's fun to think about what cures might be 'out there'. And no, I don't agree that just because someone has found an apparent cure they can simply commercialize it, patent it, and make a ton of money. I *suspect* (can't prove it, obviously) that titanic profits in pharma and bigag are a factor in inhibiting cures of many kinds.

#15 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 01:46 PM

Sounds like you have the real thing. What happens when you eat gluten?


Well, first I begin to feel really strange and hot/tingly all over. Then I usually have this freak out stage that can last for a day or two, where the gluten effects my mind and I can no longer control my body. I've cut myself and bashed my head into things and will scream and sob uncontrollably and usually I can only remember it like a bad dream. It's very scary and I really can't control it. Basically it's like the worst anxiety/panic attack ever.

Along with that comes the horrible stomach pain and gas and bloating, usually constipation which lasts a few days. My entire system just comes to a grinding halt. And of course, the painful cystic skin lesions usually appear within a few minutes to a few hours of eating or touching any. If it's a mild glutening, the skin reactions will last about a month but if it's bad... I don't even know! The worst it ever happened I think they lasted a couple of months. I get rashes and psoriasis outbreaks too along with the cystic acne.

This is just trace gluten. The last time this happened it was because I ate some pineapple that had been in a tupperware that had been washed and once had gluten containing soup in it.

The last time I actually ate gluten (unknowingly, it was a long time ago) I got very sick and was bedridden and out of it for weeks. I thought I was going to die. Even that was just a gluten containing food, not actual flour or anything. I'm pretty sure if I were to eat a slice of bread I'd just die right there on the spot.

I'm not feeling sorry for myself or anything, I've long since been fine with avoiding gluten. I just want people to realize how severe this can be for some people. I definitely believe that in my case, it's life threatening.

#16 Bearishly

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:05 PM

I'm not suggesting that there's "one single cause". But the huge majority of us do have a pathology in our ability to shed skin cells and make new ones normally/at appropriate rates. I'm just saying it's fun to think about what cures might be 'out there'. And no, I don't agree that just because someone has found an apparent cure they can simply commercialize it, patent it, and make a ton of money. I *suspect* (can't prove it, obviously) that titanic profits in pharma and bigag are a factor in inhibiting cures of many kinds.

Companies exist to make profit. If a drug company had a cure for acne, they would do everything in their power to sell it. The amount of people who would buy it is far, far larger than the amount of people who purchase that company's other acne treatments. Even if legal action kept them from putting it on the market, the story would make the news because a massive legal battle between big pharma companies would ensue.

So if the mythical cabinet that this cure is locked in isn't controlled by a company whose sole purpose is to generate profits, who do you think owns the cabinet?

#17 dejaclairevoyant

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:16 PM

I don't think they have a cure, because I think it's a complicated situation that needs to have many factors changed in order to improve. Personally, I feel that most cases of acne and skin problems in general are caused by a combination of gut damage, allergies (often related to gut damage), stress, hormone imbalances and inflammation in the body, the latter two things often being related to the first three. I'm sure there are other factors as well.

The only one sized fits all type of cures that I can even see being possible would be something that 1) changes the skin somehow in order to prevent the toxins/inflammation/candida/leaky gut particles/allergic response/WHATEVER from coming out of the skin, despite what may be going on in the body. or 2) somehow stopping the inflammation in the body all together, regardless of the reasons for it. A super powerful anti-inflammatory of some sort.

Accutane claims to do #1 by basically destroying your oil glands and changing the function of the skin. But obviously there are side effects and skin gradually goes back to how it was after people stop taking it.

Anyway, my point is that I don't believe anyone has a cure for this and is just not using it. I believe that they know far less about how this even works than some of us do simply by having the condition and studying the reactions of our own bodies. Dermatologists don't even know that acne can be caused by food allergies. They are so incredibly behind, and I think it's because there is far more to gain by treating acne by curing it. The studies just don't seem to be happening because no one has an interest in funding them.

#18 hopeful26

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:46 PM

I'm super intrigued by this thread. I recently (about 3 weeks ago) went GF after finding out I have a thyroid condition that can be exacerbated by eating gluten. I went for the blood test just before I went GF and am anxiously awaiting results. I do know that removing the gluten *has* been beneficial - my digestion has GREATLY improved (i used to get gurgles, bloating, gas, and loose BMs on a daily basis - ew) to the point where I have none of these problems, and I have "healed" my dairy intolerance (I still don't eat much dairy but have enjoyed the occasional latte without consequence, unlike the past). My mysterious body "eczema" has also begun to disappear. This has been gradual but I can definitely notice a marked difference.

BUT, my skin has NOT improved since going GF. I know it's still early, but things don't seem to be getting better. In fact, my skin almost seems to have gotten worse. I've done a few internet searches on whether or not your skin can go through a "purge" stage after getting rid of gluten, but I haven't found anything. Most people's skin seems to greatly improve after removing it. I don't get it. I should also note that I'm not eating a ton of GF alternatives (breads, etc.) and eat mostly low carb, so I doubt it's a blood sugar effect.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

#19 hopeful26

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:13 AM

Oh, I also thought I'd mention that William Davis' recent book Wheat Belly has a section on skin issues related to eating wheat (& other high GI foods). He talks about acne, and I believe he quotes some specific studies as well. I listened to it on audiobook so I don't have them on hand, but if you're interested, might be worth browsing his list of references. A quick perusal of PubMed also yields a couple of references:

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/18460895 -- basically describes the link between autoimmune condiitons and acne (among other skin conditions)

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/20228538 -- points to the connection between diet and skin conditions

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22898209 -- title says it all: High glycemic load diet, milk and ice cream consumption are related to acne vulgaris

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/22253996 -- low glycemic diets were not significantly more effective in improving acne than non-low GI diets

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/20361171 -- lit review paper that shows connection between cow's milk and high GI diets and acne

In general it doesn't seem like there has been much formal research into the connection between acne and gluten/wheat, specifically. I'm sure it's in the works, though.

Hope that helps to satisfy some of you who wanted to see "the research". There's plenty more out there, too! "Diet and acne" is probably your most fruitful search option.

#20 hopeful26

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:17 AM

(accidental repeat post)

Edited by hopeful26, 09 January 2013 - 12:19 AM.