I just wanted to update anyone interested in holistic methods for acne what I have been doing recently. I learned about Arachidonic Acid (AA) which is highly inflammatory and what Omega 6 is converted to in the body. AA metabolizes into all the inflammatory compounds; especially leukotrienes and prostaglandins. I learned that you need to redirect how your body deals with PolyUnsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA's) towards the anti-inflammatory compounds. I realize that there is a balance. We already know that Omega 6 or Linoleic Acid and Arachidonic Acid are plentiful in the American diet (found in butter, olive oil, nuts, seeds, any vegetable oils, animal fats) and that lowering Omega 6 while raising Omega 3's is beneficial towards acne or any inflammatory condition. But I have also learned from paleohacks.com that too much PUFA's of any kind can result in acne. So this may be why some people supplement with Fish Oil and find that their acne worsens. They point to rancid oils but it may also be that they need to drastically reduce their Omega 6 intake and only raise their Omega 3 intake slightly like eating a portion of Wild Salmon (emphasis on Wild) every other day. Arachidonic Acid is more inflammatory than Omega 6 (Linoleic Acid) and is therefore best avoided. I learned that it is found extremely high in chicken, egg yolks, pork, and farmed fish. I also learned that it is low in naturally raised chicken and their yolks. Basically the diet that your meat ate is important. Many chickens are fed high soy and grain diets which of course is going to change their tissue composition to make them more inflammatory. I have eliminated egg yolk and chicken with some success. I found that I was eating alot of eggs and chicken as part of my paleo diet and was still breaking out alot. Farmed salmon is extremely high in Arachidonic Acid (AA).
I still have acne, there is no doubt about that. I feel as though I am so close to finding a solution because I have been trying for years. The second thing that I have been learning about is Vitamin A and sunshine. There was a previous post by autonomous and also alternativista (both are very knowledgeable and helpful contributors here) that stated that UV light combined with vitamin A intake stimulated retinoic acid production in the skin. Alot of studies have related an overactive gene, i think it is CYP26ai, in acne patients which breaks down retinoic acid faster than it can be produced. Retinoids are directly related to the acne condition. For example, Accutane is a Vitamin A derivative. I noticed that when I have prolonged sun exposure, my acne improves alot. I started to go out in the sun alot and also tanned twice a week, and take a Vitamin A/D supplement sourced from a fish, maybe cod liver and then also eating foods high in beta-carotene, like carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, and spinach. My skin started to do alot better. I found though, that when I stopped my vitamin a supplement but continued to get high amounts of beta-carotene in my diet, my skin started to do worse. I have read that excessive beta-carotene can be inflammatory in the body, especially when you cannot convert it to its active Vitamin A metabolites. I also read that those with hypothyroidism have a harder time converting beta carotene to Vitamin A. This is worse when you consider that most people can't efficiently convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A at all (i think like 4% conversion rate). Also it is important to point out that Beta-carotene supplements are generally not effective. Alot of studies recently have shown they have a negative effect on cancer rates in smokers. I think its much better to get your beta-carotene from whole food sources because it will be more natural and complete instead of isolated and synthesized from lab chemicals. So what my current regimen is to continue to take Vitamin A, about 30,000 IU daily, tan twice a week/get more sun, eat paleo-ish diet, meaning no vegetable oils, chicken, egg yolk, sugar, wheat, dairy. But I will still eat some rice because I get too exhausted on a Low Carb Diet. I am going to eat lots of Wild Canned Salmon, rice, vegetables, coconut oil, garlic etc. I just ordered Dessicated Porcine Thyroid Capsules from Nutri-meds which apparently are not as potent as Syntheroid or Armour or any other prescription thyroid medication. I hope that these thyroid supplements, which are obtainable without a prescription, will be my last push towards clear skin.
The reason I suspect hypothyroidism is because of the following:
1. I breakout from any soy products (also any Omega 6's) which suppress the thyroid.
2. I breakout from raw cabbage and broccoli which are goitrogens and are bad for the thyroid.
3. My acne improved a lot when I supplemented Olive Leaf Extract (OLE). Oleuropein, the active compound in OLE, stimulates thyroid activity surprisingly.
4. I have brain fog, depression, anxiety, lethargy, an inability to lose weight, a white tongue, dandruff, a smelly scalp, and acne. I have read various sources online which states these are general symptoms of hypothyroidism. Though I have never had cold hands or feet which is usually a strong indicator of hypo. There are also alot of symptoms of hypothyroidism and they are very general and I feel as though anyone could potentially self diagnosis themselves as hypo.
(Please don't criticize me. I cannot afford a trip to the endocrinologist, and I know for certain that any doctor would not prescribe me a thyroid medication for acne. My self-diagnosis is not meant to teach people anything. I am not a doctor and everything I say here is particular to my situation. Please do your own independent research!)
Please feel free to ask me questions or give suggestions! THank You!