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Low Glucose = No Acne


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#1 Resistor

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 01:23 AM

The short version "If you're not interested in the explanation":

Glucose drives insulin production, which works as a fuel for acne. Not getting high doses of glucose prevents insulin from producing in high doses.

1. Get most of your calories (70-80%) from fat.

2. Eat no more than 20-30g of total carbohydrates.

3. Eat no more than body need of protein (1g protein/kg of body weight).

Within 1 - 2 weeks of strict application, this approach will achieve the process called "Ketosis". Google "ketogenic diet" or "Nutritional ketosis" and you'll start noticing no new breakouts .

Please note that this is different from Atkins/Paleo/low GI. Glucose could still synthesized through processes such as "gluconeogenesis" when following some of those diets.


The long detailed version

I'm not going to bore you with a long essay about how I tried everything and it didn't work to clear acne. I'm going straight to the subject.

I'm a food & nutrition science student. I apply what I learn to my life. This is what I applied regarding acne.

After many trials and errors, apparently the only method that didn't fail and works tremendously for stopping acne from popping was eliminating any type of carbohydrates almost completely from diet. When I say carbohydrates I mean any food that gets converted to glucose during its metabolism (From bread's starch to fruits' Fructose).

In other words, this lifestyle is called "Ketogenic diet" or "Nutritional Ketosis". The basic idea is to motivate your body to use fat instead of glucose as a fuel source. This process lead to a tremendous reduction in glucose levels, thus reducing insulin levels. (You need to research Ketogenic diet to understand why it is completely safe to apply this lifestyle when done correctly).

There's a big misconception that carbohydrates are necessary for body's function. This is false. The only thing it is useful for is being an energy source. Carbohydrates doesn't contain any essential nutrients that can't be obtained from fats or proteins. It does contain essential nutrients (Such as vitamins & minerals), but those are obtainable from other than carbohydrate sources. The only argument is that brain runs on glucose. If you research Ketogenic diet you'll find the answers on how this is moderated during ketosis.

The only exception to this rule is fiber (because the body can't absorb it for fuel).

On the other hand, eliminating fats or proteins leads to improper body function, example reasons:

Eliminating Fats/lipids:

1. Losing the ability to digest fat-soluble vitamins.

2. Not getting the essential fatty acids (like linoleic acid)


Eliminating proteins:

1. Not getting the essential amino acids necessary for body growth and development.

2. Lowering body's ability to heal and repair tissues.


The list goes and can go on very long. These examples are just to show the comparison in importance between the three main macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats).


Now to the reason on why insulin drives acne (and this part is only theoretical by my observation). In people who have the tendency to get acne, the sebaceous gland (part where oil produce in skin/acne location) is sensitive to insulin levels.

I believe there's a connection between acne and the hormonal activity/mechanism that involves 3 factors : Insulin, androgen and the sebaceous gland. When eating carbs, that mechanism gets disturbed, thus causing the plug in the gland.

This is the conclusion I reached. If you're looking for scintific references supporting what I say you won't find any. You wouldn't still suffer from acne if scientific citations regarding acne benefited you.

I'm yet to link the detailed reasons on why this happen to some people and doesn't happen to others. Many questions remain unanswered, but what keeps me going researching this approach is the results.

For you the reader, if you would like to try this out, no less than 2 weeks adherence is required for results. If you happen to get acne after this period, it is either you're doing something wrong or your acne is simply isn't caused by insulin.

Please be aware that this is a hard choice of life. You'll be less social, tempted to eat carbs, etc. But the results are well worth it. It is simply a choice between clear skin Vs food happiness/desire.


End thought for dermatologists who don't link food to acne:

If the cause of acne wasn't food ( a metabolic/systemic cause), how come accutane, a medication that functions metabolically, is considered the gold standard in treating it?


End

#2 alternativista

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 07:51 AM

Yes, the connection between sugar/insulin & acne is basic, but only one f many ways diet affects acne.

Also Most people merely need to avoid high glycemic lad meal habits. Also, there are many factors that affect how well you metabolize sugars and therefore how strict your diet needs to be. Re, muscle, physical activity, stress, nutrients, etc.

Edited by alternativista, 25 December 2013 - 07:54 AM.

Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


#3 youknow1

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 09:08 AM

Been there done that, no work. And accutane works by stopping oil production, no oil production = no acne because oil can't build up and get stuck and bacteria can't thrive

 

BUT I have to admit that you can stop acne by making adjustments to diet ---> stop eating, and when you die in starvation you don't get acne no more. You can rest happily ever after acne free.


Edited by youknow1, 25 December 2013 - 09:12 AM.


#4 Resistor

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 09:58 AM

Yes, the connection between sugar/insulin & acne is basic, but only one f many ways diet affects acne.
Also Most people merely need to avoid high glycemic lad meal habits. Also, there are many factors that affect how well you metabolize sugars and therefore how strict your diet needs to be. Re, muscle, physical activity, stress, nutrients, etc.


If I had to give it a percentage I'd say 90-95% carbs are the main contributor to my acne problem. Went atkins, low calorie, paleo, all improved but never completely cleared. I believe insulin levels seems to interfere with normal sebum secretion or sebum composition in the sebacious gland.

I think if we understand why sugar metabolism defer from one person to another we could solve this puzzle for good.

#5 Resistor

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 10:24 AM

Been there done that, no work. And accutane works by stopping oil production, no oil production = no acne because oil can't build up and get stuck and bacteria can't thrive
 
BUT I have to admit that you can stop acne by making adjustments to diet ---> stop eating, and when you die in starvation you don't get acne no more. You can rest happily ever after acne free.


Like I said this might not work because you did something wrong or insulin is simply isn't your cause.

There's no argument that accutane is the easiest way to clear acne. But need to consider the good and the bad of a solution, and I don't think I need to tell you how dangerous this drug is compared to the benefits it gives.

What I'm aiming for is finding the ultimate CAUSE, not the effect, and then putting in acne sufferers hands to choose how to deal with it. Yes, acne thrive with increased oil production (effect), but why did sebum increase abnormally in the first place? (Cause).

Every chronic effect must have a cause: fire is fueled with oxygen so the ultimate cause for fire starting is oxygen availability. So one way of controlling the fire is controlling the oxygen.

When you know the ultimate cause, you're free to choose which approach you like to take after weighing your pros and cons of each approach.

Life is never fair. To gain benefit a type of sacrifice must be made. You choose what to sacrifice with when you have the solutions in front of you. And it is always better if you have more solutions/choices.

Also no one is complete. Yes, your friends might tolerate food and never had acne. But the same cause that makes you get acne is giving other problems that aren't apparent to you.

An example is my cousin: he has one of clearest skins I've seen and rarely see any oil on his face. He was diagnosed with high triglycerides levels around the liver and was forced to improve his diet.

Edited by Resistor, 25 December 2013 - 10:29 AM.


#6 alternativista

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 10:59 AM

Been there done that, no work. And accutane works by stopping oil production, no oil production = no acne because oil can't build up and get stuck and bacteria can't thrive

 

BUT I have to admit that you can stop acne by making adjustments to diet ---> stop eating, and when you die in starvation you don't get acne no more. You can rest happily ever after acne free.

 

Oil doesn't cause acne, just exacerbates it.  There are many oily skinned people with clear skin and many dry skinned people with acne.  The quality of sebum i.e. sticky is a bigger factor than the volume.  Either way, sebum composition & volume are both affected by diet. As are the many other factors involved in acne formation. 

 

Also, I took 2 courses of accutane. Did nothing for me except give me chapped lips.  Diet changes, on the other hand, cleared my skin & keeps it clear.

 

And for a hell of a lot of people accutane only helps temporarily. Hence the many 'about to start accutane for the second, third, fourth, etc time' threads over in the accutane board.

 

Also, the diet changes that clear skin also prevent, reduce or even reverse the many lifestyle caused health conditions our sickly culture suffers from.  It does nothing but good.  Accutane, antibiotics & other acne drugs do harm. As do most of the other drugs taken for lifestyle caused diseases.


 

What I'm aiming for is finding the ultimate CAUSE, not the effect, and then putting in acne sufferers hands to choose how to deal with it. Yes, acne thrive with increased oil production (effect), but why did sebum increase abnormally in the first place? (Cause).

 

The ultimate cause, in my opinion, involves the genetic tendency towards hyperproliferation of skin cells and the linoleic acid deficiency in sebum found in  problem-prone skin of all sorts in all mammals.   Both of which can be improved with diet habits that include the avoidance of high glycemic impacting meals/drinks/snacks.



Yes, the connection between sugar/insulin & acne is basic, but only one f many ways diet affects acne.
Also Most people merely need to avoid high glycemic lad meal habits. Also, there are many factors that affect how well you metabolize sugars and therefore how strict your diet needs to be. Re, muscle, physical activity, stress, nutrients, etc.


If I had to give it a percentage I'd say 90-95% carbs are the main contributor to my acne problem. Went atkins, low calorie, paleo, all improved but never completely cleared. I believe insulin levels seems to interfere with normal sebum secretion or sebum composition in the sebacious gland.

I think if we understand why sugar metabolism defer from one person to another we could solve this puzzle for good.

Yes, of course insulin affects sebum production by elevating hormones. Also affects hyperproliferation of skin cells by elevating IGf1 levels. And increases inflammation levels. 

 

I listed several of the reasosn sugar metabolism differs from person to person in my post above. But that isn't the difference between people who don't get acne & people that do. Your clear skinned friends that eat crap don't necessarily metabolize sugar any better than you do.  And they are doing harm to their bodies and headed towards disease & a lifetime of drugs like the majority of our population.

 

The differences between us & them  include genetic tendencies towards hyperproliferation of skin cells & linoleic acid defficiency in sebum.


Edited by alternativista, 25 December 2013 - 11:01 AM.

Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!


#7 WishClean

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 06:39 PM

There is, in fact, proof that lowering androgens AND addressing insulin resistance can result in less acne. An excellent supplement that decreases testosterone while also regulating blood sugar is inositol. Some people, especially women with PCOS, cannot produce adequate amounts of inositol internally and are thus deficient in this useful vitamin (more like a pro-hormone in my opinion). And, as a vicious cycle, glucose inhibits inositol in sensitive individuals. e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/2104641


Supplements: inositol, DIM, digestive enzymes [don't need them every day anymore, only on cheat days], herpanacine & vitamin C with rose hips [not every day], regular sun exposure for vitamin D3.

Lifestyle & Skin Care: Low histamine diet, avoiding unnecessary stress, balancing skin's PH (using Image Ormedics), using distilled/ filtered water to wash face, occasional high frequency facials... (although I have been slacking lately)

** Find the cause, find the cure **

 


#8 Resistor

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:41 AM

There is, in fact, proof that lowering androgens AND addressing insulin resistance can result in less acne. An excellent supplement that decreases testosterone while also regulating blood sugar is inositol. Some people, especially women with PCOS, cannot produce adequate amounts of inositol internally and are thus deficient in this useful vitamin (more like a pro-hormone in my opinion). And, as a vicious cycle, glucose inhibits inositol in sensitive individuals. e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/2104641

I'm not familiar with inositol (not yet I hope), thus can't make judgment on its function. But I think it comes in conjunction with what I say in treating acne by reducing insulin levels.

My goal, like I mentioned before, is to understand exactly why some people get acne when their insulin levels are high (aka high carb diet/load), and some don't.

Also, what I can safely confirm, is that near-complete elimination of carbohydrates (allowing the 20-30g as mentioned) guarantees about 95% acne clearance in my case (leaving 5% for factors such as external factors or food additives). So, if those results applied for many of acne sufferers, I can see us cracking this misery in no time, regardless of how much bad science or attention it received/receives from the medical establishment.

Edited by Resistor, 28 December 2013 - 10:42 AM.


#9 alternativista

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 04:03 PM

Some people get acne while others don't due to several genetic tendencies which include tendencies towards hyper-proliferation of skin cells, linoleic acid deficiency in sebum, different species of p Acnes, etc.

It isn't about insulin. that just exacerbates many of the factors that lead to acne in those with the genetic tendencies.

Edited by alternativista, 28 December 2013 - 04:04 PM.

Status: Clear after 30 years. Wow, I guess it's been 6 years, now.

[ Story: Severe Acne since I was 10. 10+ years of Dermatologists, Antibiotics, topicals and ACCUTANE did nothing. Discovered oranges triggered the worst of my cystic acne = about 70% improvement. Tried some nutrient supplements like B-complex with zinc and C, saw palmetto and a BHA like the aspirin mask = more improvement, a lot less oily. Then, Diet changes = Clear.

Regimen: Anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, blood sugar stabilizing diet and supplements (for hormones, inflammation, aging, health). No soap or other cleanser except for hand washing! Water only or Oil cleanse. Aloe Vera mixed with niacinimide and a high linoleic acid oil for moisturizer and reduce pigmentation.

Diet effects acne in so many ways: hormone balance, inflammation, Insulin levels, digestion, allergies and intolerances, liver function, adrenal function, SHBG levels, sebum quality, cell function and turnover, nutrient deficiencies, body fat, etc. Basic advice: Eat, sleep, supplement and exercise like you are a diabetic. And eat real food!

For more information, see my Good Things for Acne thread *Moderator edit - Please refer to the board rules (see “Advertising/soliciting”, “Linking” and “Signatures”)*

When you eat stuff, Stuff Happens!



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