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#3443806 If Acne Was Caused By Diet Why Would It Only Start At Puberty?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on Yesterday, 05:01 PM

wow i actually wanted to ask the same exact question like a day ago! :0
what is in our bodies before puberty that allows it wont be inflammed then?
why do other ppl dont even get no acne during puberty?
the same goes with allergies and intolerances that are popular here, dont u have those from when ur born not appearing some random time at ur life? 
when i was small could eat dairy, grains etc just fine somehow..only had somekinda alergy from oringes (but not allways either?), would break out everywhere, but those were not acne nd it wasnt just on face (like usually it is first and only place where acne starts)
now ill do diff crazy health cleanses and do clean diets, supplemetns etc etc and still break out like its nothing. max few days without new breakouts. but then again i was on bad diet and also will get good skin days. diet improves skin quality a bit i think but it seems so freaking useless for acne..


It's the immune system. At some point, the immune systems of most people who have acne gets messed up. There are lots of ways to accomplish this. And the immune system is so modular that it is conceivable that these problems can just pop up out of seemingly nowhere (though I doubt this is the case with acne). 


I think it's useful to catch a glimpse of the broader picture here. Acne starts at puberty for many people - but not for all people. Let us assume that there is something about puberty that allows for acne to form, given the right conditions (a fair assumption I think). For those people who begin to get acne right as they hit puberty, it follows from the model I describe that these people were suffering from pre-existing immunological conditions - an immune response that was always there, but could not manifest itself until the crucial puberty factor came into play. 


Now the other people - those who get acne at some later age, be it 14, 15,18, or 25. These people already have the puberty factor. So when these people get acne, the model would predict that the cause is a 'random incidence', by which I mean an immunological change that occurs, as you describe, seemingly randomly. If we consider for a moment that these 'random incidents' are actually randomly happening, the model would predict that most acne sufferers begin to get it around puberty, because puberty would essentially be revealing 12 years of random immunological incident. So you see, it does make sense.

Exactly. People for the most part when they're allergic to something have the allergy rear during childhood - not adolescence. I think it's pretty clear for those of us with good common sense that acne isn't a good allergy. 


I could be be wrong but I think a lot if the theories coming from this section of the forums are propelled by pseudo science. 


Acne is certainly not an IgE-driven allergy such as a peanut or egg allergy seen in childhood. But there are many other antibodies involved in immunity, and whole sections of the immune system that don't bother to use antibodies. There are even other types of hypersensitivity - types 1 through 4. It is conceivable that acne, which is without question a physical manifestation of an immune response, could in some cases be propagated by food antigens, even using one of our existing definitions of hypersensitivity.

#3443535 My Way Too Clear Skin.

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 26 July 2014 - 01:56 PM

Naturopaths, I think, are useful for diagnoses. The tests they can order are extremely extensive and can tell you all about the state of your vitamin and mineral levels, gut flora, and immune responses. However, I am not so sure that naturopaths are particularly useful when it comes to remedies. Other than following a paleo-esque diet and taking a good multivitamin (and maybe vit D), there isn't a lot a naturopath can offer - and none of these solutions require a naturopath. I would be wary of any herbs prescribed, too, as some can be dangerous.

#3428497 Vegan Diet For Acne?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 25 April 2014 - 12:22 AM

I am quite against vegan diets. Animal products have so many nutrients, and the macromolecular composition is much safer than plant products (fat is the safest macromolecule). While it's true that plants have a far superior antioxidant profile, they also have a lot of dangerous proteins that are specifically produce to interfere with our digestion, from taste to inhibition of nutrient absorption. They are also almost universally higher in carbohydrates, which leads to more oxidative damage.


There are plenty of arguments from evolution that also do not favor a vegan diet, but I won't begin to mention those. What is worth mentioning, however, is that a vegan diet is essentially impossible without supplementation due to a lack of vitamin B12 in plants. Several vitamins are also only fat-soluble, which makes it a little more difficult to get the most out of your meals, especially when your digestive enzymes are being inhibited by plant proteins commonly found in things like nuts, seeds, and legumes.


I would say, though, that plants have a necessary role in any diet. They are incredibly rich in many nutrients, and the antioxidants help to dampen the negative consequences of eating meat (these consequences are mostly present in modern meats because of how the animals are fed and processed. Feed crops absorb toxins from the environment (including pesticides and heavy metals) and are fed in massive quantities to the animals, which accumulate the toxins in addition to some of their own (vaccinations and antibiotics). Humans then eat the meat, and accumulate these toxins over many decades. This is not a detriment of the meat itself, but rather a consequence of being an apex predator in polluted land and sea).


A vegan diet for general health would probably lead to malnourishment unless one makes concessions, such as eating large quantities of legumes (take a careful look at this picture of a soybean; those are not hairs on the pods, but razor sharp spikes. Walk through a soybean field around the time of harvest and your legs will bleed: http://thenaturalfar...es/SoyBeans.jpg), excessive polyunsaturated vegetable oils (easily oxidized, quite bad for you), or egregious quantities of yeast (gotta get those B vitamins). For acne, I can't see it helping much either. In fact, because acne is a disease driven by a dysregulated immune system, a vegan diet might cause more damage in certain people because of all the antigenic foods (wheat, soy, peanuts, etc). If someone is getting acne because they are deficient in a particular vitamin, a vegan diet *could* help, but so too could any diet with that has plants as a part of it. Steamed meats are incredibly safe to eat; think about it - how many people have made the observation that their breakouts may be tied to unseasoned chicken, or white fish? And how many have made the observation that it's a plant food - citrus, strawberries, wheat, nightshades, nuts, soy, etc? The balance is shifted in favor of animal products.


But of course, as with all things, moderation; if all you eat is salami, you'll have a much higher chance of ending up with hypertension and colon cancer.

#3426960 Please Help, Any Suggestions

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 18 April 2014 - 01:43 AM

There are a lot of things you could do. You could take an IgG sensitivity test to see if you're sensitive to particular foods. You could also do vitamin testing to see if anything there needs correcting. Lots of oil, red marks, and a few spots here and there sounds like it could be related to vitamin D, or perhaps another vitamin imbalance.


It seems like your diet is mostly carbohydrates, which are known to aggravate acne. You could try switching out some of the starches for whole cuts of fish and chicken. I would also try to add in some good fats like coconut oil and ghee. Fat is the safest macromolecule. In general it's best to get most of your calories from fat, and then have relatively equal portions of protein and carbohydrate.


I would stay away from most of the topical stuff. Acne is an internal condition. If all of the above fails you, I would recommend a low dose of isotretinoin, no more than 10mg/d.

#3426080 Anyone Solved Acne From A Dermatologist?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 13 April 2014 - 03:51 PM

The dermatologist will not tell you anything you can't find online. Here's the advice I will give, and if it doesn't work, then go see the dermatologist.


Adhere strictly to a paleo diet with plenty of vegetables and fish (potatoes don't count) and bone broth meat and vegetable soups. Wash your face only with a mild cleanser and water, once a day. Get sleep and sunshine. Take 5000iu vitamin D3. Do this for at least 2 weeks. While 2 weeks is not long enough to get clear, you will probably start seeing improvement by then. If you see no improvement, go to the derm and ask if they think a low dose (10mg) isotretinoin course is reasonable.


If you really want to solve this problem, continue the paleo diet while on the isotretinoin course, keep taking the vitamin D3, and keep getting sleep and sunlight. I 98% guarantee that your acne will be gone in 3 months of this plan.


Don't use antibiotics. They will cause more damage in the long term. Don't bother with topical treatments. Acne is an internal problem.

#3425961 Please Help With Diet

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 13 April 2014 - 02:16 AM

Sounds like you could have a few different things going on. I would start by switching out all legumes - chickpeas, mung beans, dosa, lentils, etc - for non-processed meats. I would recommend chicken and fish.


Soup is a wonderful healing food. If you use a whole chicken to make bone broth and add in some rice, vegetables, and herbs, you'll have a complete and incredibly nutritious meal.


I would also recommend that you increase your fat intake. Fat is the safest macromolecule, especially if it's saturated. Coconut oil and ghee are the best. If you eat some fat with your vegetables, you'll get more nutrition out of them.

#3425482 Great Article On Why The "leaky Gut" Isn't Real

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 10 April 2014 - 05:20 PM

There's a lot of wrong stuff in that article.


First, it assumes that digestion is perfect. But let's roll with that. The article states that food is "almost totally digested by the time it leaves the duodenum". This leaves the entire stretch of the duodenum available for undigested food particles to cross. So this alone is no evidence against the so-called leaky gut theory.


Second, intestinal permeability is a very well known phenomenon, and has been extensively studied in athletes (vigorous exercise increases permeability). It has also been studied in cases of microbial enteritis - infection of the gut with pathogenic bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Endotoxins and exotoxins produced by infecting bacteria have been observed to cross from the intestines into the bloodstream, where they cause a variety of symptoms. These toxins are often full, undigested proteins.


The article neglects to realize that it doesn't matter that there are "several layers of cells" separating the intestinal lumen from the bloodstream. Proteins are tiny. The spaces between cells are larger than 1 protein. In fact, there are proteins called selectins, cadherins, and integrins that project into the intercellular spce and interact with other selectins, cadherins, and integrins to hold cells together. Depending on how many there are, the interactions between the cells can be tighter or looser, and thus permeability status can change, as is seen after a period of intense exercise.


Moreover, you don't even need a full protein to incite an immune response. You can have a protein fragment - say, 30 amino acids - that can induce a potent immune response. And since food is still undigested in the duodenum, there are plenty of opportunities for a 30AA fragment to cross into the bloodstream.


The authors of this article also seemed to forget that entire cells pass through blood vessel walls and the walls of the intestine depending on the composition of their surface proteins. How else would macrophages get around?


Antibody testing is a bit of a different story. IgG4 indicates downregulation of an overactive immune response - tolerance. Many food sensitivities look at IgG, and in particular IgG4. People get confused when they get their results back, and see high IgG for a whole bunch of foods that they didn't think caused them problems. And they're right - most of those foods don't cause problems, because a high IgG reading is indicative of tolerance, and not intolerance. However, there is another takeaway from the IgG tests. If you have high IgG antibodies to a certain food, that indicates that an immune response did happen, but is now being controlled. This can be indicative of a related problem. For example; if you come up sensitive to wheat and chocolate, the wheat could be causing damage, thus allowing other molecules to cross into the bloodstream and react. Your problem isn't chocolate, but rather the wheat, even though both come up as problems on the IgG test. It's also possible that a microbe is increasing permeability, and food isn't a problem at all; once the inflammation is dealt with, the problems go away. There are many of these scenarios that are possible, and it's extremely difficult to figure out which one if happening for you.


But what is NOT true is the idea that IgG antibody tests just don't matter. They matter. They give you information that is useful, and can indicate a problem. It is merely difficult to identify the root of the problem.


It's also important to note that the immune system interacts different with particles in the bloodstream as opposed to the lumen of the intestine. There's an interesting study somewhere that explained it nicely. I think you can find it on the wiki page for IgG if you're interested.

#3425467 Gap Between Finishing One Month And Starting Another?

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 10 April 2014 - 04:30 PM

I believe there was a study done where the experimental group took isotretinoin 20mg 2x a day for the first week of every month (and then 3 weeks without), while the control group took 20mg 1x a day. The results were similar, even though the experimental group took essentially half the dose of the control group (the experimental group had more recurrences after treatment and slightly less efficacy, but that was probably due to dose).


So it should be fine.

#3424038 This Website Sure Isn't What It Used To Be

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 03 April 2014 - 12:31 AM

I don't think anyone is arguing that we can turn our genes on and off "like a light switch" by making lifestyle changes.  I was simply stating that gene expression and environment are not independent.


You're a young girl - I'm assuming 21-22 based on your picture? you have yet still a lot to learn. What you're taught in those college classes are just purported theories most of the time and not always scientifically accurate. Canadian universities are unfortunately not the best either, which is not surprising as Canada is a very mediocre country.


I'm intrigued by the number of people that seem to think that we know everything about the world. But this is demonstrably false, because science exists. There are still things we don't know. And because there are always things we won't know, we need to understand that science is just a means to approximate truth. Sometimes we like to distort the meaning of science, and we forget that double blinded, perfectly controlled studies are not the only source of information - rather, they are the best source of information. Yet other sources of information still have value. Anecdotes can sometimes see things that epidemiological studies miss on the basis of significance. Moreover, scientists are human too (I should know, I am one). Not only do scientists make mistakes, but we also need to compete for funding. This intense competition provides an incentive to overstate results, or shuffle away side effects because they fell under the threshold of significance.


When it comes to acne, we are just now beginning to break the long-held paradigm of a disease with hormonal causation. It's taken decades for us to realize that acne isn't caused by sebum, but rather by immunological events that precede bacterial colonization. This pattern of paradigm destruction and reconstruction is widespread throughout the sciences, especially within biology - we're constantly finding new pieces to the puzzles that change how we view health and states of disease. Do you really want to bet everything on the flawed and mercurial theories of biology? We use a bottom-up approach to health that's akin to building a house without looking at the blueprint.  Do you think there will be no missteps? This kind of arrogance, which I'm also guilty of, has led to so much suffering. Just look at heart disease. Saturated fat intake, it's been reported, doesn't correlate with heart disease. Imagine that. All this advice from doctors and scientists for decades, and we had it wrong all along. In fact, we had it so wrong that the opposite was true. It now appears that our advice to 'eat low-fat' caused more heart disease, along with a plethora of other problems. I wonder how many people died early, and had our arrogant science to thank.


But that's not really the issue here. The issue is this: you started this thread to complain about a change in the mindset of this website's population from something you agree with, to something you disagree with. You're certainly right, too; this thread, and my response, are testament to that. But you're wrong to say that this change is inherently bad. Progress does not come from stagnation. Debates need to be had and evidence both scientific and anecdotal needs to be presented for solutions to be explored and discovered, hopefully in a reasonable manner (which doesn't always happen). I think most people would do well with a more open mind in this regard.


Still, you need to understand that those who support a more holistic solution are (usually) just trying to help. Some do it more elegantly than others. Sometimes, advice can be taken as a critique, and critique can be taken as an attack, which can devolve into accusations of scientific illiteracy or fallacy. But let me ask you this: what if these people are wrong? What if diet has no connection to acne at all, a waste of time for not just you or me, but for everyone? What if people clean up their diet, start exercising, sleep 8 hours a night, and get some sunshine, all for naught? What if, in this ridiculous example, people were able to grow and explore the realm of health a little bit for themselves, instead of just popping a few pills?


Is there really a tragedy here?

#3424031 Epiduo For 6 Weeks

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 02 April 2014 - 11:18 PM

Retinoids are great for non-inflammatory acne. Cysts take much longer to stop. Sometimes they won't stop at all.


You should stay on the retinoid (even for non-inflammatory acne, results take ~3 months), but while doing so I would suggest dietary modification. Something like the paleo diet could work very well for you. Try it strictly for a couple of weeks and see what happens. And get off the minocycline, that stuff can ruin you down the raod even if you feel fine on it now. Several new studies have come out very recently delineating permanent flora changes after antibiotic use.

#3415432 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 20 February 2014 - 10:59 AM

Have you considered food sensitivity testing?


These tests are unproven, and thus must be ordered through a naturopath; however, based on my experience with these tests, they have been very helpful in identifying the problem. They are about $100, and test many, many foods as well as common allergens. You can also get a vitamin/mineral test, which I would also recommend. The tests I did were the IgG Food Antibody Assessment by Genova Diagnostics, and the NutrEval test also by Genova Diagnostics. When I first took these tests about 2 years ago, my acne looked similar to your son's, though a little less inflamed, and more on the forehead. Serum levels of a large number of vitamins and minerals were low; I had high sensitivities to wheat, soy, peanuts, and a few other things; my gut flora was out of whack (I did a stool test as well). The naturopath I was seeing put me on a restricted diet and gave me some herbs and probiotics to help with gut flora.


ow at the time, I thought the whole process was silly; there was really no evidence for any of her 'treatments' in scientific literature, and, being a scientist, I had more faith in the literature than in a quack naturopath. I didn't think acne had anything to do with diet. In fact, I dismissed the naturopath's claims outright at first, and while I took the herbs and probiotics, I didn't really change my diet.


Anyway, here I am two years later. The transition to a paleo-esque diet has been hard, and it took a long time to get used to. It's really only been the last few months that I've been very serious about avoiding the foods I tested to be sensitive to. Last week I took the food sensitivity and vitamin tests again. Everything has improved drastically. I have almost no reaction to wheat, peanuts, and soy; my serum vitamins are within the norm. Most importantly, though, my acne is about 90% better. Not gone - but much, much better. It doesn't look like I have acne any more, unless you get up close.


I've tried a lot of things. I've probably tried just about everything short of accutane. Some things helped, other things didn't. What I can say for sure is that my acne did not improve because of topicals. In fact, my topical regimen is extremely limited - I only wash my skin once a day with a salicylic acid scrub (this I have found to help, which is why I am continuing it) and I do not apply any medications or moisturizers (I occasionally moisturize, but maybe only once a week).


The real turning point came just a few weeks ago. Up until then, I would get spots on my chest after eating something that I was sensitive to. I went to Minnesota last weekend, and was unable to adhere to my diet; I ate soy, I ate wheat, I ate everything and anything, muffins, donuts, pasta, ice cream etc. Not a single spot. It seems as though my gut has healed enough to prevent some larger food antigens from entering my blood. I began consuming bone broths via soup about a month ago, and I think this is how I healed.


Of course, this was in combination with a safe diet. And it took me two years (though I didn't have all the tools at my disposal that I do now for the majority of that time).


I would really recommend getting testing done. It's easier to solve a problem if you know what needs to be fixed. And you'll probably save money in the long run. Until then, though, paleo diet (rice is okay though) with a strong emphasis on bone broths (use hamhocks and beef bones with some vegetables and spices, get the joints and tendons too, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, let it simmer for 18-24 hours) will probably be immensely helpful. Vegetable juice would also be good (carrots, kale, celery, cucumber, a little green apple, broccoli, etc). A perfect meal would be a chicken, vegetable (cherry tomato, onion, celery, cauliflower, carrot, spinach), and rice soup in bone broth with a glass of vegetable juice.


I think it's important to note that probiotics could make the situation worse if your son has a compromised gut barrier. Gut microbes are often behind forehead acne, so it might be good to stop those for now. If you want to cover all the bases, order a stool test from the naturopath as well. If there's an overgrowth of a particular bacteria, removing it could drastically improve your son's acne.



Now that I've written all that, I noticed that you mentioned itchy skin. This can be two things. The first is an IgE reaction to food antigens - so, leaky gut. In this case I would recommend testing for food sensitivities, and all the other stuff I mentioned above to heal a leaky gut.


The second is fungal folliculitis. It's possible that this is a topical infection - NOT acne. You can test this by washing with an anti-dandruff shampoo; I would use head and shoulders with zinc pyrithione; apply in a layer in the shower, leave it on for ~3 minutes, wash off - make sure it all comes off, otherwise you could get lots of irritation. If it's fungal, it will respond within a couple days, and be drastically improved within a week or two. Note that zinc pyrithione is also antibacterial, so it will improve normal acne as well - just not as much, and not as quickly, and not as completely. Using a shampoo on the face can be quite irritating, so it would be good to moisturize afterward. Like I said, I tried everything :)


My bet is still that it's the first option, though, so if you want to test the head and shoulders shampoo, I would do it in combination with bone broth/restrictive paleo+rice diet in addition to getting the three tests mentioned - food antibody and vitamins (which are both blood tests), and stool.

#3413818 Great Article On Acne-Diet Connection By Nutrition Professional

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 12 February 2014 - 07:02 PM

Robertitoo: Considering that many, many meat eating societies have no acne at all, I think you're wrong. People in developed countries used to eat fewer processed grains and more meat overall, and, as you pointed out, more and more people seem to be getting acne. Don't get me wrong, though - plenty of fruits and vegetables is always a good thing. Your demonization of meat, however, is unwarranted, unbased, and potentially harmful.


Our bodies are designed to eat meat. They are also designed to eat fruits and vegetables, but likely to a lesser degree.


Here's a long Scientific American article on humans and meat consumption that you will likely ignore or deny, despite the high quality of the source and recency of publication: 





But even all this evidence aside, there are many nutrients in animal products that are highly beneficial for us. And, as the eskimos have shown us, humans are able to survive on meat alone, while we cannot survive on plants alone. Veganism has not one leg to stand on.

#3413603 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 11 February 2014 - 08:33 PM

Sorry Flaxen, but the link between diet and acne has come under more scrutiny recently and some correlations have been identified, specifically between acne and high GI foods. The research is in its infancy, but I have no doubt that more correlations will be uncovered. Suggesting accutane before dietary changes is almost offensive, given the individual in question's past experiences with this particular chemotherapy. The list of side effects is extensive, and some of them are permanent and severe. On top of that, it doesn't work in a good deal of people, and in many for whom it does work, the acne returns. There is a time and place for accutane, but it's really only after all other options are exhausted - especially dietary changes, which should be thoroughly investigated before even considering accutane.


Eating a healthy diet - and by healthy I mean a pseudo-paleo diet - is something that has worked for a lot of people. And really, we should all be doing it anyway.

#3412714 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 06 February 2014 - 10:38 PM

ACV = apple cider vinegar, the good stuff (Bragg's brand), should be opaque

#3412699 A Desperate Plea For Help My Son Has Severe Acne

Posted by Quetzlcoatl on 06 February 2014 - 08:57 PM

Remove wheat and dairy. Add fish and beef liver (liver, onions, and bacon is a nice simple recipe). For topical treatment, you could try a mild salicylic acid wash. There's a possibility this could be folliculitis, so you could try using head and shoulders shampoo on the face instead. It's harsh, but you're supposed to apply it in a layer and leave it on for 3-5 minutes, then wash off very thoroughly. Alternatively, you could buy a bar of soap that contains zinc pyrithione. I would also recommend a moisturizer - the best I've found is CeraVe moisturizing cream.