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For much of my younger years, some 20-30 years ago, I was plagued with acne. I went through the usual treatments at the time, e.g. doses of vitamin A, facial treatments of all varieties, anti-bacterials (internal and external), and diets of one sort or another (including the classic "no chocolate" diet). None of these efforts were successful, and I rapidly came to the conclusion that the problem was primarily a chemical one and that doctors, in general, had little comprehension of chemistry. After a number of years, I decided that there was nothing to do but wait until age eliminated the problem. At one point, however, an interesting thing happened which I always promised myself I would follow up someday. Recent encounters with young people who are suffering from acne have reminded me of my experience and reactivated my interest in doing something about this scourge.

In 1972, when I was 30 years old, I decided to go on a serious diet for the first time in my life. Although I had been thin all of my life up until then, I had started to put on some weight. I decided that I couldn't just starve myself; I needed to eat something. I choose eggs, boiled, of course, primarily because I thought that they contained a lot of protein and little of either fat or carbohydrates. For the first week, I lost a fair amount of weight (you can only eat so many boiled eggs in a day (about 6). I also consumed a fair amount of beverages, mostly tea. At the beginning of the second week, I noticed that my face was clearing up (at age 30, my face was no longer covered with acne but it had not cleared up by any means). Several days later, it was virtually acne free. At the same time, I noticed that the skin on my hands began to dry up and crack. I was amazed! Everyone with acne exudes oil. No one with acne ever suffered from dry skin.

After a week and a half of this egg diet, I quit. My weight-loss objective had been met and I couldn't face another day with only eggs on the menu. Of course, a short time later the acne reappeared.

In the following years, I found myself too busy building a career to think about my experience with the egg diet. When Accutane®, 13-cis-retinoic acid, first appeared as a treatment for acne, I felt that Roche had perhaps discovered the ingredient in the egg which had helped me earlier. I had a vague recollection that the yellow color of the yolk was caused by carotenoid/retinoid-type molecules and perhaps 13-cis-retinoic acid, or one of its derivatives or precursors, was part of that group. In an attempt to answer this question I asked a colleague to conduct a scientific literature search; two references concerned with the determination of carotenoids and retinoids in chicken eggs were found [Poultry Science, vol. 67, pp. 608-614 (1988); Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 72, pp. 2257-2265 (1989)]. One of the two reported finding a fair amount of 13-cis-retinol in the yolk (the alcohol could be converted into the acid once inside the body), while the other suggested that the concentration of carotenoids/retinoids was highly dependent on the chicken's diet.

If 13-cis-retinoic acid is readily available from eggs, then Roche is making good money on a product that can be had at modest cost, although the product is packaged with other ingredients, like cholesterol, which may be harmful (not that 13-cis-retinoic acid is harmless; it has in fact many potentially sever side-effects). Perhaps, however, there is another agent which, if discovered and isolated, would prove as successful in treating acne as Accutane®. This is basically the question which I posed to DuPont's management to see if the company had any interest in following up on this lead. Given the time and money involved in bringing a new drug to market, given that there is a strong likihood that the only active ingredient in the egg are compounds which are related to 13-cis-retinoic acid (i.e. no new drugs would be found), and given that, whatever the active agent(s), anyone could obtain them from ordinary eggs, DuPont's management declined the opportunity to conduct research in the area and, in fact, encouraged me to make my experience public.

I also sent the above information to Dr. Albert Kligman (Dept. of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania) who gave his opinion that the reduction of acne was simply due to the "semi-starvation" which led to a "sharp decrease in sebum production". He felt that the "quantities of retenoids" were "far too low" to have an effect on acne. I think he may be wrong.

From a research standpoint, there are two major questions which must be answered before the egg can be taken seriously as a treatment for acne.

Was my experience with the egg diet unique to my chemistry or is it a general phenomenon, i. e. would an egg diet help anyone with acne (note: there are several forms of acne; I assume mine was the garden-variety type)? It has also been pointed out that I may be allergic to some other food product which, when avoided during my egg diet, brought about the clearing. If true, the allergy oppeared at purberty and diminished after age 35 - a very strange allergy indeed.

Was the remission in my case helped by the fact that I was on a nearly fat-free diet (note: eggs contain some fat; note: I have been on fat-free diets on a few occasions since the egg diet and noticed little effect on my skin)? It appears that there may be one complication in answering these questions, namely the dependency of the carotenoid/retinoid concentrations in the egg on the diet of the chicken. Making eggs with a high concentration of carotenoids/retinoids could be an interesting way of controverting the egg's negative image with respect to cholesterol.

I sent in a note on my experience to the Journal of the American Medical Association but they refused to publish it. I sent a letter to Playboy (widely read by young adults) but they never even responded. I contacted people in the Poultry Division of the University of Delaware, the American Egg Board, and a local newspaper -- not interested. The web has now offered a way of transmitting my experience to all those who may be suffering from acne and looking for a method which might offer inexpensive relief. This letter, from one (former) acne suffer to another, simply relates my experience and my thoughts on the subject of acne. Use the information as you see fit.

Dick Harlow

PhD. Chemistry

http://www.netbrain.com/~brain/acne.html

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Very interesting to say the least. I am only 15 but I might try eating mostly if not all eggs, and cheerios as my whole diet, and of course water and fruit are not bad.

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Guest fatman_uk

Hmmm, i need to put more eggs in my menu... for bodybuildin reasons... i wonder if i'll benefit in the skin department too...

-Gaz

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Does it matter how many eggs you eat? can i just have 2 eggs in the morning, and eat my usual diet and see improvments? I am only 16 and fairly skinny, so i don't think I could afford to eat only eggs, but I will try adding that to my diet. Thanks for the info!

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Yea I discovered the egg stuff by myself, I always noticed my skin looked better during the day if I started the day off with 3 eggs, definatly helps in the reduction of oiliness.

alex

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I wan't to say that this is just speculation. We don't know if was the egg that did it. Maybe maybe not. It could be because he didn't eat almost any carbohydrates.

I'm gonna go on an egg diet this weak. One egg costs like "nothing". smile.gif

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Guest fatman_uk

So if you're gonna try it? Then why say it like the 'speculation' is a bad thing? He explained how it was possible quite extensively if you read all the studying he did on the retinoic acid, etc, found in the egg.

After reading this i'm begginning to think about diet more, an i think i'm noticing white bread being a problem for me... i prefer wholemeal anyhow, i'll get that.

I think you should try it, i can't personally live on a diet like that for my own reasons... but i WILL be consuming more eggs an less bread.

-Gaz

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i must say that I have been eating eggs the past couple of days and have noticed an improvement in my skin. Although I have started with a clensing wash thing as well so that may be it

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Yesterday I had 8 egg. 1 liter of low fat milk. I cup with green tea. I did read that there was lower amount of progesterone in milk with lower fat. I also read that the amount of progesterone in the milk was so small compared to what you already have in your body plus that what you get from milk doesn't even reach out in your system it gets broken down in the liver on it's way in to your system. The text was in swedish so there is no mean for me to give it to you.

But here you can the the correlation between progestrone and fat

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...5&dopt=Abstract

This morning when I first look in the mirror my skin didn't look as oily as italways does. Interesting.

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Guest fatman_uk

I was gonna say that your case seems to be a bit fast acting... but i had hardly any white bread yesterday... an i had four egg.

An this morning, my skin was really nice an soft even tho there'd been a 16 hour break inbetween my last wash. Normally when i do that i feel all shitty an greasy on my face.

Ah well, coincindence or not... i'll keep noshin the eggs an see what happens. biggrin.gif

-Gaz

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Ok. Second morning.

I forgot to say that yesterday morning I had NO new pimples.

This morning I had one small pimple but my skin was not as oily as normal.

Yesterday I couldn't follow the diet 100%. I had 3 eggs in the morning and 3 egg to lunch but in the evening I had a pasta bolognese.

I have also been pressing out alot of Comedones before bedtime and the great thing is that I didn't get any inflammation. The redness did also go away almost 80% in the morning.

Ok. So far so good. I would say 60% clear right now.

Maybe the eggs are doing something good.

The diet continues... biggrin.gif

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Guest Crooked I

Does it matter what kind of eggs you eat? Do boiled eggs have any advantage over scrambled eggs?

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Morning 3

No new zits. Less oil than normal.

I hade 5 eggs yesterday. Some Icecream and 3 small mackerels.

My face is starting to look decent.

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oh, i should say sorry that i don't think the method works!

eating too much eggs everyday will cause protein toxicosis(example: 10 eggs per day). please ask a doctor about this!

i guess the reason why it works is that you eat less! overeating will cause acne and cyst. generally, a person need 55g protein, 65g fat, 300 carbohydrate. one egg only contains 7g protein and 5g fat, so 6 eggs contain 40g protein and 30g fat, that's all.

so i think try to eat less. that will be useful!

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[eating too much eggs everyday will cause protein toxicosis(example: 10 eggs per day

Hahahaha biggrin.gif That say so NOT true! Please show me a link where someone reliable say that proteins are toxic and I will stop laughing.

Bodybuilders eat 2 gram protein / kg weight That will say if you weigh 80 kg you should eat 160 gram / day.

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Morning 4

No new zits. Less oil than normal.

I hade 5 eggs yesterday. Some bread and 2 small mackerels. Always low fat milk.

4 hours after the wheat bread I had an inflammation on to places on my neck. But this morning they were ok.

70% clear. smile.gif

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Guest fatman_uk

My face was brighter lookin than evr in the past two days... then i ate a whole chicken at work last night... an this mornin i got 2 red lump things on my neck, bastards, lol.

Guess i shouldn't be so greedy.

-Gaz

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[eating too much eggs everyday will cause protein toxicosis(example: 10 eggs per day

Hahahaha  biggrin.gif   That say so NOT true! Please show me a link where someone reliable say that proteins are toxic and I will stop laughing.

Bodybuilders eat 2 gram protein / kg weight   That will say if you weigh 80 kg you should eat  160 gram / day.

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"Protein is toxic" claims. The presentation of ancillary crank science claims, i.e., that "protein is toxic," in the sense that any excess protein--any above a very low standard much lower than cited even in conventional vegan research--produces metabolic by-products that are poison and will harm you. This crank science theory is then used to "prove" that animal foods are unnatural because they allegedly contain excess protein. Such theories are based on amazing ignorance of the reality that the human body is very well equipped to dispose of the metabolic by-products of protein digestion. Note: See the article, "Is Protein Toxic?" on this site (not yet available), for a detailed discussion of some of the anti-protein crank science theories.

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