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Diet and acne are connected, it is not all myth

For some reason, it has become politically correct to say that acne and diet has no connection whatsoever.

This is, however, a "truth" with modifications:

1) Firstly, It has been common knowledge in medicine for a long time that food with a high glycemic load (i.e. foods with lots of sugar) can change the hormon levels depending on your body's ability to break down glycose in your bloodstream. These hormones include testosterone which is believed to influence the increased levels of sebum which again has an influence on acne.

Knowing the glucemic load is important for diabetes patients, but it also applies to the rest of us. However, we are more or less sensitive to food with a high glycemic load, and therefore we are not equally affected by it; some are probably not affected at all.

So for those who are sensitive to foods with a high glycemic loads, it might be an idea to revise their diet.

Too learn more about the glycemic load of food see http://diabetes.about.com/library/mendosag...gi/ngilists.htm.

2) Secondly, some medical findings have suggested a connection between acne and a high fat diet.

This quote is from "Pantothenic Acid in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris 'A Medical Hypothesis'"

by Lit-Hung Leung, M.D.

"In this paper, I would like to approach this problem from a different perspective. My clinical observations suggest that acne vulgaris may be closely related to the consumption of diets, which are rich in fat content. This impression is by no means novel. Textbooks do briefly mention this correlation though, more often than not, it is dismissed as irrelevant. However, my observations have led to quite the contrary conclusions. Not only is the fat content of food closely related to acne vulgaris but it forms some sort of linear relationship with the disease process. The more fat the patient consumes, the more severe will be the acne process. This observation is in line with the opinion of many dermatologists that chocolate, which is composed mainly of the creamy part of milk, and has a high degree of fat content, is bad for acne."

This interesting article can be viewed in its full length at http://www.b5foracne.vze.com/ (under "research")

I am not saying that diet nescessarily is the cause of acne, or that everybody's acne is affected by diet. What I am saying is that we should be open to all possibilities and not dismiss people who in fact have noticed a connection between their acne and food.

You are welcome to disagree, but please state your source(s).

Thanx smile.gif

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really people tend to believe docters who say the studied and tell us the food-acne relation is a myth...DONT BELIEVE THEM. I know 100% sure that for me it DOES matter what i eat. And looking through this forum daily i kind of think i am not the only one. When i eat a lot of fat things, my acne gets worse. No matter what some scientist may say: i know it for sure FOOD MATTERS TO ME FOR MY ACNE

i wish it didnt then i could just eat without feeling 'guilty' all the time.

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Diet and acne seem to be connected in 10% of people. The same amount that placebos work in, eh. :-s

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Diet and acne seems to be connected in 10% of people.  The same amount that placebos work in, eh. :-s

Hi volant,

I assume that your claims are based in medical findings, so could you please state your sources?

(The source that says "10% connection", and the source that says "10% placebo")

Thanx smile.gif

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One of volant's sources is MTV's Urban Myth show. :-s He/she's also cited there have been hundreds of scientific studies that dispel this myth

volant: you never replied to me in the other topic regarding this comment of yours:

Remember everyone, if hundreds of real scientific studies show something you don't agree with, believe the one you do agree with(Especially if the the people behind the study are selling a book, or other product. Or have been known for woo-woo ideas.).

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Hi Volant,

Firstly, thanks for your sources on placebo, although the placebo-effect only applies to a medical treatment (typically pills) and not a lifestyle change such as a change in diet.

Secondly, what do you think about the claims listed in my first post (that a diet consisting of fat and high glycemic foods can worsen acne), and the arguments on which they are based?

:-k

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One of volant's sources is MTV's Urban Myth show.  :-s  He/she's also cited there have been hundreds of scientific studies that dispel this myth

volant: you never replied to me in the other topic regarding this comment of yours:

Remember everyone, if hundreds of real scientific studies show something you don't agree with, believe the one you do agree with(Especially if the the people behind the study are selling a book, or other product. Or have been known for woo-woo ideas.).

I still don't see how the link I posted was selling a woo-woo idea since it wasn't even selling anything.

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Thanks for the reply, volant - much appreciated.

Heh, funny thing is, I don't remember the thepaleodiet book when I first followed the link so was probably more interested in looking for this study after reading of the website owner's experience. I really copied and pasted the the link for fromchicago to view out of interest.

I'm not going to dismiss any scientific study too quickly but like you said, there are too many variables to be considered sometimes. Until there is an absolute and conclusive proof, I like to keep an open mind on the diet-acne myth.

PS. Sorry about the little dig at the MTV show -I've never seen it.

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"If someone has diabetes, hypoglycemia(sp?), or any other disease like that, there may be a connection. Other wise, if you are a healthy person, once it is digested, it really doesn't make a difference."

Hi Volant,

This statement is simply not true based on the medical knowledge we have today. Various hormones - such as male hormones - will be released if you have a high intake of food with a high glycemic load (i.e. sugar; such as cola, cakes etc.) simply because the glycogen storage in your liver and muscles has limited space. This goes for healthy individuals as well. The remaining glucose in your blood veins will trigger hormones (such as testosterone). Since male hormones - among other things - are believed to trigger sebum production, it can in fact make a difference in acne. The only thing is that some people are more sensitive to food with high glycemic loads than others; diabetes patients are an extreme example.

Check any medical book to verify this claim (that high glycemic loads tend to increase hormone production).

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The only thing is that some people are more sensitive to food with high glycemic loads than others; diabetes patients are an extreme example.

Check any medical book to verify this claim (that high glycemic loads tend to increase hormone production).

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hypoglycemia here.

my acne correlates almost completely with my stress level. I never manage to stay with a proper diet long enough to see if it will make a difference on my skin. It is important to note that for hypoglycemics, a low glycemic diet will help with stress and anxiety, as well as a slew of physical symptoms*.

*references:

The Low Blood Sugar Handbook: You Don't Have to Suffer....

by Edward A. Krimmel, et al

(the best book I've ever read on hypoglycemia)

Hypoglycemia For Dummies®

by Cheryl Chow (Author), et al

Do's and Don'ts of Hypoglycemia: An Everday Guide to Low Blood Sugar

by Roberta Ruggiero

Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution

by Robert C. Atkins

(older edition)

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Hey =)

Well I'm glad to see that everyone is debating respectfully on this thread =) I really don't want to spoil this for ya but Acne patients aren't NORMAL! LOL, feel free to take that as you please, but I mean that in the best sense of the word. Obviously there's something not working properly within us and our bodies chose to let us know so through our skin. We really should consider ourselves "special" because we've known there was a problem and we have constantly worked to find an answer. Where as others, never realize they have serious helath problems, until it's sometimes too late.

In regards to what makes us so abnormal:

Supposedly most acne sufferers are simply oversensitve to irritants, normal levels of bacteria, or normal levels of hormones, etc in our pores. That would explain why topical products work so well for the avg. teenager or adult acne sufferer

The rest of us are even more special because we actually ended up with some sort of enzyme defect. Yes, before you say it, an enzyme is also considered a Gene. This Gene defect was obviously passed down from someone in your family or you could have just started a new "trend" ;-) Eitherway, while no one has pinpointed a said "acne gene" (don't think there is one), there are genes that have acne as a SYMPTOM. Meaning you don'thave to have acne to have this gene defect, you could end up being overwieght, have heart problems, etc. It really depends on what that Gene/Enzymes role in your body was and how your body CHOOSES to convey the problem to you. Tough isn't it?

OK, now the genes that I'm referring to are called CYP450s. These are enzymes neccessary for proper detoxification, drug utilization, nutrient conversion, etc.Therefere when you heard about acne sufferers being defecient in Zinc or Vitamin A, that is very much so a possibilty. This gene is involved in the conversion of Vitamin A into Cis-retionoic acid (Accutane). Certain foods or drugs can act as enzyme inhibitors thus, preventing the body from synthesizing/utilizing Zinc and EFAs (great anti inflammatories, etc). Certain foods can be hard to digest (due to lacking some sort of enzyme) and as a result people become Intolerant, which causes Inflammatory reactions (think red, sore, cysts). Of course, if your body can't detox properly that can also cause problems which is why some people had great results with certain supplements or liver detoxes.

Cyp450 also has connections in other hormonal disorders that have acne as a symptom, along with being overwieght, being hirsute, lacking menses, etc. These can be controlled through the use of other prescriptions and/or through diet, etc. I mention diet again, because certain foods contain proteins that we are allergic, intollerant, or hyperresponsive to. As a result of eating a food that contains such a protein (or iodine for OVERSENSITVE individuals), or hormones, our bodies will start producing more hormones (depends on the trigger). Infact, dietary changes can be so powerful to us, that I've found (numerous studies) how it's even related to accutane! Indeed, you can utilize your diet (by changing it) to make it act not just like accutane (read link below), but also like other Insulin Balancing, Testosterone Balancing/Inhibiting drugs =)

We all go through the same thing when we hit puberty and some of us end up going through it before we are teenagers or looong into adulthood (30s, 50s). We are not built the same and as such we don't all show the same symptoms or respond favorably to the same treatments. So that would explain why certain topicals work for others and while certain internal solutions work BEST for the rest of us. I've researched and repeated myself ad naseum, so I'm just going to post these links for all those that are interested, desperate, hopeless, etc about what to do to get clear skin (or improve other health problems).

http://acne.org/messageboard/viewtopic.php...8897&highlight=

this is from Clearskin.net

http://clearskin.net/viewtopic.php?t=2548&...894c8be05803864

This if from healthboards

http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum1/HTM...TML/018774.html

http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum1/HTM...TML/018163.html

They all offer different perspectives, conversations, research, etc within the threads. As far as I know, anyone that has followed a diet that restricts Sugar, some grains, eliminates all grains, or Allergens/Intolerant foodshas improved their skin 95% - 100%, with the exception of 2 people!

The list is written in such a way because some of these same foods end up in multiple "problem" catagories. Anyway, who knows what went wrong for those 2 people (medicine doesn't have 100% success either), since they never offered to fully explain what they did or didn't do. Of course to actually prove this (& eliminate fallacy) we would need much more specific scientific studies to see how powerful a specific diet really is for us all. Personally mine had to be tweeked a wee bit, while adhering to the basics (gluten free) but without a doubt....wow, it's a very powerful and wonderful thing when you do get there

Nighty night

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Hi SweetJade1980,

A very informative and interesting theory. biggrin.gif/

Do you have some links that single out specific food items as problematic for acne?

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I think the fact of the matter is that Doctors, people, whoever dont know what the exact cause of acne is. So if people dont know what the cause of acne is, then how can you say that so and so doesnt cause it? No one knows for sure and doctors can do tests but I just assume everyone is different. Food may not cause acne but certain foods do aggravate it.

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WeCan,

You know what, the list is pretty much stuff you've heard about. There's ALWAYS exceptions to the rule, but in general anything that is going to instill an Inflammatory Response or an Insulin Surge in your system is going to cause you problems.

Unfortunately, this is where the "debate" about food gets tricky, sticky, ugly, etc. Some people believe in the "all or nothing" theory, but personally that's just a bit silly to me. You don't have to give up EVERYTHING, just what causes YOU problems. As such, others, like myself, believe in the "trial & error" or Elimination Diet Method. Of course, if this is too "time consuming" for some people, then there are PLENTY of books out there that have very similar (acne) diet programs to help them get, at the very least, a good jump start.

Truly it just makes good sense and sadly enough, the average person can't afford to eat truly HEALTHY. I'm not talking about just balancing your food according to the highly problematic current Food Pyramid (will be updated in 2004 - 2005), but making sure that what you are eating is healthy as a whole. Lack of pesticides & bad preservatives, increase in whole foods (not refined, bleached), and if you can organic. That right there is the reason why our health (in as many ways as our body choses to show us) is going down hill. =(

Heck, I still don't eat perfectly (still eat processed foods), but I managed to get rid of the bulk of my hormonal imbalance problems, throud diet anyway. I really don't miss any of it. My health hasn't been altered in anyway and that proves that you don't HAVE to eat what these fast food, Tv Dinner companies are putting in front of you. Sure it may be healthy in the sense that it's "balanced" but the content certainly isn't. So the what I don't understand about some acne sufferers is that If it's hurting you, why eat it? Obviously food affects us positively or we wouldn't be alive, etc, right? So when certain foods affects you negatively, it can't possibly do you any good to keep it around for the sake if it's "nutritional content".There are plenty of other foods or supplements, if need be, to replace that. If you KNEW you were a diabetic, or a Celiac, or allergic to Wheat or Dairy, then what???? You couldn't touch the foods that caused you problems so you adapt, move on toward better health. or you consume it and at the VERY worst...die. I don't know, but eliminating what causes you problems and will give you clear skin, seems like a no brainer to me.

WeCan, I could tell you the reasons why anything with sugar is going to cause some sort of problem, but I think for certain people, it's just CERTAIN types of sugar that throws their system off. The same goes for the foods that are inflammatory. There are plenty of candidates for this job, but the only ones that matter are the ones that are inflammatory to YOU. Interestingly enough, most of these foods that are on the lists or in books you've heard about, are there under different reasons:

Inflammatory (Perricone's Acne Diet),

Insulin Spiking (Atkins, Protein Power, Specific Carbohydrate Diet)

Allergenic (glycoproteins),

Heat Inducing (eastern medicine view),

Intolerant reactions (gluten, lectins, glycoproteins),

contains Iodine (oversenstive or consuming a ton of this stuff),

Mucous forming,

Candida/Yeast Forming

against your Blood Type(Adamo Blood Type Diet),

against your genetic background (Paleolithic Diet, Griain Free Diet) etc. etc.

People are free to make up whatever excuse they want, as long as they understand the science behind itand realize we are still dealing with most of the same problematic foods! ;-) Infact, some of these Reasons, are nothing more than SYMPTOMS, if you read up on various foods or health problems. Symptoms of course, of an obvious hormonal imbalance/gene defect of some sort. Whether it's just a hormonal imbalance, or an allergic reaction, it still involves your body's hormones....which is why we end up with acne (or other symptoms, skin disorders).

So I can't tell you specifically what to do. I believe that doctors can be a great tool. If you can't see an Endocrinologist or Internal Medicine Doctor, then you should visit an Allergist, Naturopathic Doctor, or Kinesiologist to get yourself tested. Depending on the kind of specialist you go to, they will test for different things, but if you can get a diagnosis as to what your hormonal imbalance is, then you can begin treating it through prescription drugs, supplements and/or dietary changes. Of course some of these treatments no matter how GOOD they may be, are more powerful for certain people (like diet was for me and others). You should think about how long you've had acne, what foods you eat on a daily basis, and whether your family or yourself have any health problems. Also, think about whether your family had or still has acne. Chances are if they still have acne or certain hormonal/health problems that can be traced back to Insulin Resistance, Diet is going to be a big KEY for you.

DaWizzy, you're right. It really does depend on what the true INTERNAL problem is for us all. Based on what I've read, certain people aren't born with the enzymes to digest certain foods properly. This is known as an Intolerance and can show up at ANY stage in ones life. So are they defective or is it the food? Depending on what country you originated from, it could be one or the other. Either way, food definately can play a big role, but for some people it just doesn't give them acne (maybe other problems). Of course, for some of these people, they didn't have enough heart or knowledge involved when they "played" around with their diet (didn't eliminate ALL sources), or they didn't eliminate the CORRECT foods based on scientific evidence (posted plenty of that stuff). Even then, it can still be a trial and error game, as you can see if you look at my problem list below. I NEVER felt stressed or worriedabout it. after going Gluten-Free, I KNEW food affected me and over time I discovered (never actually followed an elimination diet) what the other culprits were. Of course, after all of that testing has been done properly, I am more than willing to concede that for some people "food" just doesn't aggravate their skin. ;-)

If you two want some lists here's what's floating around:

http://acne.org/messageboard/viewtopic.php...er=asc&start=15 (my own list)

http://acne.org/messageboard/viewtopic.php...ighlight=lectin (page 2)

http://clearskin.net/viewtopic.php?t=3181 (perricone's)

http://www.mercola.com/nutritionplan/index.htm (mercola's no grain diet)

http://www.paleodiet.com/

After you've read through them, I would take everything that's repeated and eliminate that first. Without a doubt, WHEAT (refined, bread, flour, etc) will be included in any list you read about. Drop it.

Best of luck ;-)

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really people tend to believe docters who say the studied and tell us the food-acne relation is a myth...DONT BELIEVE THEM. I know 100% sure that for me it DOES matter what i eat. And looking through this forum daily i kind of think i am not the only one. When i eat a lot of fat things, my acne gets worse. No matter what some scientist may say: i know it for sure FOOD MATTERS TO ME FOR MY ACNE

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so judging from all the posts, there is a BIG relationship between food and acne, but how long does it take for food to have effects on ur acne?

like chocolates: if I eat a snickers today, when will the acne it causes show up on my face? i know it might be different for different people, but i just wanted to have a general idea.

thanks.

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Night Kid,

IF and that's a BIG IFsomething in the Snickers bar breaks you out (chocolate, milk, sugar, peanuts), then it generally will be noticable 3 - 5 days (give or take) after you've eaten the food.

That's exactly why most people can't isolate what's causing/aggrevating their acne because they are ALWAYS eating the culprit food.

Chocolate doesn't break me out, but peanuts will give me cysts. I didn't discover the truth about peanuts (never liked them much) until after I eliminated the BULK of my acne causing problems Gluten (wheat, barely,rye). Once I did that I was clear and noticed I would break out a bit and with different types (and in new areas). I started to pay attention to what I ate and didn't eat and was able to pin point other foods that also added to my breakouts. If I don't eat these foods, my pores are clear and smaller. My skin hardly has any oil, and.....no breakouts among other things =)

Without a doubt there's a HUGE connection. How BIG of a connection it will be for you....give it a shot (or several) and let us all know.

Best of luck

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so judging from all the posts, there is a BIG relationship between food and acne, but how long does it take for food to have effects on ur acne?

thanks.

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