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Dan

Are diet and acne related? Let's figure it out together.

Hey y'all. So, for some reason I got a kick in the a** from who-knows-where to figure out whether diet and acne are really related. I wrote down on my goal list, "I have figured out and am practicing a natural way to clear the skin, and am sharing it with others." Yup, I am that cheese-ball and I write down my goals in the present tense and post them above my desk. But sometimes it yields really quick results in my life, as it may be in this case. So, if you're interested please read on...

I decided to go to the UCSF medical library the day after I wrote down this goal and I did a library search for "diet and acne" and came across Dr. Cordain's 2002 article here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...l=pubmed_docsum

I was intrigued to say the least after reading the article, so I did a google search for "Acne Loren Cordain" and found that he has a web site and an e-book detailing an anti-acne diet. I was like, "hmm...another person getting me excited about something and then asking for twenty bucks before giving the info out". But then I thought, well, this guy is a college professor, a PhD, and spent lots of time in the field on this project. Maybe he deserves my twenty bucks. So I bought his book, and it was a great read. But, I didn't want to talk about it on the boards because I don't want to advertise anybody's stuff and it's against the rules to post just to post a link to something anyway. So I emailed Dr. Cordain and asked if we could discuss how to proceed if I wanted other people to try the diet with me. Both he and his business guy called back the next morning. Dr. Cordain was cool to talk to. He is very no-nonsense and obviously believes and stands by what he's found in his research. He didn't sound like the kind of guy who is out to make a quick buck. His business guy was one of his previous students and was equally cool, and agreed to give us 10 copies of the e-book so we can try it out for free and see how it works.

So, here's what I'd like to do. I need 10 volunteers to try this diet with me. Whoever volunteers, this is what I'll need from you so we can make sure we get really good data from our experiment:

- dedication: The diet is hardcore. We're basically pretending like we're hunter gathererers before the advent of modern grain cooking techniques. It is a very healthy diet that involves only fruit, veggies, seafood, fish, and lean meat. That's it. End of story. No sugar, no salt, little oil, no dairy, nuts only sparingly, and no grains or legumes. So whoever volunteers, you'll need to be really dedicated for at least a month without cheating. Since skin turns over about once a month the plan is to be perfect for a month and hopefully clear up. Then we can add in 1 variable at a time and see how it goes.

- money: The book is free, but eating this way I think will cost more than usual. I'm going to try to eat organic. Also, buying organic real food to eat all day is going to cost more than a quick burrito or what have you.

- time: Eating this way will require forethought. We're going to have to shop ahead of time and prepare meals from scratch.

- a digital camera: I want everyone to take a picture of their face from the front, and each side, and under similar lighting once a week so we can document this. If you would prefer anonymity you can blur or black out your eyes or send the pictures to me and I can do this for you. Volunteers will need to have at least some acne before starting so we can tell whether or not the diet works.

- a food journal: You can do this online. It's going to be important that we track our food, both what we eat and when.

Wow, all of the sudden this is sounding really hard :) And I'm not deluding myself. I think it will be a challenge. But worst case scenario it will be an extremely healthy way of eating. Tons of fruit and veggies all day every day has got to do great things for the body. I figure at the very least I'll get a nice six pack ;)

If you'd like to volunteer please PM me or email me at [email protected] and let's get it goin'. Then everyone can follow along and we can really figure out whether diet and acne are related. Please only respond if you are very dedicated to the experiment and have the necessary resources.

Dan

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No sugar + no salt = not possible for me lol sorry. But good luck, its good to see you are always researching and working on a cure Dan, keep it up

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Hey y'all. So, for some reason I got a kick in the a** from who-knows-where to figure out whether diet and acne are really related. I wrote down on my goal list, "I have figured out and am practicing a natural way to clear the skin, and am sharing it with others." Yup, I am that cheese-ball and I write down my goals in the present tense and post them above my desk. But sometimes it yields really quick results in my life, as it may be in this case. So, if you're interested please read on...

I decided to go to the UCSF medical library the day after I wrote down this goal and I did a library search for "diet and acne" and came across Dr. Cordain's 2002 article here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...l=pubmed_docsum

I was intrigued to say the least after reading the article, so I did a google search for "Acne Loren Cordain" and found that he has a web site and an e-book detailing an anti-acne diet. I was like, "hmm...another person getting me excited about something and then asking for twenty bucks before giving the info out". But then I thought, well, this guy is a college professor, a PhD, and spent lots of time in the field on this project. Maybe he deserves my twenty bucks. So I bought his book, and it was a great read. But, I didn't want to talk about it on the boards because I don't want to advertise anybody's stuff and it's against the rules to post just to post a link to something anyway. So I emailed Dr. Cordain and asked if we could discuss how to proceed if I wanted other people to try the diet with me. Both he and his business guy called back the next morning. Dr. Cordain was cool to talk to. He is very no-nonsense and obviously believes and stands by what he's found in his research. He didn't sound like the kind of guy who is out to make a quick buck. His business guy wis one of his previous students and was equally cool, and agreed to give us 10 copies of the e-book so we can try it out for free and see how it works.

So, here's what I'd like to do. I need 10 volunteers to try this diet with me. Whoever volunteers, this is what I'll need from you so we can make sure we get really good data from our experiment:

- dedication: The diet is hardcore. We're basically pretending like we're hunter gathererers before the advent of modern grain cooking techniques. It is a very healthy diet that involves only fruit, veggies, seafood, fish, and lean meat. That's it. End of story. No sugar, no salt, little oil, no dairy, nuts only sparingly, and no grains or legumes. So whoever volunteers, you'll need to be really dedicated for at least a month without cheating. Since skin turns over about once a month the plan is to be perfect for a month and hopefully clear up. Then we can add in 1 variable at a time and see how it goes.

- money: The book is free, but eating this way I think will cost more than usual. I'm going to try to eat organic. Also, buying organic real food to eat all day is going to cost more than a quick burrito or what have you.

- time: Eating this way will require forethought. We're going to have to shop ahead of time and prepare meals from scratch.

- a digital camera: I want everyone to take a picture of their face from the front, and each side, and under similar lighting once a week so we can document this. Volunteers will need to have at least some acne before starting so we can tell whether or not the diet works.

- a food journal: You can do this online. It's going to be important that we track our food, both what we eat and when.

Wow, all of the sudden this is sounding really hard :) And I'm not deluding myself. I think it will be a challenge. But worst case scenario it will be an extremely healthy way of eating. Tons of fruit and veggies all day every day has got to do great things for the body. I figure at the very least I'll get a nice six pack ;)

If you'd like to volunteer please PM me or email me at [email protected] and let's get it goin'. Then everyone can follow along and we can really figure out whether diet and acne are related. Please only respond if you are very dedicated to the experiment and have the necessary resources.

Dan

Would you be able to give us a little info on how the diet is supposed to help acne? As in how eating a good diet helps acne clear up? :)

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What got me most intrigued was that Dr. Cordain and his Swedish research fellow went to visit hunter/gatherer tribes and found zero incidence of acne. In one tribe there were 300 people between 15 and 25 and no acne. In the other tribe there were 15 young people and no acne. Furthermore, he talks about how Eskimo populations used to not have any incidence of acne, and since they have adopted Western diets it is obvious even to the lay person that they now have acne problems.

The book then goes into great detail regarding how acne is created. It involves 4 disease processes:

1. Pore blockage: your skin produces too many skin cells, which as they reach the surface, stick together. He talks about how food specifically aggravates this condition. Specifically he talks about how refined grains and sugars cause insulin inbalances which lead to the skin not turning over as it should. He also gets into "lectins", the poisonous part of grains that we avoid by cooking them. But we don't get rid of all of the lectins, and these may cause problems with pore blockage, and may also be a catalyst to the other disease processes listed below.

2. Inflammation. in our Western diet, our omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is way off, over 10:1. In hunter/gatherer societies, where acne is non-existent, the ratio is more like 2:1 or 3:1. We eat tons of vegetable oils and not a lot of fish and grass fed meat which skews our ratio.

3. Overproduction of sebum: this is primarily a results of excess androgens (male hormones) in the body. Refined grains and sugars elevate these androgen levels.

4. Bacteria infection: once the pore is blocked, sebum is overproduced, and inflammation is occuring, bacteria is able to have a field day. An infection ensues and a zit is produced.

The book is an interesting read just on this "micro" level. You learn all about over produced keratinocytes, impacted corneocytes with desmosomes which do not detach properly, low zinc concentrations produced from the calcium in the dairy we eat, enzymes, etc. It's pretty fascinating.

So according to Dr. Cordain, if I were to oversimplify, you keep your insulin in check through avoiding modern grains, you allow your skin cells to turn over as nature intended. Then if you get your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio into an ideal range you prevent inflammation. Next, when you keep your androgen levels where they should be by eliminating high glycemic grains, you stop overproducing sebum. Once your pores are unblocked, inflammation has subsided, and sebum is produced at optimum levels, bacteria find no blocked pores in which to overcolonize.

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Autonomous...did you follow it strictly? Just veggies, fruit, lean meats and seafood without cheating for 30 days?

I am not at all saying I know this diet works. I just want to make sure some of us try it strictly for a month so we can see for sure.

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Lol I can do that diet since I am maniac skin freak so can do anything else.. My condition is now: face free acne only zits.. and less oily.. I am cured with GLA (Damn god love GLA) So i would like to try for being zit free :)

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Like many out there, Cordain has oversimplified things a bit.

Sure, eating like a hunter gatherer is a step in the right direction. But there was not 1 type of hunter gatherer diet. Some were almost all animal protein, cooked and raw like the traditional Eskimo diet. Still, others were very low in animal protein and high in simple sugars/fruits. And another version of the hunter gatherer diet is one that is high in complex carbohydrates like that found in tubers [this one works great for me].

To discover which hunter gatherer diet is right for you, one must look to your ancestry and genetics. One of the problems we face now is that people have mixed so much that it is very hard to find which diet is right for you. Most americans are a mix of very disparate peoples. I myself am a mix of Russian and Italian.

If I were put on an Eskimo diet, I would be nauseous and have terrible skin. That's just a fact.

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I believe it... i might have said this a million times on this forum but after stopping having 14 spoons of sugar a day and white bread everyday and white rice 2 days a week my oil production has reduced ALOT its now at what i believe is normal levels now.

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i have a feeling that diet effects the oil production more than anything else which in turn can help with acne. i do notice that if i eat sugar or dairy my skin is much oilier than it would normally be.

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Like many out there, Cordain has oversimplified things a bit.

Sure, eating like a hunter gatherer is a step in the right direction. But there was not 1 type of hunter gatherer diet. Some were almost all animal protein, cooked and raw like the traditional Eskimo diet. Still, others were very low in animal protein and high in simple sugars/fruits. And another version of the hunter gatherer diet is one that is high in complex carbohydrates like that found in tubers [this one works great for me].

Innuits and other are just extreme example

Cordain and Matezs hunter-gatherer diet is based on the average hunter-gatherer diet which means what the 70-80% of hunter-gatherer population eat on average

So it's true that there is not 1 type of hunter-gatherer diet ... but the average is just one type, the other are rare examples of harsh environment adaptation and it doesn't make sense to even consider them when talking about the average hunter-gatherer diet

The average hunter-gather diet allow starch based tubers and roots and I don't remember Cordain (when he was a member of the paleo-diet bulletin board) being against them. As already said most starch based roots and tuber when boiled have a GI low enough to not raise the overall glycemic index of the otherwise low-starches diet

To discover which hunter gatherer diet is right for you, one must look to your ancestry and genetics. One of the problems we face now is that people have mixed so much that it is very hard to find which diet is right for you. Most americans are a mix of very disparate peoples.

I don't think so. The only adptation observed in Innuits is that they have a peculiar body fat distribution which we don't have. That's all. There's no prove of any other kind of physiological, organical or hormonal adaptation. In fact the only place where the theory that we must know what the people in our family tree ate in order to know what diet is right for us is just found on pseudoscientific books by pseudoscientific authors (like D'adamo for example) and can't be find anywhere on the medical literature

The adaptation that can occur is so minimal that only individual diathesis clinically observed can make good criteria to choose whether kind of diet to follow not whether your ancestor are from paris, troy, moscow or rome. Besides the Innuits that move to another country lose their liver and body fat distribution percentage showing that environment adaptation are just circumstantial and momentory not genetically fixed

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As far as tubers are concerned, Dr. Cordain addresses this. He talks about how one of the tribes eats tubers. But he suggests that just to be certain, for the first 30 days people be strict and adhere as closely as possible to the days before human beings cooked anything. Once you're clear after 30 days you can add in 1 thing at a time such as yams and stuff.

As a side note, he doesn't recommend not cooking meat since it's unsafe, but he does suggest we slow cook as our ancestors did when they would dig a pit, put hot stones in there, lay in an animal and some veggies and cover it all over with more hot stones and leave it to cook all day. In modern terms that means a crock pot :)

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I believe it... i might have said this a million times on this forum but after stopping having 14 spoons of sugar a day and white bread everyday and white rice 2 days a week my oil production has reduced ALOT its now at what i believe is normal levels now.

That's very interesting. So I guess the oil was causing you to have acne afterall.

When I switched from grain starches to tuber/potato starches my oil production stayed about the same, but my acne went away. Now when I look at my skin close up I see open and non-inflamed pores. When I had acne my skin was dry and oily at the same time and I couldn't see almost any open pores. It's like now the skin is relaxed, the pores are open and the oil can naturally moisturize my skin.

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Im 100000000000000% behind this....

A GI DIET is capable of improving skin.....for me anyway - so i dont see how this wont work..im happy eating low GI foods and am pretty clear so cant really participate...gud luck to all tho! :D

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Innuits and other are just extreme example

Cordain and Matezs hunter-gatherer diet is based on the average hunter-gatherer diet which means what the 70-80% of hunter-gatherer population eat on average

It would be impossible to have one diet represent 70% of what paleolithic people ate. The difference in climates, vegetation, animals etc. varied greatly. People only had what was available to them.

I don't think so. The only adptation observed in Innuits is that they have a peculiar body fat distribution which we don't have. That's all. There's no prove of any other kind of physiological, organical or hormonal adaptation.

There is no proof because people are in some kind of odd mode at the moment where we like to pretend all people of all races are the same. Well, this just isn't so and it is not racist to say that. People fear that seeing differences will lead to racism, but IMO it will lead to the end of racism. But that is a whole 'nother subject.

As far as different peoples having different genetics, look at East Asians vs. Northern Caucasians. The amount of very high glycemic white rice that East Asians consume would make most Northern Europeans fat if not obese. Most of my friends are Chinese and they don't eat small portions of rice. It makes sense when you look at history. East Asians have had many more generations to adapt to grain- they we one of the first people to be agriculturalists. There are always exceptions to every rule, but observing patterns can only help to find the right diet for oneself. At my yoga studio many of the white people eat a typical hindu vegetarian diet, hoping to lose weight and gain health. Most don't look healthy at all.

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i have a feeling that diet effects the oil production more than anything else which in turn can help with acne. i do notice that if i eat sugar or dairy my skin is much oilier than it would normally be.

That's exactly it. this diet is excellent at reducing sebum and thus the SIZE of your spots but does little against the NUMBER of spots you get. However you do actually appear to have less for two reasons 1) smaller spots dont look as bad and 2) the increased turnover rate for smaller spots. (small ones go away quicker)

EDIT: the reason chinesse aren't obese is simple: chopsticks. Its impossible to eat anything with chopsticks let alone rice.

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Guest Michael Jackson

Dan, I may be willing to try this.

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I used to have horrible acne. I went to an extremely poor area of Asia to help with the post tsunami effort and ate what the people there ate. It meant zero sugar, no breads or pasta, no dairy, my diet consisted of WHOLE foods. My skin started to clear up quickly and by the time I left my skin was clear and oil free. If I follow that diet today my face is under control when I dont within a day I breakout. The connection is there but like you said in order for your experiment to work the volunteers would really have to follow a strict diet. Cheating it and having a chocolate bar can throw the whole thing off.

Edit: as for oil production that someone mentioned above I agree 100%. I had pasta a few weeks ago, two bowls, the next day I woke up with horribly oily skin.

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I used to have horrible acne. I went to an extremely poor area of Asia to help with the post tsunami effort and ate what the people there ate. It meant zero sugar, no breads or pasta, no dairy, my diet consisted of WHOLE foods. My skin started to clear up quickly and by the time I left my skin was clear and oil free.

What kind of diet you ate there?

Isn't white rice a staple in the Thai cuisine?

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Im already trying to follow this, but cant follow it 100%, at partys and every weekend going out I drink beer and eat junk food... cant give that up!

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Hi just want to say I really do believe diet and acne are related. I have just had a really bad brekout over my whoel face from alot of alochol, bread and chocolate, i researched into and found out about candida, so i did the spit test and my spit was like strings n bits everywhere,

so in the past week i have been eating just green veg, ryvita, ceral with soya milk, chicken,or quorn nuts along with 2 yakults, activia yoghurts and zinc tablets and butter and even in a week my spots are remarkably better, the scarring has reduced and i have nearly none on anywhere but my forhead

and although my spit is still cloudy my skin is better and improving vastly

dunno i bet its different for everyone but i 100% believe our diet makes a difference

:)

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trust me it works,

eat fried quorn kidney and broad beans, and pine seeds seeds liek that, im vegetarian too

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