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This post might be long so score down if you need to get to the point.

I haven't been posting on this board much because I have been spending much of my time researching a way to finally cure my acne, after over a decade of moderate acne. I have been through every prescription in the book, including accutane twice. Nothing with permanent results.

During my teenage years, I had acne like most teens. I treated it with long term antibiotics. During this time I also had a terrible diet, mainly consisting of white breads, processed cheeses and artificial juices. I meantion this because I feel this behavior set me up for disaster YEARS after a change in diet and medication. Starting in college I began exercising and eating whole foods. I learned much about nutrition and health. I got into better shape, but still had the exact same acne as my teenage years. After finishing my second course of accutane during this time with no permanent results, I began visiting the nutrition forum on this web site to see if I could learn more. I felt acne is a symptom of something wrong, and is not a disease we should be cursed with into our adulthood.

So here I am, a graduate student in microbiology (my research into treating leaky gut and dysbiosis has kindled my interest into treating its root cause) and still have bad acne. As well as other problems including mild IBS (though nothing terrible), constant throat and nose congestion, dark circles under my eyes, a little chronic fatigue and dandruff. None of these other problems were serious and I had become used to living with themI have tried many holistic methods to treat it including probiotics, fish oil and diet changes as well as EVERYTHING else

recommended. I had gone gluten and dairy free with some results, but definitely not enough. I had ruled out celiacs disease and was positive I was getting enough vitamins and minerals. A little googling showed that I was a candidate for "leaky gut."

Leaky gut in a nutshell is when your intestines don't absorb the things they should, and absorb toxins it shouldn't. I believe leaky gut is the cause for almost all acne. Leaky gut can be caused by several things including taking too many OTC medications, poor diet and intestinal dysbiosis (i.e. candida). After ruling out diet, drugs and other rare conditions like celiacs, the only explanation left was dysbiosis.

I have been on the paleo diet before, with some success. However it was really strict and I was not prepared for it. I made minor cheats which I thought were ok at the time, but in hindsight I found I was shooting my self in the foot. And for the typical "candida diet" (meat and vegetables, no sugar at all), I figured it was just TOO hard and unhealthy to maintain for more than a few days. I then found people were staying on this diet for months! Impossible. So I finally ran into the "specific carboydrate diet" which I feel is the closest thing to a cure, without undo suffering and restriction. I have also modified it to make it more livable in a normal world, without sacrificing its principles. For the longest time, I thought acne had to do with my food intolerances. I thought protein digestion was my main issue, since cutting out bread led to some improvement. So I always tackled it from this angle. However, most pathogenic organisms in the gut rely on STARCH fermentation, which didn't dawn on me until recently. During my extreme diets, I was still consuming foods like dates, rice and orange juice which I thought were "safe." It turns out regular consumption of foods like these was what was preventing me from seeing improvement. Basically, the idea behind the SCD is that like the paleo diet, our body wasn't adapted to digest startches. It got most of its energy from simple sugars like glucose and fructose, and protein and fats from meat, eggs and nuts. It wasn't until we developed a highly adapted bacterial exosystem in our gut which allowed the digestion of starches.

So, assuming that in a case of dysbiosis that we are lacking this vital bacteria, we can no longer process starch efficiently. In fact, eating starches promotes the growth of pathogenic oragnisms. So how do we reverse this? The answer is pretty obvious, revert to a traditional diet based on our ancestors who didn't require microbes to assimilate food in order to starve off the bad organisms, and to reintroduce good organisms back into the gut.

This is why many low carbohydrate diets like the paleo diet work for many. However, the paleo diet is VERY strict. No juices, nothing artificial. Low carbing in general causes fatigue and low energy, so atkins is not very practical or healthy for most of us, especially those involved in athletic activities on a regular basis. The SCD is the closest thing I found to a healthy, doable diet in todays world.

The diet in a nutshell

No complex starches or disaccharides. disaccharides include table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose) and maltose. Starches include pretty much every grain and legume.

Foods allowed include only simple sugars (glucose, fructose and galactose). All fats are allowed, and most proteins are allowed except the ones you tend to be sensitive to. This should be mostly taken care of as most difficult to digest proteins are found in grains and legumes which you wont be eating anyway.

A little more explanation

What this means in the real world is a diet mostly of fruits vegetables and meats. However, as I found out over the last few weeks that not ALl fruits are safe. This was one of my biggest pitfalls. Fruits high in sucrose and starches (and there are several) are OFF LIMITS. For instance dates are mostly sucrose. Orange juice contains a great deal of sucrose, and yellow bananas are mostly starch (though browned overripe bananas are ok, the enzymes have converted all the starch into sugar at this point). THis was my biggest mistake when going paleo/gluten free. I was still consuming these foods in order to keep my energy up. I was also eating TONS of rice. And while rice is generally digestable, I have recently found that too much complex carboydrate from ANY source is just as bad.

What I eat

Where my diet differs from paleo diet and SCD is the incorporation of other foods which make this diet safer and more practical. For instance, outside of orange juice, most other 100% juices should be ok. I personally drink grape juice. Most other fruits and fruit juices which contains high amounts of glucose and fructose, but are low in sucrose. It is important that the juices are 100% juice, or at least no added sugar. Also it is important to note at this point that most dried fruit has sugar added, and the ones that don't (apricots, dates, figs etc) are generally rich in sucrose which is not allowed. Raisins are safe. Another safe source of sugar is raw honey of any kind. There are enzymes present in honey which have broken the sugar down into glucose and fructose. Pasteurized honey is ok too, its just that raw honey has alot of vitamins, minerals and even probiotics still present, thus making it a superior choice.

Some artifical sugars such as sucralose/splenda should be ok too. Thus diet drinks, while probably cancer causing, should not be aggrivating on this diet. The pathogens can not use them for the same reason we can't. However, some artifical sweeteners CAN cause problems. Some of these wierd sugars ARE FERMENTABLE. However, most diet sodas as far as I know should be safe.

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IS TECHNICALLY ALLOWED. While its best to be avoided, it is very low in sucrose, and mostly contains glucose and fructose. I still would avoid huge amounts of it, but trace amounts in food will not hurt you.

High quality whey protein is encouraged. Whey is easily digested, containing tons of glutamine which is great for a leaky gut. Make sure to get a high quality brand with no lactose in it. This is great because it is a good sports supplement for lifting, and tastes good too. Some chocolate whey protein is a great mini breakfast in the morning.

TAKE DIGESTIVE ENZYMES. I can't stress this one enough. This will help digest the proteins found in meats, eggs nuts and dairy quicker, reducing the likelyhood of a food intolerance reaction. Also, enzymes will help break down the trace amounts of sucrose, lactose and starches that will make it into your diet trough fruits and nuts and whey. I have not determined which type of enzymes are best. There are fungal based enzymes and concentrated HCL/pepsin based enzymes. Both seem to work equally from my experience. A good quality brand is important when it comes to fungal based enzymes, or at least ones which contain a wide assortment of enzymes including, lactase, amylase, inveratase, glucoamylase as well as proteases to aid in starch and protein digestion. I use enzymedica's DIGEST GOLD, but any brand should work as long as you double check and make sure it has enough enzymes.

Fermented milk products are OK (with the proper enzymes). Plain old milk is not allowed, but plain yogurt and kefir (no sugar or inulin added) should be ok. The bacteria breakdown the lactose into glucose and galactose, and also predigest the casein. I also recommend taking a separate enzyme known as "dpp iv" which is available. It is a special protease which targets proline rich sequences in casein and gluten, and is used specifically for protein intolerances. It is normally used in autistic children since it is believed they have leaky gut as well. However, it should work just as well in our case since it is the same idea. I did an experiment and took some homade kefir, which as a geletin consistency similar to yogurt, and added 1 capsule of straight DPP IV. In about an hour or so, the kefir had completely liquidized into a water consistency. Thus demonstrating to me that this enzyme IS effecitve in breaking down milk proteins quickly and efficiently.

Fermented milks also provide probiotics. However, if you don't wish to risk consuming milk products, I recommend probiotic pills or kombucha tea as an alternate source of probiotics.

Hmm, what else. Nuts are ok, some nuts better than others. Walnuts are sketchy since they contain a great deal of starch, while almonds contain mostly indigestable fiber. Fiber is ok, its the other fraction we worry about more. ALmond butter is ok as well.

Coconut oil and clarified butter/ghee - These fats are great too cook with, and contain chemicals which kill candida, and help add calories to the diet

Eggs are fine - I usually make an omelet every morning with some chopped vegetables and mushrooms, and top it off with some ketchup.

Other pieces of advice. Nonstarchy vegetables are great! They provide antioxidants and antimflammatories, vitamins and minerals. KAle, spinach, chard etc are especially good for healing.

BOOZE - Obviously drinking is best kept to a minimum, since alcohol in general slows gut healing. But "safe" drinks do exist which at least wont promote candida. All distilled spirits are ok, and mixed drinks are fine if they are made with "diet" mixers. I.e Rum and diet coke, vodka and diet tonic. Beer and wine are pretty much out.

Whew, I think thats it in a nutshell. This is the ONLY diet that has been working for me, and I am seeing results everyday. I am less oily, more energy, less phlegmy. All my symptoms are fading day by day. It is still a very tough diet, going to a restaurant is hard. You are basically stuck with a salad plus some meat on top. You can add supplements to this regimen to help speed the healing process. Detox herbs, fish oil/flax oil, antioxidants and others are all allowable.

Also here is a website which gives the sugar content in most common foods

http://www.thepaleodiet.com/nutritional_to...uits_table.html

Basically stay away from foods with high sucrose content, everything else is fair game. Foods like apples and oranges are fine in their whole form, but in juice form concentrates the sucrose so keep that in mind. The lower the sucrose, the better. Remember, sucrose requires enzymes from out intestine to breakdown which the candida can uptake and ferment, while glucose and fructose diffuse quickly through the intestine without the need for enzymes or processing.

Common sense still applies. Avoid too much sugar on an empty stomach. Too much glucose and fructose still can cause an insulin spike which can aggravate acne. Some fruit between meals is fine, but fruit juice/honey should not be consumed on an empty stomach unless carbing up for a strenuous activity.

I honestly think strict adherence to this diet will clear almost all forms of adult acne. If nothing else has worked for you, I can almost guarantee that this diet will. Just give it a few weeks and see. Im only 1 week into strict adherence, and my sebum production has dropped a million fold and I feel worlds better. The dark cloud is finally lifting...

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This post might be long so score down if you need to get to the point.

I haven't been posting on this board much because I have been spending much of my time researching a way to finally cure my acne, after over a decade of moderate acne. I have been through every prescription in the book, including accutane twice. Nothing with permanent results.

During my teenage years, I had acne like most teens. I treated it with long term antibiotics. During this time I also had a terrible diet, mainly consisting of white breads, processed cheeses and artificial juices. I meantion this because I feel this behavior set me up for disaster YEARS after a change in diet and medication. Starting in college I began exercising and eating whole foods. I learned much about nutrition and health. I got into better shape, but still had the exact same acne as my teenage years. After finishing my second course of accutane during this time with no permanent results, I began visiting the nutrition forum on this web site to see if I could learn more. I felt acne is a symptom of something wrong, and is not a disease we should be cursed with into our adulthood.

So here I am, a graduate student in microbiology (my research into treating leaky gut and dysbiosis has kindled my interest into treating its root cause) and still have bad acne. As well as other problems including mild IBS (though nothing terrible), constant throat and nose congestion, dark circles under my eyes, a little chronic fatigue and dandruff. None of these other problems were serious and I had become used to living with themI have tried many holistic methods to treat it including probiotics, fish oil and diet changes as well as EVERYTHING else

recommended. I had gone gluten and dairy free with some results, but definitely not enough. I had ruled out celiacs disease and was positive I was getting enough vitamins and minerals. A little googling showed that I was a candidate for "leaky gut."

Leaky gut in a nutshell is when your intestines don't absorb the things they should, and absorb toxins it shouldn't. I believe leaky gut is the cause for almost all acne. Leaky gut can be caused by several things including taking too many OTC medications, poor diet and intestinal dysbiosis (i.e. candida). After ruling out diet, drugs and other rare conditions like celiacs, the only explanation left was dysbiosis.

I have been on the paleo diet before, with some success. However it was really strict and I was not prepared for it. I made minor cheats which I thought were ok at the time, but in hindsight I found I was shooting my self in the foot. And for the typical "candida diet" (meat and vegetables, no sugar at all), I figured it was just TOO hard and unhealthy to maintain for more than a few days. I then found people were staying on this diet for months! Impossible. So I finally ran into the "specific carboydrate diet" which I feel is the closest thing to a cure, without undo suffering and restriction. I have also modified it to make it more livable in a normal world, without sacrificing its principles. For the longest time, I thought acne had to do with my food intolerances. I thought protein digestion was my main issue, since cutting out bread led to some improvement. So I always tackled it from this angle. However, most pathogenic organisms in the gut rely on STARCH fermentation, which didn't dawn on me until recently. During my extreme diets, I was still consuming foods like dates, rice and orange juice which I thought were "safe." It turns out regular consumption of foods like these was what was preventing me from seeing improvement. Basically, the idea behind the SCD is that like the paleo diet, our body wasn't adapted to digest startches. It got most of its energy from simple sugars like glucose and fructose, and protein and fats from meat, eggs and nuts. It wasn't until we developed a highly adapted bacterial exosystem in our gut which allowed the digestion of starches.

So, assuming that in a case of dysbiosis that we are lacking this vital bacteria, we can no longer process starch efficiently. In fact, eating starches promotes the growth of pathogenic oragnisms. So how do we reverse this? The answer is pretty obvious, revert to a traditional diet based on our ancestors who didn't require microbes to assimilate food in order to starve off the bad organisms, and to reintroduce good organisms back into the gut.

This is why many low carbohydrate diets like the paleo diet work for many. However, the paleo diet is VERY strict. No juices, nothing artificial. Low carbing in general causes fatigue and low energy, so atkins is not very practical or healthy for most of us, especially those involved in athletic activities on a regular basis. The SCD is the closest thing I found to a healthy, doable diet in todays world.

The diet in a nutshell

No complex starches or disaccharides. disaccharides include table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose) and maltose. Starches include pretty much every grain and legume.

Foods allowed include only simple sugars (glucose, fructose and galactose). All fats are allowed, and most proteins are allowed except the ones you tend to be sensitive to. This should be mostly taken care of as most difficult to digest proteins are found in grains and legumes which you wont be eating anyway.

A little more explanation

What this means in the real world is a diet mostly of fruits vegetables and meats. However, as I found out over the last few weeks that not ALl fruits are safe. This was one of my biggest pitfalls. Fruits high in sucrose and starches (and there are several) are OFF LIMITS. For instance dates are mostly sucrose. Orange juice contains a great deal of sucrose, and yellow bananas are mostly starch (though browned overripe bananas are ok, the enzymes have converted all the starch into sugar at this point). THis was my biggest mistake when going paleo/gluten free. I was still consuming these foods in order to keep my energy up. I was also eating TONS of rice. And while rice is generally digestable, I have recently found that too much complex carboydrate from ANY source is just as bad.

What I eat

Where my diet differs from paleo diet and SCD is the incorporation of other foods which make this diet safer and more practical. For instance, outside of orange juice, most other 100% juices should be ok. I personally drink grape juice. Most other fruits and fruit juices which contains high amounts of glucose and fructose, but are low in sucrose. It is important that the juices are 100% juice, or at least no added sugar. Also it is important to note at this point that most dried fruit has sugar added, and the ones that don't (apricots, dates, figs etc) are generally rich in sucrose which is not allowed. Raisins are safe. Another safe source of sugar is raw honey of any kind. There are enzymes present in honey which have broken the sugar down into glucose and fructose. Pasteurized honey is ok too, its just that raw honey has alot of vitamins, minerals and even probiotics still present, thus making it a superior choice.

Some artifical sugars such as sucralose/splenda should be ok too. Thus diet drinks, while probably cancer causing, should not be aggrivating on this diet. The pathogens can not use them for the same reason we can't. However, some artifical sweeteners CAN cause problems. Some of these wierd sugars ARE FERMENTABLE. However, most diet sodas as far as I know should be safe.

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP IS TECHNICALLY ALLOWED. While its best to be avoided, it is very low in sucrose, and mostly contains glucose and fructose. I still would avoid huge amounts of it, but trace amounts in food will not hurt you.

High quality whey protein is encouraged. Whey is easily digested, containing tons of glutamine which is great for a leaky gut. Make sure to get a high quality brand with no lactose in it. This is great because it is a good sports supplement for lifting, and tastes good too. Some chocolate whey protein is a great mini breakfast in the morning.

TAKE DIGESTIVE ENZYMES. I can't stress this one enough. This will help digest the proteins found in meats, eggs nuts and dairy quicker, reducing the likelyhood of a food intolerance reaction. Also, enzymes will help break down the trace amounts of sucrose, lactose and starches that will make it into your diet trough fruits and nuts and whey. I have not determined which type of enzymes are best. There are fungal based enzymes and concentrated HCL/pepsin based enzymes. Both seem to work equally from my experience. A good quality brand is important when it comes to fungal based enzymes, or at least ones which contain a wide assortment of enzymes including, lactase, amylase, inveratase, glucoamylase as well as proteases to aid in starch and protein digestion. I use enzymedica's DIGEST GOLD, but any brand should work as long as you double check and make sure it has enough enzymes.

Fermented milk products are OK (with the proper enzymes). Plain old milk is not allowed, but plain yogurt and kefir (no sugar or inulin added) should be ok. The bacteria breakdown the lactose into glucose and galactose, and also predigest the casein. I also recommend taking a separate enzyme known as "dpp iv" which is available. It is a special protease which targets proline rich sequences in casein and gluten, and is used specifically for protein intolerances. It is normally used in autistic children since it is believed they have leaky gut as well. However, it should work just as well in our case since it is the same idea. I did an experiment and took some homade kefir, which as a geletin consistency similar to yogurt, and added 1 capsule of straight DPP IV. In about an hour or so, the kefir had completely liquidized into a water consistency. Thus demonstrating to me that this enzyme IS effecitve in breaking down milk proteins quickly and efficiently.

Fermented milks also provide probiotics. However, if you don't wish to risk consuming milk products, I recommend probiotic pills or kombucha tea as an alternate source of probiotics.

Hmm, what else. Nuts are ok, some nuts better than others. Walnuts are sketchy since they contain a great deal of starch, while almonds contain mostly indigestable fiber. Fiber is ok, its the other fraction we worry about more. ALmond butter is ok as well.

Coconut oil and clarified butter/ghee - These fats are great too cook with, and contain chemicals which kill candida, and help add calories to the diet

Eggs are fine - I usually make an omelet every morning with some chopped vegetables and mushrooms, and top it off with some ketchup.

Other pieces of advice. Nonstarchy vegetables are great! They provide antioxidants and antimflammatories, vitamins and minerals. KAle, spinach, chard etc are especially good for healing.

BOOZE - Obviously drinking is best kept to a minimum, since alcohol in general slows gut healing. But "safe" drinks do exist which at least wont promote candida. All distilled spirits are ok, and mixed drinks are fine if they are made with "diet" mixers. I.e Rum and diet coke, vodka and diet tonic. Beer and wine are pretty much out.

Whew, I think thats it in a nutshell. This is the ONLY diet that has been working for me, and I am seeing results everyday. I am less oily, more energy, less phlegmy. All my symptoms are fading day by day. It is still a very tough diet, going to a restaurant is hard. You are basically stuck with a salad plus some meat on top. You can add supplements to this regimen to help speed the healing process. Detox herbs, fish oil/flax oil, antioxidants and others are all allowable.

Also here is a website which gives the sugar content in most common foods

http://www.thepaleodiet.com/nutritional_to...uits_table.html

Basically stay away from foods with high sucrose content, everything else is fair game. Foods like apples and oranges are fine in their whole form, but in juice form concentrates the sucrose so keep that in mind. The lower the sucrose, the better. Remember, sucrose requires enzymes from out intestine to breakdown which the candida can uptake and ferment, while glucose and fructose diffuse quickly through the intestine without the need for enzymes or processing.

Common sense still applies. Avoid too much sugar on an empty stomach. Too much glucose and fructose still can cause an insulin spike which can aggravate acne. Some fruit between meals is fine, but fruit juice/honey should not be consumed on an empty stomach unless carbing up for a strenuous activity.

I honestly think strict adherence to this diet will clear almost all forms of adult acne. If nothing else has worked for you, I can almost guarantee that this diet will. Just give it a few weeks and see. Im only 1 week into strict adherence, and my sebum production has dropped a million fold and I feel worlds better. The dark cloud is finally lifting...

Is Jay robb a good brand. ? i buy the whey protein vanilla from them , i don't get break out .

I drink it 3 times a day cause i need alot of protein ;)

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I think most whey proteins should be fine. I just recommend the better stuff just incase trace amounts of casein get in and can cause breakouts. Or if lactose causes breakouts or gas in some people. The better stuff is purer. But even the cheaper brands are probably good enough, they still don't have much of that other stuff in it. So in otherwords, yes your brand is probably fine if you don't breakout. In fact, I got some cheapo generic whey protein that I use and I am still seeing improvement on this diet. I recommend the good stuff "just in case."

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Great post!

I recently started a Gluten free diet and your experience should save me from too much trouble shooting. I also just started reading about digestive enzymes a couple of nights ago and they interest me. Its too bad that you apparently can't eat a regular diet wit them. Also, hearing about how much better your feeling in ways other than just your skin make me really want to go for, as I suffer from pretty low energy levels inattention and anxiety. I don't know if you had any of these symptoms, but if you did and there gone now let me know. Its just sad that all grains are off limits, on Gluten free I could at least stuff myself with rice.

Anyway congratulations and thanks for all the info.

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I was on the SCD for 8 months, with no cheating whatsoever. It cleared my skin up for the first few months, but then stopped working for some reason.

I hope it works for you long-term... A bunch of people on here have definitely had good results from this or similar diets. For me there were other factors that I had to address...

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finally someone that understands the diet plan!!!

great post~!

Though I still avoid anything that ends with "ose" ( sugar that is ) not even honey is allowed to me

I simply use stevia to replace all sugar ( I recommend NOW's pure stevia powder...it's the only pure stevia powder form extract that I could find...100% means 100%...all other brands have malt or something to keep it in powder form)

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I personally don't see a huge difference between this and paleo - I mean, the main point of paleo is the grain-cutting; as is here. Do you mean the bit more leniency with honey, sweetners, juice? Alot of people won't consider that much different.

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i need help with sourcing for digestive enzymes and prebiotics. what kind/type should i get? btw, are they the same thing?

anyway, what do u mean by "make sure it has enough enzymes."? how much is enough?

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Tobias - You're right. Its not that different from paleo. If anything, its really a ripoff of the SCD. You can consider it a modified, more lenient paleo/SCD since things like honey, whey protein and certain processed foods are technically allowed on this diet to make it easier to do. THings like honey and certain natural fruit juices may seem small, but it is an easy and convenient way to keep your energy up on an already extremely restricted diet. Also, SCD allows some foods which I would not allow, such as Dates and orange juice. Most people will assume fruits are fruits, but by looking at the sucrose content, one can gage more accurately which ones are safe and which ones aren't. Some people find that certain fruits break them out, while others don't. I am pointing out that it could be the sucrose/starch content of different fruits which make them "unsafe."

As for probiotics and enzymes, I really can't say what works best. My ND recommended HCL and + pepsin the most. He says he finds these most helpful. I mostly use fungal based enzymes and don't seem to have a problem with them, but still have HCL around if I eat something with a lot of protein. I think consistency is probably more important than composition, but I could be wrong here.

I personally prefer probiotics from food, since this has been where we traditionally have gotten them. But I think capsules can work just fine too. As for capsules, the only thing off the top of my head that would be important is that they are enteric coated, in order to best survive stomach acid. Any enteric coated brand may be "Good enough," though some brands might be better than others, I don't know.

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Thanks for the post. This was very detailed and extremely helpful.

I recently started a low carb diet with decent results, but I think this information will help me pinpoint those areas I need to focus on to achieve results (starches, grains, etc.), while still allowing me to enjoy things like fruit.

Thanks again!

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Tobias - You're right. Its not that different from paleo. If anything, its really a ripoff of the SCD. You can consider it a modified, more lenient paleo/SCD since things like honey, whey protein and certain processed foods are technically allowed on this diet to make it easier to do. THings like honey and certain natural fruit juices may seem small, but it is an easy and convenient way to keep your energy up on an already extremely restricted diet. Also, SCD allows some foods which I would not allow, such as Dates and orange juice. Most people will assume fruits are fruits, but by looking at the sucrose content, one can gage more accurately which ones are safe and which ones aren't. Some people find that certain fruits break them out, while others don't. I am pointing out that it could be the sucrose/starch content of different fruits which make them "unsafe."

Fair play

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After doing a little more research on digestion and food combination, I've come up with some more information when deciding on which enzymes to use. I have also had a couple of people IM me telling me they have had results with the complete opposite diet. High starch, and very little protein. At first I didn't know how to integrate this information, but I finally figured out how these two seemingly different diets are both effective.

Basically, it is best to get both types of enzymes (fungally derived enzymes, and HCL + pepsin). But knowing when to use them is crucial. To understand when to use them, one must understand the basic rules of food combining, which is never combine starches with proteins. There are a few more rules, but this one is the most important. Basically, starches and sugars require a much more alkaline pH to digest. In otherwords, eating starch based foods will not stimulate a rise in stomach pH since it is unnecessary, and actually reduces the effectiveness of starch digesting enzymes. When eating starch based meals, it is best to take fungal based enzymes, which are all designed to work around a neutral pH.

Conversely, when eating a protein based meal (nuts, eggs, meat) take HCL + pepsin. High protein meals do most of their digesting in the stomach. When large amounts of protein are eaten, this stimulates of the release of HCL. My naturopath says people who have acne, general are low acid producers in the stomach. Thus taking supplemental HCL at this point would be most effective. My naturopath says to take as many HCL tablets, until you feel a warm sensation in your stomach. This warm sensation means there is too much stomach acid. So the next time, you take one less pill in order to avoid this sensation. This should be a general guideline as to how much HCL one needs for optimum digestion. He said some of his other patients had to take up to 6 at a meal to make up for his low stomach acid. I don't know if you necessarily need that much, but taking 1-2 HCL tablets while eating a protein meal should definitely help most people.

This explains why BOTH diets seem to work. If you don't eat much protein, but high in starch, your stomach acid stays low and you are able to efficiently digest starches, but not proteins. The opposite effect holds true with high protein/paleo diets. Knowing this, and knowing when and which supplements to take should allow one to overcome this hurdle and consume both.

Other notes: I would still avoid gluten and dairy, at least until normal digestion has been reestablished for a while. Both of these foods require digestion by the flora in the gut, and in most severe acne sufferers, they are simply just not there. But other starches like rice, potatoes, yams and many others are just fine.

An example diet would consist of fruit for breakfast (take fungal enzymes if eating starchy fruit like bananas or dates), or egg omelette with chopped nonstarchy vegetables (take some HCL)

snacks can be fruit (most fruit probably wont need enzymes, unless starchy fruits are being consumed), nuts (take HCL)

lunch can be a vegetable salad (no enzymes), or topped with meat like tuna or chicken, (take HCL)

dinner can be nonstarchy vegetables + starch (fungal enzymes) or non starchy vegetables + meat (HCL)

Don't worry about fat too much, as it can go with starches and proteins. Fat does play a role when enzymes are secreted and movement through the digestive system, but if taking supplementary enzymes, this shouldn't matter too much.

EDIT: One important note about HCL enzymes. Make sure you get the ones that are in tablet form, not in a gel cap. The gel cap does take along time to break apart, minimizing the exposure of the protein to the enzymes.

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I have a hard time convincing my 20 year old to change her diet. She has dysbisos and I'm sure she has leaky gut too, just have not tested yet.

THe little bit of enzymes I conviced her to take has had the most effect on reducing her acne than anything else we have done.

She does better with taking lemon juice with her meals than pills (HCL). This seems to work pretty good for her.

What do you know about lemon juice as a natural enzyme in processing food?

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I honestly don't know much about lemon juice. I know it contains some natural enzymes, though I don't know what kind or how potent they are. Odds are it works because it is really acidic. Even though it doesn't contain HCL, it still helps but lowering the pH, allowing natual enzymes like pepsin to function better. Pepsin works optimally at a pH of 2. Anywhere outside of this, it doesn't work nearly as effectively. The acidity, plus natural enzymes it may contain may make it a useful tool. I believe this is why other foods like raw vinegar are effective too. High acid + enzymes = better digestion.

My personal experience from the past has told me that the most important part in fixing a leaky gut is through diet change. When I didn't change my diet but just took enzymes, I had a mild improvement, but I was still nowhere near clear. I guess it really depends case by case. See how the enzymes and lemon juice work out. If that still is not enough she will probably require a diet overhaul. It doesn't have to be huge at first, but things like cutting out table sugar/maple syrup and other high sugar junk, plus some fish oil works wonders for those whose acne isn't too serious. Mine was bad enough, plus I've had dysbiosis probably since high school (Im 23 now). Thus, those factors alone weren't enough.

I know giving up gluten and dairy can be hard, but there are some alternatives you can try before getting too extreme. Sprouted grains/ or real fermented sourdough bread are much better tolerated then most bread. There are enzymes in these breads that help breakdown the gluten somewhat. Same applies with dairy. She can try cutting out milk, but keep on eating fermented milk products and see how that works. Some people don't have problems with yogurts and low lactose cheeses for the same reason. The bacteria digest the lactose and the casein. Depending on how sensitive she is, she may or may not be able to consume these.

EDIT: I can speculate as to what enzymes might be in lemon juice, as well as other fruits. Most fruits contain starch, and slowly break down the starch into glucose and fructose as they ripen, this is why fruits are sugary (but good sugar though). So odds are unpasteurized lemon juice may also contain enzymes of the amylase (starch digesting) family. Thus it may work as a digestive aid since it is both acidic (Helps digest proteins) and contains enzymes which can digest starch.

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Not necessarily. You can try taking enzymes with your starches and that may help. If you have a severe case, the enzymes might not be enough. Reread the entire thread and come to your own conclusions. It is probably best to keep overall starch consumption to a minimum if possible, but they might not have to be eliminated.

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Hi Jemini, how long can i take digestive enzymes? I started taking Betaine HCL since Monday and by God i think they are helping my moderate acne. Thank you for your post, is so informative.

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You can take enzymes indefinitely, assuming you are not experiencing any side effects. The only side effect I have noticed from HCL is if you take too much, you might get a little heartburn. How long you NEED to take them depends on how long it takes to correct your dysbiosis.

Just out of curiosity, how many capsules are you taking with a meal? And how strong are the capsules. I am curious as to what the "average" dose of HCL people need in order to have a positive effect.

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Thank you for your answer. Right now i only take one capsule with my lunch because i took two the first day and yes it did give me heartburn. The capsules are 600mg and are gluten free. Gosh i hope this works alone with probiotics and a good diet, i just want this acne gone. I hope yours clear soon too.

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What type of fungal-based enzymes do you recommend? I'm intrigued by the possibility of taking one and being able to consume grains and starches in small amounts (living without potato chips and corn chips/salsa is TOUGH).

Also, everyone may want to be careful about long-term supplementation with HCL. I thought that over time your stomach start to accommodate for the acid supplement by producing less of its own acid. So eventually your stomach grows dependent on the HCL supplement and no longer has sufficient acid levels on its own.

I know LiliVG recommends supplementing with cayenne pepper, as it naturally stimulates greater stomach acid production.

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From what my ND has told me, the opposite should happen. As your flora rebalances, you will produce more stomach acid, and need less and less supplementation. However, if you already possessed normal stomach acid, I could see how supplementation could have the reverse effect.

As for fungal based enzymes, they are all more or less the same. Enzymedica is the "name brand." Their digest gold is very good (and pretty expensive). Biocore makes a good line of enzymes, and are much cheaper. GNC sells some as well that are probably good enough.

Almost all of them will have these enzymes, but here is what you should be looking for

At minimum they should have:

protease - digests protein

lipase - digests fats

amylase - breaks starches into smaller pieces

glucoamylase - breaks small pieces of starch into glucose

The following are optional, but highly recommended

sucrase/malt diastase/invertase - breaks up table sugar/sucrose (would be useful for foods like dates and maple syrup)

lactase- breaks up lactose/milk sugar

bromelain/papain - more proteases derived from fruit, supposedly antimflammatory, known to work on sulphur containing amino acid links

the rest are optional, but not as important

cellulase/hemicellulase - digests fiber/cellulose -kind of cool, but not naturally found in the body, might help liberate more nutrients from plants by digesting cell walls

phytase - destroys phytic acid - enzyme/nutrient inhibitor found in grains

alpha galactocidase - breaks down unique sugars found in beans (prevents gas from eating too many beans)

I also recommend a relatively new enzyme known as DPP IV, or DDP IV

This enzyme is meant for gluten/soy/casein intolerance

it works by digesting the proline rich areas found in the typical hard to digest proteins

http://www.uniprot.org/uniprot/P18573

This is the amino acid sequence of wheat gluten. DPP IV works on the are where you see all those P's bunched together. Most proteases have trouble digesting foods that are proline rich like this.

My personal experience thus far is these enzymes aren't potent enough to work if you still combine your foods wrong. They mostly work around a neutal ph (Most work from 4-8,). In otherwords, popping a few pills wont allow you to have a ham and cheese sandwhich.

BUT, you may be able to handle whole wheat products like some bread and olive oil, or some pasta and some sauce (no meat). Food combinations like this won't lower the pH of the stomach too much, which allows the enzymes to survive and do their thing.

NOTE: DPP IV is not effective for celiacs. It does target the same sequence of peptides which are responsible for celiacs, but some still get through to the intestines intact. This is probably ok for gluten sensitive people who have leaky gut, but celiacs have an intense reaction to even trace amounts of the protein. Do not use DPP IV if you have celiacs.

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Jemini,

I think you mentioned homemade yogurt. Is this something that's really ok for someone with acne. I know one of the web sites on the SCD says to buy a yogurt maker. Is this something you would recommend/ have experience with? Thanks!

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Right now I am avoiding dairy products. However, home made yogurt/kefir may be ok. I would say individual mileage may vary. Hopefully, the bacteria breakdown most of the lactose and protein. So it may be ok if eaten by itself with the proper enzymes. I would say if your acne is serious enough, it may be best to avoid for a while, just to be sure.

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