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Clinical Studies on the Diet-Acne Connection

Here are some links to clinical studies on the diet - hormones - acne connection.

Many thanks to Rubbish for passing these along, complete with descriptions, and for suggesting that we create a pinned topic.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18496812 Low GL diet increased SHBG and increased IGF-1 and reduced free androgens and thus acne and sebum.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17448569 Similar to above.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17616769 Low GL diet and markers.

(Mann's studies are cited by Cordain in his interview with Dan. These studies have resulted in dermatologists re-evaluating diet's role in acne.)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14527633 A non-Mann study on Insulin Resistance showing important hormonal markers with acne.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15202836 Importance of binding proteins yet again in acne.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11334899 Again.

NOTE: I am closing this thread to keep it clutter-free. If you would like to pin more links to other clinical studies relating to the diet-acne connection, please PM one of the moderators to have a new post added to this topic.

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Many thanks to alternativista for the links and information in this post:

Studies on diet and acne or other hormone issues:

Low GL diet helps acne article in medical journal:


Article on Low GI study


Another one referring to the study:


RMIT study:


Study on Acne-free island population


Study on association b/w acne and prostrate cancer w/diet IGF1 and androgens in conclusion.


Study on diet affecting PMS

http://www.greenjournal.org/cgi/content/full/95/2/245 - link no longer working

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from Andreangel:

I have just finished a fantastic book "The Clear Skin Diet" by Harvard faculty Dr. Alan C. Logan, that could very will be the diet-acne bible. I attach a copy of the book here from Amazon.com with 5 star reviews.


This is why I recommend pinning this book on the thread.

1. The first couple of chapters answers the ever pervasive and elusive question of why the conventional medical industry still touts there are no connection between diet and acne. It gives us an in-depth, investigative look at how this industry works behind the scenes. (For example modern doctors are only given about an average of 2 hours classrom study on nutrition throughout their years of medical education.)

2. This book conclusively summarizes decades of studies done by medical researchers around the world (not just US) that pin-point the diet acne connection. (There are some 300 scientific references in the back to support the connections).

3. The book examined the necessity of a 1:1 ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in our bodies. And provides scientific explanations why inflammation from an excess of Omega 6 in the modern lifestyle flames acne, along with examining the lifestyles of two ethnic groups that has no acne.

4. Finally, dietary supplements for protecting the skin as treatment are listed and examined along with recipes in the back for clear skin.

I hope you will find this equally valuable as I have.

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from a post by Dotty1, forwarded by alternativista:

1965 - 1st evidence of Acne and the role that Androgens play as a subject of published research http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4221206?dopt=Abstract (no available abstract)

1970 - this is the first study that provides an available abstract and mentions how Androgen Excess has been found to increase Acne & Hirsutism http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4252699?dopt=Abstract

1977 - Unexpected discovery of Insulin & Glucose role on Sex Hormone production http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/193114?dopt=Abstract

1978 -“ Dermatologic Indications for Anti-androgenic Treatment†http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/82309?dopt=Abstract

1986 - possible 1st evidence of Puberty being a function of Insulin Resistance http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3523245?dopt=Abstract

1993 - Insulin Resistance & Puberty http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8262487?dopt=Abstract

2000 - Hyperandrogenism & Insulin Resistance in Women http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11595827?dopt=Abstract

2004 - Androgen Excess & associated symptoms http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14764747?dopt=Abstract

2004 - Insulin Resistance & Androgens http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15292348?dopt=Abstract

More links provided by alternativista:

Here's a link to a journal article debunking the old studies that 'concluded' that diet had no effect, citing a few different studies and stating that there's a growing renewed interest in the diet acne connection and that in addition to studies on acne, they utilize data on other conditions with known connections to the factors involved in acne:


Other article summarizing some connections:


Studies showing diet affecting factors that effect acne:

Hormones and diet:



Diet, serum insulin-like growth factor-I and IGF-binding protein-3 in European women:


Decreased serum insulin-like growth factor I response to growth hormone in hypophysectomized rats fed a low protein diet: evidence for a postreceptor defect


Diet, insulin-resistance and chronic inflammation:


Acne and chronic inflammation (and Delayed Type Hypersensitivity (allergy):



Inflammation and insulin resistance:



Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Acne:


MORE FROM ALTERNATIVISTA: This is a pretty good article, even if it does spend too much time on dairy and not enough how there've been plenty of studies on the connections between diet and inflammation and hormone issues.


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The following links were contributed by rakbs and relate to dairy consumption and acne:

Milk consumption and acne in adolescent girls - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1708385...ogdbfrom=pubmed

In teenaged boys - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1819482...ogdbfrom=pubmed

Another one on just girls - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1569246...ogdbfrom=pubmed

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