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Daffodilia

Why diets for acne work for some

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Hm...where to start with this...

Why do people find it so hard to believe that there is a connection between your skin and what you eat? Saying acne isn't affected by what you eat is like saying your health isn't affected by your diet. Any health professional would laugh at that. Partially why some of these diets work is because the participants are simply eating better! Is it odd that almost all of the "cure" diets on this forum involve eating more veggies and less sugar?

Your skin is an organ, the largest one of your body in fact. It needs vitamins and minerals just as much as your heart, muscles, etc, in order to function. Ergo , if you eat more veggies and fruits like nutritionists say you should, your skin will heal faster, provide better protection from the outside world, be able to eliminate waste products and toxins better, and of course it will look healthier too! Acne is a disease typified by inflammation, heat, redness, irritation, pain, and fluid accumulation to name a few, which are the physical manifestations of your skin trying to heal itself from what it percieves as a threat (more on that below). And what is needed for the body to complete the healing process? PROPER NUTRIENTS!

Is it any more surprising that drinking more water helps acne? This is basic biology people.

For those of you who know that a specific type of food (say chocolate) increases the severity of your acne, I would call that a food allergy. Your body sees those food particles as toxic and will respond accordingly by activating the immune system and other processes in order to deal with the "threat." Thus you get the same symptoms as if your skin had an infection--and POOF! Acne.

One last theory, which is purely my own, is that the increasing use of pesticides, genetically modified foods (these are actually kind of scary if you research them and their potential to cause allergic reactions), preservatives, and trans fats along with other manmade chemicals in our food are driving our bodies haywire. Why do you think rates of cancer, asthma, and food allergies have skyrocketed in the past couple of decades? I think increases in acne in the population could be added to that list too. But that's just my opinion.

So the morals of the story are: eat healthy. Drink water. Exercise. Eat organic. Get tested for food allergies (or just experiment on your own like some other people here have if you can't afford to visit a doctor). Ultimately, let your skin heal itself!

(Bear in mind that I am not talking about acne during puberty, which is caused by hormones. Let's not open up that can of worms! I am talking about adult acne that continues past puberty.)

Regards,

Daffodilia

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excellent post!! I'm at the stage now where my acne might be turning into an adult case (im in my late teens and the acne is still full-force) and a week ago I cut out all trans fats, sugar (natural and artificial, including fruits) grains, additives/preservatives, and dairy (except butter, i eat alot of organic raw fats like coconut oil) and I eat organic eggs or meat with veggies at every meal. I feel alot better and I hope that this is my answer...especially since I feel like I've been on this diet forever ;)

EDIT: I forgot to mention...I used to have a mild case of keratosis pilaris on the backs of my arms that haven't gone away since I was 14. After a week of my diet it's completely gone, I hope it's not a fluke.

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You are absolutely correct, and I wish more people would realize this!! For so many, the answer is simply eating more vegetables (and plant foods in general) and less animal products! It can really be as simple as that so long as plenty of leafy greens and cruciferous veggies (both of which help balance hormones) are included - and even better if they're blended!

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Too much carbs, protein or polyunsaturated, trans and hydrogenated fats can cause acne. It is not caused from animal products.

What makes you so sure? I have heard over and over that those prone to acne should avoid milk..... Harvard seems to think so as well: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-45...k-day-acne.html Also, *any* animal product that isn't free of added hormones should be avoided, as those will *definitely* disrupt hormones if consumed.... which would definitely worsen acne. Animal products can and do worsen acne.

Here's another example:

Dr. William Danby, a dermatologist in Manchester, New Hampshire, and an assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School, had been conducting his own investigations. From 1973 to 1980, he kept a detailed log of his patients' diets in a quest to understand the root of their acne. After compiling thousands of patient surveys, he noticed a trend:
Those who consumed the most dairy also had the most severe acne.
[emphasis mine] "I had some serious cases," he says. "One was a gal who was an identical twin. She and her sister were raised in Scotland. She took the creamy top of everything; she loved milk and had awful acne. Her sister would drink minimal amounts of the bottom and had no acne. Source:

deadonfive,

meat_pirate86 is correct in that it may take a few months to see results, but it could also just take a few weeks, depending on your case. One thing that will speed up the process for you is eating lots of cruciferous veggies and greens - these do wonders for regulating hormones, and green smoothies are a really easy way to incorporate them into your diet. The link in my signature explains them. Also, it sounds like you have made some major changes quite quickly but don't worry if you don't eat perfectly 100% of the time. I definitely have days where I eat unhealthy foods, but it's very rare for a day to go by without eating cruciferous veggies - they are the most important part of my diet. It sounds like you are doing great transitioning into eating healthfully, but if you need any help, feel free to ask! Good luck! :)

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ABG Fairy --

thank you for your informative reply! I just wanted to make it clear that these diet changes aren't HUGE for me; I've been vegetarian since I was 11 and incorporated organic meat (only fish and poultry) into my diet about half a year ago. I've always been generally healthy but I only recently cut out hydrogenated fats/sugars/additives/fruit (why the hell did i not do this before?!) It's more drastic than anything I've ever done, but I can definitely see how it'd be too big of a change from someone who eats pizza or burgers on a daily basis (I haven't eaten those things for years and never eat fast food.) I've been off of all gluten for approx. a month now and I don't miss it...the only "bad" thing i ever have is a glass of hot chocolate made from organic pure cocoa powder and stevia; I feel horribly guilty whenever I have a cup even though it has zero sugar. It makes me feel like I'm cheating and I'm afraid of insulin spikes. Giving it up though is like kicking a heroin addiction for me. I do already eat mostly veggies with either eggs or meat, good for you for spreading the gospel on vegetables! I'm definitely going to try one of your shake recipes soon once I get over my digestive problems; raw veggies are a bit tough on my digestive tract; only steamed ones are allowed.

If you have any additional input on that novel I just wrote right now, please reply :)

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One last theory, which is purely my own, is that the increasing use of pesticides, genetically modified foods (these are actually kind of scary if you research them and their potential to cause allergic reactions), preservatives, and trans fats along with other manmade chemicals in our food are driving our bodies haywire.

They 'drive your body haywire' because they cause inflammation. Or allergic reactions which cause inflammation. And a lack of nutrients doesn't just prevent your skin from healing. It prevents various organs from functioning properly leading to inflammation, digestion issues, allergies, imbalanced hormones, etc.

Lack of sleep and exercise also play just as important a role and are also causes of the increase in these diseases.

Here's a pretty good compilation based on a lot of research:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Bigger-Pi...it-t182474.html

And for more:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Tangled-w...ne-t224452.html

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deadonfive,

Wow!! You sound very disciplined at eating healthfully!! I allow about 10% for less than healthy foods. I'm not sure that I could eat as healthfully as you! Your hot chocolate actually sounds quite healthy to me! I consider pure cocoa to be rather healthy, and if you're just adding stevia, stevia doesn't raise blood sugar levels to my knowledge - in fact, I think it helps to stabilize it. ENJOY your chocolate!! :)

If you have a problem with raw veggies, the smoothies will definitely help you to tolerate and digest them better since they're broken down. You may want to try a small amount, see how you do, drink a little more the next time, see how you do and so on. You should then eventually get to where you can tolerate them unblended as well, but starting with them blended will help.

I still eat some animal products as well, but there have been so many credible studies lately linking them to cancer, disease, and shorter lifespan, so I try to limit them to about 12 oz. (3 servings) a week. When I do eat animal products, it's usually eggs, but I'm open to occasionally eating red meat, cheese, butter, etc.... I would never want to be 100% vegan! If I were to put a label on myself, I would call myself a nutritarian, because I try to focus on eating lots of high-nutrient foods. I actually think what you "do" eat is more important than what you "don't" eat! In other words, the person who eats too many animal products but plenty of green veggies might be better off than the person who eats few animal products but barely any veggies! :)

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deadonfive,

Wow!! You sound very disciplined at eating healthfully!! I allow about 10% for less than healthy foods. I'm not sure that I could eat as healthfully as you! Your hot chocolate actually sounds quite healthy to me! I consider pure cocoa to be rather healthy, and if you're just adding stevia, stevia doesn't raise blood sugar levels to my knowledge - in fact, I think it helps to stabilize it. ENJOY your chocolate!! :)

Yeah, the cocoa is not only not bad, it's very good. I have it daily, although I sweetened it at first but gradually began to prefer it unsweetened.

Cocoa does contain quite a few things that people are commonly hypersensitive too, though. And a lot of copper, which could be good or bad depending on what else you do.

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I believe it works the thing is though it's not as accessible to the public nor is it what kids or most people find tasty. I know one of the reasons I didn't eat good while growing up was because the stuff that was good never really tasted good at all. The stuff that was bad tasted really good. But even if that wasn't the case I think it's also because we get so many mixed sources of what exactly we should eat. If we eat orange one day it's good the next it is bad for you. Etc. Then there's the dermatologist or people like proactiv that keep saying diet doesn't have to do with acne, this is where you think you should trust them but you actually can't. I know for a time I trusted proactiv so much that I didn't think nutrition played any part. Dermatologist said it didn't make a difference so basically you're confused. I think it's hard because we know it's good for us but a lot of people don't think that's a good enough reason to eat healthy. Not to mention there are so many reasons why you can't besides your own choice. Money, in school they don't serve healthy food. etc. I know in my case buying healthy food is very expensive. And then when you eat healthier everyone things you're being anoreixic at least in my case. I was supposdely loosing weight. There are so many factors many people will say I just have a lot of excuses but that's not really it. It's hard for me to explain to people how it's better for my health. But I guess it's kinda late to go back in time anyway. If I could ever go back in time I'd defnitely never drink soda and all that sugary crap. I'd eat much healthier. It took me WAY to long to realize this. I was told a few times but there wasn't enough motivation and I didn't believe acne and nutrition went hand in hand. But the bigger picture is eating healthy so you are in good health. God I hate myself for not being more smart about my health.

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Diet has little to do with acne,it may keep you overall healthy but that doesnt mean your acne will go away,although it may seem so because with a good diet your complexion will brighten,healing will quicken etc etc

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Diet has little to do with acne,it may keep you overall healthy but that doesnt mean your acne will go away,although it may seem so because with a good diet your complexion will brighten,healing will quicken etc etc

Ah, but I beg to differ! Check out this article! :)A Clear Connection? Most dermatologists tell their patients diet plays no role in acne. New research suggests that's wrong.

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Diet has little to do with acne,it may keep you overall healthy but that doesnt mean your acne will go away,although it may seem so because with a good diet your complexion will brighten,healing will quicken etc etc

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For so many, the answer is simply eating more vegetables (and plant foods in general) and less animal products!

What would you say about the people who have had the opposite work for them, such as myself? Meat and fat have not only improved my complexion but it helped a number of other chronic issues I've had.

I think much of this might be due to the fact that meats and fats are low-glycemic foods, which is ideal for acne sufferers. However, I'm sure you would do just fine adding in low-glycemic veggies (avoid starchy veggies like potatoes, cooked carrots, squash, etc) to your diet in addition to the meat and fats such as leafy greens and veggies - especially the cruciferous ones. Have you tried adding in veggies?

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I think much of this might be due to the fact that meats and fats are low-glycemic foods, which is ideal for acne sufferers.

I definitely agree with this, I believe the much lowered insulin response is the primary reason.

However, I'm sure you would do just fine adding in low-glycemic veggies (avoid starchy veggies like potatoes, cooked carrots, squash, etc) to your diet in addition to the meat and fats such as leafy greens and veggies - especially the cruciferous ones. Have you tried adding in veggies?

I do eat a little bit, but not much at all. I guess my thinking is if this is working for me, why add anything else?

I understand your concern. However, vegetables are so high in nutrition, antioxidants and phytochemicals, especially Cruciferous Vegetables. Animal products contain few antioxidants and no phytochemicals, so I'd hate for you to miss out on those. I can't imagine low-glycemic veggies breaking you out, but if you're concerned, perhaps you could add in a small amount for a week or so and see how you do? If you want to try the green smoothies, you could make them without fruit - there are recipes in my post. :)

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