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Good Things For The Many Factors That Lead To Acne

Thyroid Issues and PCOS - in progress, just wanted to make sure people knew these are factors/related issues.

Good things for proper functioning Thyroid

The thyroid is a gland in the Endocrine system. The thyroid controls how quickly the body burns energy (by affecting how glucose is used by your cells), makes proteins, and influences how sensitive the body should be to other hormones. Thyroid hormone also activates the fat metabolism, and activates LDL receptors affecting cholesterol (and how cholesterol is taken in by receptors and removed from the bloodstream where it can get oxidized which is when it is a problem)

It does this by producing thyroid hormones. Both hypo (underactive) and hyper (overeractive) thyroid affects acne/is correlated with acne. Hypothyroid sufferers have low SHBG levels, Sex-Hormone Binding Globulin binds up free hormones to reduce the amount that binds to your receptors.. Thyroid hormones also affect your lipid metabolism/profile which means it can affect your sebum composotion. IT can also affect inflammatory response... TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone can be inhibited by testosterone and estrogen.

Note: Thyroid issues are notoriously underdiagnosed. To get a true diagnosis, you need your T3 and T4 levels checked. Not just TSH. However, TSH over 2 could indicate an issue and indicate further tests are needed. You will likely be told your levels are within the 'normal range' which may or may not be right for you. But, if they are in that range, then your thyroid is probably working and maybe just needs a boost by getting more of the nutrients involved in making thyroid hormone. See below.

Also: Consider if you instead suffer from adrenal fatigue rather than hypothyroidism. Or both as Adrenal health affects thyroid function.

Nutrients needed for thyroid hormone production:
-Iodine - but too little and too much iodine are associated with hypothyroidism. Be careful with high iodine supplements like kelp and seaweeds. The RDA is 150 mcg, but many seaweed eating people regularly consume over 10,000 mcg. Supplement selenium when you supplement iodine.
-Selenium - Have a couple brazil nuts. And I mean a couple. Not a handful.
-Magnesium - very important mineral that's hard to get and there's only a small % of the RDA in any multi because otherwise, it would make it a really big pill.
-Molybdenum -
-Vitamins B2, 3, 6

Some Carbs - when you eat very low-carb, your body does various things to conserve glucose and protein for the body's most important functions. One is to is lower the level of T3 and thyroid hormones which reduces glucose utilization by cells.

Other important and/or beneficial things to boost thyroid function/hormone production:
-Adrenal health - Sleep/Daylight, stress management, exercise
-Liver Health - The liver is responsible for the conversion of T4 to T3 consume foods that help, avoid foods that overtax the liver such as long chain fatty acids, added fructose (drinks and processed foods).
-Manage Stress
-Amino Acid Tyrosine - precursor to many neurotransmitters
-Antioxidants including:
--Beta carotene
--Vitamin A
--Vitamin E
-Boost Sex Hormone Binding Globulin aka SHBGlevels with blood sugar stabilizing diet habits
-Vitamin D

One study on Green Tea found it increases Thyroid hormone:

-Coconut Oil I've seen a lot of claims that it is good for thyroid. See http://www.coconutdi...roid_health.htm and decide for yourself. It boosts metabolism which is good for people with low thyroid and helps if used as a replacement for high Omega 6 EFA containing polyunsaturated oils which impair thyroid function. But whether or not it actually helps your thyroid function, I don't know.

Avoid or limit:
-Flouride, Chlorine, bromine (in soft drinks) and other halogens - block iodine receptors.
-Omega 6 EFAs - (limit) Suppresses thyroid hormone function. Use coconut oil or animal fats like butter.
-Polyunsaturated Vegetable oils
-Products from grain fed animals (for the above reason and due to the gluten)
Gluten -
-Goitrogens which impair uptake of iodine. (limit, cook, pair with iodine sources, as many are among the most nutrient dense foods, i.e. brassicas. and should not be avoided) Includes brassica veggies, peanuts and soy.
-Soy- see above link on omega 6. Also a goitrogen.
-Caffeine, cigarettes, alcohol
-Lipoic acid Supplements - suppresses the conversion of T4 to T3. May lower thyroid hormone levels. Use only with Doctor's supervision if taking Thyroid hormones.
-High glycemic impacting meals, drinks and snacks

Other sources of info:


The Thyroid Diet http://diet.lovetokn...ki/Thyroid_Diet

several known causes for [hypothyroidism]:

* imbalance of cortisol levels due to adrenal stress
* insulin resistance (hypothyrodism can also contribute to insulin resistance)
* estrogen/progesterone imbalances
* genetic predisposition
* poor nutrition
* autoimmune response (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease)

Good article on nutrition for thyroid support:

Barry Sears Zone Diet and thyroid health:
http://thyroid.about.../zonediet_2.htm The diet promotes Prostaglandin E (PGE) which does all kinds of good things, including "stimulating the manufacture and secretion of vital hormones in the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands."

Food to Help Reduce the Need for Thyroid Medicine?:http://www.livestron...yroid-medicine/


Read more: http://www.livestron.../#ixzz1AZfXoaYv

Adrenal Fatigue vs Hypothyroidism:

Interesting claim:

The numbers in the thyroid blood panel may be accurate but they do not tell you what the body is doing with the thyroid hormone so they are a waste of money. This was proven over 60 years ago by the late Dr. Broda Barnes, M.D., who wrote Hypothyroidism, the Unsuspected Illness. The only way to determine thyroid function is by the oral temperature in the morning after arising and again at noon or during daylight hours plus the daytime resting pulse, which should be 98.0 degrees F, 98.6-99 degrees F and 85 beats per minute, respectively. Fertile women should do this during menses to avoid the rise in temperature during ovulation. There are some exceptions to this that can be observed in blood tests but most hypothyroid people have what’s considered a “normal” thyroid panel. Many are misdiagnosed as being hyperthyroid because they are thin and have a low TSH (<1.0), when in fact, they are hypopituitary. Thyroid nutrition reversed both a sluggish thyroid and a sluggish pituitary gland.

from http://www.longnatur...rary2.asp?A=105 So your resting heart rate should be that high? For everyone?

About hypothyroidism. This is from a blog post comment. It needs to be thoroughly researched. Hashimoto's disease is auto immune and causes hypothyroidism and that seems to be what they are talking about. But I've heard hypothyroidism is pretty common, yet never heard that hashimoto's disease was common.

most hypothyroidism in the US is of the autoimmune variety, and the majority of it is in the form of TH1 cell-mediated immune dominance. Green Tea is a potent TH2 humoral immunity stimulant that can balanced out the immune system for TH1 dominant autoimmune conditions, so for many people, it’s actually helpful for taming their autoimmune thyroid disease.

Type 1 T helper (Th1) cells produce interferon-gamma, interleukin (IL)-2, and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-beta, which activate macrophages and are responsible for cell-mediated immunity and phagocyte-dependent protective responses. Type 2 Th (Th2) cells produce IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13, which are responsible for strong antibody production, eosinophil activation, and inhibition of several macrophage functions, thus providing phagocyte-independent protective responses. Th1 cells mainly develop following infections by intracellular bacteria and some viruses, whereas Th2 cells predominate in response to infestations by gastrointestinal nematodes. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10579123

PCOS is an endocrine disorder that's actually a collection of hormone related issues. Symptoms include insulin resistance, acne, hirsutism, inflammation, infertility, weight (usually obesity), ovarian cysts, menstrual problems, hairloss. Everyone doesn't get them all.

And the same diet, nutrients, and lifestyle already listed that help acne also help PCOS, Menstrual issues, etc. All of it applies. Helpful PCOS website. See also drlam.com

Edited by alternativista

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Home Health Monitoring and Stats to Know

Related discussion thread on Tests that can be ordered and done at home:
http://www.acne.org/...ng-t235230.html Hormones, vitamin levels, Ketones, etc. Please add anything you find to the thread.

Check blood pressure periodically. Hypertension damages arteries. Test in both arms. A difference in the systolic of @15 or more points can be an indicator of increased risk for vascular disease. http://www.webmd.com...taken-both-arms

You may want to get a glucose monitor to use once in a while to see how you are doing and what your meals do to you. They are getting cheap now since demand is so high in our sickly populace. The real expense for those that use them often is the test strips. Check the cost of those when making your choice.

Markers of Chronic Inflammation: Inflammation and oxidation are the causes of heart disease, not cholestorol.
-C-reactive Protein
-Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase Lp-PLA2 - an inflammatory enzyme implicated in the formation of rupture-prone plaque associated with stroke. elevated levels associated with stroke risk. AKA PLAC test.

-Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
-interleukin (IL)-6 - an inflammatory cykoteine
-serum amyloid A protein
-total homocysteine

Heart Rate Monitoring:
Good resting: 35-57
Excellent resting: 67I'm not sure those are right. And I've seen some indication that unless you are a training athlete it should be higher or it's an indicator of hypothyroidism.

Target (during workout): 93-157
Your Ideal Max (during workout) = 220 - Age
Your Ideal Target = Max x .65

Cholesterol and triglycerides:
Your total cholesterol number is meaningless unless it's over 330. HDL percentage is a far more potent indicator for heart disease risk

. Here are the two ratios you should pay attention to:

  • HDL/Total Cholesterol Ratio: Should ideally be above 24 percent. If below 10 percent, you have a significantly elevated risk for heart disease.
  • Triglyceride/HDL Ratio: Should be below 2.

-APOB levels - Apolipoprotein B (apoB), a protein which can lead to plaques that cause vascular disease, and it's ratio to apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), which is protective, are better predictors of heart disease than total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.

Diets high in fructose lead to elevated apoB levels. This may be what keeps LDL circulating rather than binding to receptors. The longer it circulates the more likely it is to oxidize and form plaques in your arteries.

Press on your skin. This forces blood out of capillaries near the surface and your skin will appear white. But if circulation is good, it will return to normal within a second or so.

That's from a book called Diabesity by an endocrinologist that was one of the first to recognize the growing global Type II diabetes 'epidemic,' and has been or is the president of the ADA. It's an interesting book with great, easy to follow explanations on what food does to us/hormones and how it leads to these so many health problems.

Birthweight - also from Diabesity
Low and high birthweights of full term babies are of concern to doctors and may affect glucose metabolism. Babies with low birthweights (< 5 1/2 lbs) may be undernourished. This triggers a survival gene that helps the body store as much as possible, causing a problem later when food is plentiful. Can also happen in infancy and many ethnicities have the gene 'turned on' regardless. (genotype vs phenotype) This is the reason diabetes is rampant now in China, Latin America, among African Americans, etc., where lifestyles are changing.

High birthweights (above 8lbs 13 oz (4000 grams)) often mean the mother has diabetes and the baby recieves excess glucose stimulating the baby's pancreas to produce more insulin. They think this may damage the pancreas.

Waist Size - Abdominal fat doesn't just sit there. It causes inflammation and is considered a risk factor. Doctors like to say a waist size over 35" for women and 40 or so for men puts you at risk, but I would think that 35" is way too big for a lot of small woman. A waist to hip ratio (WHR) is a better guide.

A WHR of 0.7 for women and 0.9 for men have been shown to correlate strongly with general health and fertility. Women within the 0.7 range have optimal levels of estrogen and are less susceptible to major diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and ovarian cancers.[1] Men with WHRs around 0.9, similarly, have been shown to be more healthy and fertile with less prostate cancer and testicular cancer.[2]
From wikipedia. Note that this isn't just a measure of health, but can be a measure of attractiveness to the opposite sex.

Waist to hip ratio calculator: http://www.healthcal...s/waist_hip.asp

No fat just sits there, btw. Enzymes that affect and convert hormones for example are produced in body fat. Body fat is an active part of your endocrine system.

Edited by alternativista

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MUCHO THANX AGAIN TO ALTERNATIVISTA!!!!!!!!!!! This is another of Alternativista's amazing threads containing a compendium of data and instructions for acne sufferers. Well done!!!

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Good things for Sebum and Fat Metabolism

Diet affects the quality of sebum so it can protect your skin the way it's supposed to do rather than clog pores. Just started. But there is info on this scattered throughout the other posts.

Good things for Oily Skin and Sebum Quality
-Acne prone skin (as well as other problem prone skin) is deficient in linoleic acid. And this makes the differenct between sebum that protects and makes your skin glow versus sebum that looks greasy and is sticky and clogs pores. As it's unlikely most people don't get enough in their diets (usually too much) there must be something that either impairs getting it into skin/sebum or we metabolize it too fast for it to be used. Topical application has been shown to be helpful. Grape seed and safflower oils are both over 70% linoleic acid. See this lengthy thread all about the subject in which I try to figure out why our skin/sebum is deficient and find evidence that topical application is helpful: http://www.acne.org/...pical-solution/ Another thread with studies such as one where low levels of linoleic acid coincide with acne vulgaris: http://www.acne.org/...ost__p__3168178

-Blood Sugar Stabilizing Diet habits - Excess insulin stimulates the hormones that cause oily skin. And a low GI diet improves the fatty acid composition of sebum according to a recent study.
-Consuming nutrients that inhibit DHT
-Avoiding dairy which contains a precursor to DHT
-Topical application of things that inhibit DHT - Green Tea, mint tea, licorice extract, linoleic acid, zinc (try mineral makeup & sunscreens) ...

Good fats needed for Sebum Quality:
-Consume more Omega 3 EFA sources (like fish, Omega 3 rich vegetables) and less Omega 6 EFA sources (grains and grain-fed animal products). Also avoid bad fats from fried foods, hydrogenated fats like margarine and crisco.
-Linoleic acid a good Omega 6 that your body uses to make Gamma Linoleic acid and an important component in healthy sebum. Diets high in sugar, alcohol, or trans fats from processed foods, as well as smoking, pollution, stress, aging, viral infections, and other illnesses such as diabetes inhibit the body's ability to make GLA. There are GLA supplements. (but linoleic acid may suppress thyroid hormone function, so don't go overboard)
-Mono-unsaturated fats - Olive oil, avocados...

-Blood sugar stabilizing diet habits- Moderate to low GL meals, no binge eating, etc. Affects body's ability to make GLA (among many other things like hormone balance, inflammation, etc.)

Don't strip away skin oils with harsh cleansers. Chemicals and enzymes in sebum play a role in normal desquamation (exfoliation) of skin cells. It can't do that if you wash it all away. Also, your skin needs to be slightly acidic for these enzymes to function. Most cleansers are alkaline.

Quite a bit of info on nutrients involved in quality sebum and many other factors to do with acne formation in this article:http://www.iinr.org/...eports/ACNE.PDF

Good Things for Lipid metabolism/Fats and acne -

Nutrients that aid fat metabolism:
-Vitamin A -
-B Vitamins, Niacin (B3), B2 (cofactor with vitamin A), B6, B5 (pantothenic acid>pantethine>Co-Enzyme A(CoA)).
-Green tea
-Apple cider vinegar/acetic acid
-Mono-unsaturated fats - olive oil, avocados, etc.
-Lipase digestive enzymes.

-Vitamin D and calcium - search and lots of studies come up, but I haven't had the time to really read and pick something good to link to.

-Bile - http://www.acne.org/...54#entry2655754. -Taurine is a major component of bile. The body makes this from the other sulfur amino acids cysteine and methionine and other sulfur compounds (so eat your greens, cabbage, onions), but some people may not be making enough and supplementation may help.

Regular, daily low to moderate level physical activity. - stimulates fat metabolizing and burning enzymes. Mimic the kind of activity we were meant to perform as much as possible: Many hours of walking around foraging for food, traveling or doing chores with short bursts of intense physical activity for capturing prey or escaping predators. Walk, cycle, dance, work combined with stairs and/or hills, weights, etc. See the Exercise section for the lists of benefits from these two types of physical activity.

Fats can also contribute to acne. I haven't found the threads on this that had research and plausible reasons that I can't remember, but I just want people to know that this can also be a factor to look into. Some people have found they need to eat both low fat and low carb. And several studies I've seen on diet improving related hormone issues like PCOS, enlarged prostate, and diabetes involve a diet that's both low fat and low carb. (This doesn't mean no fat and no carbs) Hormones are, after all, made from cholesterol. Vitamin D as well so you do need it.

Some ways:

Hydrogenated/Trans fats are inflammatory.

There's also evidence that Saturated fat lowers insulin sensitivity.

-Studies on dietary fat and free fatty acids in bloodstream and role in insulin resistance/diabetes:

Also, I found the below statement in this article: http://nickdelgado.b...one-slowly.html

Some studies suggest that hair loss and baldness may beul associated with high-fat diets. High fat diets stimate estrone, which is converted to bad estrogen....Excess estrogen blocks testosterone receptors and DHT becomes dominant.

Info about Free fatty acids in the bloodstream http://www.faqs.org/...-the-Blood.html Caffeine promotes the process of lipolysis--the breakdown of the triglycerides stored in the adipose cells--freeing the fatty acids into blood stream. Maybe a reason some breakout from caffeine?

Article on possible role of free fatty acids being a culprit in insulin resistance:

Also, a high fat diet has been shown to increase testosterone while lowering SHBG levels:

Here's a study showing low fat high fiber diet lowering androgens:
http://www.acne.org/...;hl=SHBG levels
And this thread is a discussion about a study and new recommendation for a low GI and low fat diet to reverse diabetes: http://www.acne.org/...ty-t194148.html

Omega 3 EFAs needed for prostaglandin series 3 production - prostaglandins are hormone like substances that affect proper hormone production, mediate inflammatory response, GI tract health, etc. Series 3 are 'good'. Series 2, formed from omega 6 EFAs, promote inflammatory response, and thus are 'bad.'.

Omega 3s also lower the amount of lipids (fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides) circulating in the bloodstream.

More info to consider: http://www.acne.org/...p...t&p=3105202

More things to look into:
Book excerpt saying that there's no free fatty acids in sebum in the glands. But free fatty acids compose about 20% of the skin surface lipids in acne prone skin. And the free fatty acids 'alter the pattern of keratinization in the infundibulum' and damage the follicular wall. I believe they are saying that P acnes and staphylococcus epidermis break down the sebum to form the free fatty acids http://books.google....ization&f=false However, elsewhere there's info on the beneficial role of free fatty acids on acne:

Essential fatty acids deficiency contributes to sebaceous gland hypertrophy and hyperkeratinization of the ducts. Linolenic acid level in the stratum corneum has been reported to be much higher in normal subjects than that in the comedones. High sebum production and the resulting low level of linoleic acidleads to hyperkeratosis and comedo formation.

None of this means you should eat no fat, just like you shouldn't eat no carbs. Or that you avoid all omega 6. Eat healthy fats and carbs.

Edited by alternativista

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Herbs and such purportedly good for strengthening the liver:

Milk Thistle

BEETS: Beets contain betaine, which promotes the regeneration of liver cells and the flow of bile. It also has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism.

Lipoic Acid, as in Alpha - Chelates/prevents damage from inorganic metals such as mercury, found in spinach, broccoli, tomatoes...

Hi do you take Milk Thistle daily? in capsules?

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Since the clinical studies thread is closed and not being maintained I'm posting the content here where it can be updated. There are probably duplicates or many articles referencing the same studies so I may try to clean it up some in the future.

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.


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



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.

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.

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


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/entrez/query.f...st_uids=4221206 (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/entrez/query.f...st_uids=4252699

1977 - Unexpected discovery of Insulin & Glucose role on Sex Hormone production http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...ist_uids=193114

1978 -“ Dermatologic Indications for Anti-androgenic Treatment” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...list_uids=82309

1986 - possible 1st evidence of Puberty being a function of Insulin Resistance


1993 - Insulin Resistance & Puberty http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...st_uids=8262487

2000 - Hyperandrogenism & Insulin Resistance in Women


2004 - Androgen Excess & associated symptoms http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...t_uids=14764747

2004 - Insulin Resistance & Androgens http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...t_uids=15292348


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



Thank you, ABG Fairy, for forwarding this link:

Boston Globe article: A Clear Connection? Most dermatologists tell their patients diet plays no role in acne. New research suggests that's wrong.



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


From alternativista:


There's already a link to a study on this, but it's been broken for months now. I just found a new link to a similar if not the same study:


Here's another for the studies and articles thread:



Some more recently found that may or not be in the Clinical studies thread (content pasted above)

Role of insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, hyperglycaemic food and milk consumption in the

pathogenesis of acne vulgaris http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111...009.00924.x/pdf Remember, IGF1 is stimulated by insulin and in dairy.

Short-term isotretinoin treatment decreases insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 levels: http://www.goneacne.com/acne-news/short-te...s-isotretinoin/

Edited by alternativista

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How do I know if I have estrogen dominance or excess androgens, I have nodular acne on my chin what r some symptoms of both how can u differentiate between excess estrogen and excess androgens?

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How do I know if I have estrogen dominance or excess androgens, I have nodular acne on my chin what r some symptoms of both how can u differentiate between excess estrogen and excess androgens?

Those could also be an allergic reaction. Mine were.

And I've noticed that acne that comes and goes with your cycle, and PMS issues such as irregular or periods, pain, etc are indicators of estrogen dominance. But you can have excess androgens at the same time.

Which is why the best thing is to help your body regulate itself by keeping blood sugar stable, consuming plenty of nutrient dense anti-inflammatory foods that you have no problems digesting or have no intolerance for, getting regular exercise and sleep and reducing stress. If that doesn't help after a few months, then you may want to try testing. Sometimes there is something really wrong causing an imbalance.

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Certain types of physical activity can worsen acne and cause other harm, other types are beneficial and absolutely essential.

Good Exercise discussion thread:

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/great-exercise-t275783.html Go there. Primarily a discussion of Mark's Daily Apple Primal workouts, Interval training and similar programs. Please keep up the discussion.

The best exercise is whatever you enjoy and will do often. Also, you NEED to move around a lot all day everyday. Don't spend your day avoiding walking and stairs. Get up from the desk (or sofa) often. Park at distant parking spaces, do chores, dance, walk, play with your pets/kids, play a sport... Don't drive to places you can walk, bike, roller blade, etc. to.

-Regular (daily) low to moderate physical activity is anti-inflammatory. Links to studies in the Anti-Inflammation section.

-Short bursts of very intensive activity is good for blood sugar: interval training such as sprinting, stairs, or hills. Or weight/resistance training. Any short bursts of intense exercise will help blood sugar, so take the stairs!! Many sports activities and hobbies would qualify as well.

-Short bursts of very intensive activity also stimulates the release of HGH and builds muscle. Anti-Aging.

-Cells in muscles pull glucose out of the blood stream. Increases insulin sensitivity.

-Regular, daily, low to moderate physical activity helps with fat metabolism.

And of course, low to moderate physical activity combined with brief intense exertion is good for stress and adrenal health. the lymph system and circulation therefore the immune system, sleep, etc. (Chronic cardio or hour long weightlifting elevates cortisol and burns muscle for fuel so is mostly a waste of effort, and is inflammatory and causes oxidative stress)

A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be just as big a factor in the development of diabetes as obesity and diet. So is sleep, btw. And by now, we should all know the relationship between insulin and hormones and inflammation, and therefore, acne.

From Mark Sisson at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-fitness/:


The benefits of low level aerobic work (walking, hiking, cycling, swimming):

- increases capillary network (blood vessels that supply the muscle cells with fuel and oxygen)

- increases muscle mitochondria

- increases production of fat-burning and fat-transporting enzymes

- more fun, because you can talk with a partner while doing it

The benefits of interval training (sprinting in short intense bursts)

- increases muscle fiber strength

- increases aerobic capacity (work ability)

- increases muscle mitochondria (the main energy production center in muscle)

- increases insulin sensitivity

- increases natural growth hormone production

The costs of chronic (repetitious) mid- and high-level aerobic work

- requires large amounts of dietary carbohydrates (SUGAR)

- decreases efficient fat metabolism

- increases stress hormone cortisol

- increases systemic inflammation

- increases oxidative damage (free radical production)

- boring!


'real muscle growth will come from the short anaerobic bursts like sprints, intervals or weight-training'

Also, our systems were not designed to fuel prolonged extreme exertion. We have two systems. The first is the slow burning of fats that fuel us at rest yet also allowing for continuous or intermittent low levels of aerobic activity--foraging, walking, chores...

The second is an ATP-fueled system that allowed for intense loads of work to be done in very brief bursts. ATP is a coenzyme within the muscle cells that, along with adrenaline provides the fuel for the 'fight or flight' emergency response. But the muscles only store about 20 seconds worth of ATP. Then, when at rest or more moderate activity, the ATP in the cells is restored in minutes.

To fuel an intense pace for a prolonged period, the body burns the carbs you just ate, then your muscle.

Finally, short “interval” exercise, like sprints or strength training, can offer the same fitness benefits compared with traditional endurance training and in less time. So, in other words, chronic cardio is mostly wasted effort that requires you to consume carbs to fuel and burns little fat. See the below articles which include studies that demonstrated the same or better results in less time as compared to traditional 30 minute or more cardio workouts like jogging and machines.



Mercola's Peak 8 interval 20 minute workout: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php...t&p=3071412

Some prolonged intense workouts may boost testosterone. Intense weightlifting involved in body building, for example, although much of that is caused by the shakes and junk consumed to fuel and recover from the workouts.

Also, increased testosterone levels coincide with increased lactate levels, so maybe you want to be careful with workouts that cause high levels of lactate. http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/topic/275783-a-great-way-to-exercise/page__view__findpost__p__3031789

Edited by alternativista

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In progress

And to sum up in another way...

Why you need these things:

Zinc - Anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, hormone balance, collagen production, lipid metabolism, blood sugar, immune system, DHT inhibitor, helps with blood sugar, needed to make seratonin & therefore melatonin for sleep, thyroid hormone production ...

A- sebum quality and fat metabolism. Retinoids in the skin regulate cell turnover.

Carotenes - Precursors to vitamin A, Anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, Lycopene inhibits DHT and IGF1.

B vitamins - Take a good complex. Needed to produce digestive acid (HCL); fat, carb and protein metabolism; thyroid hormone (B2,3 6); Androgen hormone (B6); sebum(B2,)

C - Anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, collagen, adrenal health, immune system, bone health and just about everything as C is needed to produce all kinds of cells--skin, bone, white blood, hormones, etc. It boosts production of DHEA, a master hormone that regulates estrogen and progesterone production.

D - immune system including protective substances in skin, glucose metabolism, controls the release of melatonin and regulates the pituitary release of growth hormone. Allows minerals to absorb properly and metabolize in the body. Regulates normal cell growth function and promotes blood sugar regulation. Additionally, vitamin D assists in the buildup of healthy tissue

Chromium - Glucose metabolism,

Selenium - Immune system,

Magnesium - glucose metabolism, healthy bones, ATP energy, relaxes muscles reduces pain/cramps, needed to make seratonin/melatonin for mood, sleep. inflammation, pain, everything... Thread: http://www.acne.org/...might-heal-you/ Good article on magnesium, forms of magnesium supplements, the calcium misunderstanding, etc. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/08/magnesium-health-benefits.aspx?e_cid=20131208Z1_SNL_Art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20131208Z1&et_cid=DM36139&et_rid=360942435

Anti-oxidants and plant nutrients - Anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, and various plant substances have other specific benefits such as protecting from UV ray damage, liver health, anti-histamines, circulation, inhibit cancer, Anti-microbe (fungal, viral, biotic), binds up toxic heavy metals

Sulfur amino acids and plant compounds (Methionine, Cysteine, NAC, MSM, SAMe, Taurine, CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE, GLUTATHIONE, GLUTAMINE, plant substances to numerous to list)- Anti-Inflammatory, Liver health, glucose metabolism, inhibit cancers, inhibits some gastrointestinal microbes that cause illness, regulates Methylation & Gene expression.

Formed from another compound when you chew or chop up brassica veggies & alliums. Sulforaphane has anti-diabetic and antimicrobial properties, and kills cancer stem cells, which slows tumor growth. normalizes DNA methylation20 — a crucial part of normal cell function that allows cells to "remember who they are and where they have been."

Isothiocyanate, a specific sulforaphane compound, has very strong cancer-protective benefits, sparking hundreds of beneficial gene changes. This compound activates some genes that fight cancer, and switch off other genes whose job it is to aid in tumor growth.

Glyconutrients Bind lectins, see Hyperkeratinization for links to more info. The ZAG enzyme thread is full of info on glyconutrients)
Enhance natural killer (NK) and T Helper (TH1) cell function in the body. NK cells destroy almost all harmful cells--fungi, bacteria, viruses, cancer. Glyconutrients also boost stem cell production. Stem cells have the ability to replicate any cell in the body to repair damaged tissue.

Good food sources of helpful glyconutrients are garlic, onions, yams, sweet potato, parsnip, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, berries, pineapple, pawpaw, rice bran and aloe vera. However, there are 8 essential glyconutrients and you need all 8. But a few are hard to get. Glucosamine is an example of a common glyconutrient supplement that binds up the wheat gluten lectins and not commonly found in the diet. It's made of chitin which is what the shells of insects and crustaceans are made of. And fungi such as mushrooms ttp://www.immunity101.net/rts/index.asp?a...&siteid=229

Choline from egg yolks, meat. Used to synthesize a neurotransmitter called acetytcholine which regulates the flight or flight response, amongst other things.

Molybdenum - sulfur amino acid metabolism (as in making Taurine), recycling of protein in tissues. you only need a trace, but without it, all kinds of processes can't happen.

Lipoic acid - Anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, glucose metabolism. Goats milk products is a good way to get the building blocks for your body to make lipoic acid.

Omega 3 - Anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory, glucose metabolism, UV damage, lowers IGF-1 levels Best sources are fatty cold water fish, but it's in all fish, many nuts, seeds and Omega 3 rich vegetables.


Probiotics - Digestion, inflammation, immune system,

Fiber - glucose metabolism, digestive system, binds toxins and hormones released by liver to remove from circulation therefore hormone balance


Healthy Fat -

Stable Blood Sugar - inflammation and hormones, healthy cell turnover,

Exercise - glucose metabolism, stress, circulation, lymph circulation, brain function, mood,

Healthy liver - hormone removal, toxin removal, glucose metabolism,

Healthy adrenals - hormones

Good digestion - nutrient absorption, inflammation, food intolerances and allergies, IBS/Leaky Gut

Good Sleep- umm, everything

Sunlight and bright light exposure - Vitamin D, sleep, mood

Lymph flow - immune system

Greens and dark green veggies - richest source of all kinds of vitamins and phyto-nutrients.

Flavorful plant foods, herbs, spices, teas, etc.
Green Tea - Anti-inflammatory, anti-androgen...
Black Tea - Anti-inflammatory...
Rooibos - Anti-inflammatory...
Peppermint/Spearmint - anti-androgen and estrogenic.
Chamomile - healthy blood sugar, anti-inflammatory, calming for stress and sleep.

Phytochemical lists

Goat milk/cheese/yogurt - As opposed to cow. You don't actually need it. But benefits include it's easier to digest, 3x higher in octanoic acid which is converted to form lipoic acid which is a powerful antioxidant, protecting from excess free radical damage to DNA. Some of the longest lived cultures have goats milk as a big part of their diet. Octanoic acid is also found in coconut oil, and human milk is higher in octanoic acid than cows milk

Dairy - common allergen, difficult to digest, contains IGF-1 a factor in hyperkeratinization, contains BTC which may influence hyperproliferation. and other hormones designed to help baby animals grow. And will help unwanted things in you grow. Like cancers.

Soft drinks - Contains bromide, flouride, chlorine in splenda, tons of sugar, phosphoric acid.

-Phosphoric acid depletes calcium which is used to balance out the acid. If there isn't enough calcium circulating in the bloodstream, it will get it from your bones.

Bromide is a goitrogen impairing thyroid function. As is Chlorine which is in splenda.

Flouride - Goitrogen^, calcifies soft tissue leading to cataracts, 'hardened' and stroke, Fluoride

  • ... causes us to absorb extra aluminum -- aluminum is the metal that shows up alarmingly in the brains of Alzheimer's victims.
  • ... destroys enzymes that deliver phosphate to calcium at the tooth surface needed for strong teeth
  • ... is a severe biological poison.

Chlorine - Goitrogen^

Smoking/smoke/auto exhaust - source of Nitric Oxide an important messenger in the body but excessive levels cause inflammation, lead to all kinds of inflammatory conditions, like acne and many more serious things. Smoking also inhibits the absorption of all kinds of nutrients. And smoke just plain doesn't belong in your lungs. That's why you cough.

Commercially baked goods - glycemic impact, gluten, hydrogenated fats, additives

Edited by alternativista

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hmmm. probably should separate stress from adrenal function, move stress stuff here and link to here from adrenal function section... In the mean time, be sure to visit the Adrenal Health section.

Good things for the Brain: Stress, Mood, Depression, ADD, willpower, prevent dementia, Alzheimer's ...

Because these things come up in discussions pretty often. And because, surprise, surprise, the same basic diet helps all the above, general health, acne, etc. And because your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease -- from heart disease, to depression, to arthritis and cancer. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that 85 percent of all conditions have an emotional element.

-Stable blood sugar diet & habits - Low blood sugar levels associated with poor impulse control and irritability.
-Sleep - poor sleep associated with low brain activity
-Adrenal Health/Stress
-Omega 3 EFAs - there's been many studies showing it helps all kinds of mental health disorders, increases dopamine levels. Best sources are fatty cold water fish, but it's in all fish, many nuts, seeds and Omega 3 rich vegetables.
-Exercise - improves blood flow to the brain, stimulates chemicals involved in brain activity, new brain cells, etc
-Bright light exposure - stimulates seratonin production, a neurotransmitter responsible for the regulation of mood, appetite, and sleep and has some influence on cognitive functions involving memory and learning. Several classes of pharmacological antidepressants function by modulating seratonin. Get outside. You also need to consume the nutrients to produce seratonin. See Good Sleep

Healthy digestive tract - your gut produces most of the seratonin.

Healthy Digestive Tract- The digestive tract has it's own nervous system called the enteric nervous system often referred to as your second brain. You really do have a gut instinct. Not only is it affected by stress, it affects your mood. Seratonin is made by the enteric nervous system. And anti-drepressant drugs often have a detrimental affect on the enteric nervous system.

-Camomile Tea- enhances your calm
-Valerian Root - Ditto
-Green tea - richest source of L-theanine supports the production of GABA and helps deal with stressors, but it has some caffeine, so quit drinking it in the afternoon.
-No smoking! - affects adrenal function http://onlinelibrary...009.00924.x/pdf

-Focus more on what you love vs hate about your life. Focus on the positive.

Adaptogenic herbs:

- Licorice root tea- supposedly normalizes the body's response to stress.

-Ginseng and the other herbs often called ginseng (Siberian, American,)

-Protect brain - limit alcohol and caffeine, avoid drugs, injury
-Learn something new - dance steps, musical instrument, language, etc.
-Do things with your left hand if you are right handed & vice versa. Eat, brush hair, mouse, doodle...
-Get a hug.

-Eat a nutrient dense diet. All kinds of nutrient deficiencies can impact behavior. Study on young adult prisoners showing relationship between nutrient deficiencies and anti-social behavior:

MDA post on calming anti-anxiety teas: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/6-tea-ingredients-that-can-help-you-unwind-relax-and-chill-out/#axzz2Q0gMXtL1

Intermittent Fasting - Boosts BDNF which benefits depression and numerous cognitive issues from ADHD to schizophrenia to Alzheimers. Sorry, I didn't think to post that info here when I was looking at studies on how BDNF improves insulin sensitivity. But studies and articles are easy to find. See the intermittent Fasting thread:

All of the above, plus herbs that may help:
-St John's Wort - better for depression involving anxiety, worry
-5-HTTP - Tryptophan supplement, helps make seratonin and melatonin. Better for depression involving anxiety, worry
-SAMe - Methionine supplement. Better for depression involving low energy and pain
-Kava Kava - for anxiety and insomnia (Consumer Reports includes this in their list of most dangerous supplement ingredients due to side effects. I don't know what side effects. Look into it before considering)

-The above (not including the Depression herb list), plus
-Avoiding food additives, dyes, heavy metals, but then everyone should.
- Zinc, omega 3, calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron, natural light. Deficiencies are associated with ADD

Ginkgo Biloba - for memory, circulation.
Avoid progestin - synthetic hormone in birth control, inhibits seratonin production.

Study on high levels of depression among acne sufferers. Doesn't consider that many of the same diet and lifestyle factors that affect acne also affect depression, but I thought some might be interested. http://www.acne.org/...st-a25805-.html

Consider if your environment is too clean/sterile. Study showing lack of contact with various microorganisms normally present in dirt, food, and the gut, increase levels of depressogenic cytokines, so the natural inflammatory response to psycho-social stressors is “inappropriately aggressive.” http://archpsyc.ama-...ourcetype=HWCIT Also affects all kinds of processes including immune system and may impact development of auto-immune diseases.

Various reactions going on in the body involving sulfur. Some of the more relevant methylation reactions would be:
1. turning on detox reactions that detox the body of chemicals, including phenols.

2. "turns on" serotonin, and thus melatonin, production.

People may be under-methylators which leads to depression, fatigue, etc. Or over methylators that can lead to hyperactivity and/or aggression. More info: <a href="http://www.acne.org/messageboard/redirect.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.enzymestuff.com%2Fmethylation.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.enzymestuff.com/methylation.htm</a> including nutrients needed for methylation.

And this methylation stuff, while I've yet to understand it, affects your genes. It comes up all the time in articles about epiginetics. Important stuff.

Stress and acne

The Response of Skin Disease to StressChanges in the Severity of Acne Vulgaris as Affected by Examination Stress


Scientists find stress linked to acne

Stress, Acne and Skin Surface Free Fatty Acids

http://www.natural-acne-solution.com/stress-cause-acne.htmlThe body directs all the resources to the systems fighting the tiger and all the non-essential systems stop. For example:

  • Digestion stops
  • Immune system weakens
  • Rational thought, concentration, etc are suppressed

Doing so the body discharges many hormones that disturb the balance. All these hormones must be later on deactivated and neutralized by the liver, which further reduces its capacity to neutralize toxins.

Edited by alternativista

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i'm having a problem with skin shedding from where my eyebrows grow...strangely only there. I asked around and people have said it to be localized sebhorric dermatitis and they recommended creams and shit...if anyone knows of any dietary triggers or things that help, please let me know.

edit: sorry to hijack this thread... it's a very frustrating problem

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^I don't know, but I do think between the eyebrows is one of the dryest spots on the face.


Also, want to add this link to thread gathering doctors and other experts admitting to the diet and acne connection:


Also, this thread is almost at 10,000 reads. Go team!

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I added a little bit about PCOS and thyroid conditions so people are aware of them and that they can have acne as a symptom. And because the same blood sugar stabilizing, anti-inflammatory diet recommended for acne helps PCOS and hormone issues in general.


About Calcium- how much do you really need

You don't need as much as you think and that dairy and calcium supplement vendors try to tell you. Calcium deficiency is rare and the planet is filled with people that eat little dairy yet have strong bones. What you need is the other nutrients the body needs to use the calcium and to make bones such as D, Magnesium, Vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc and boron.

C is need to make new cells. Any new cell including bone cells. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. About 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone.

Calcium sources:

There's calcium in broccoli, spinach, almonds, and other greens and seeds, stock made by boiling bones. Fish bones as in canned sardines. all kinds of foods. Most calcium supplements come from rocks. The calcium in animal bones, shells and plants is much more usable by the body. A little acid (vinegar or lemon juice) added to veggies, egg shells and when boiling bones extracts more calcium. Make your own 'supplements.'

Your body takes minerals from your bones when it needs them.

Don't consume things that impairs the body's ability to use calcium or causes the body to take calcium from the bones. Like the phosphoric acid in sodas and other carbonated drinks, excessive amounts of caffeine, salt, sugar, alcohol, protein. Cigarette smoking. drugs like aspirin, antacids, cortisone and corticosteroids, antibiotics, Stress and depression.

Edited by alternativista

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I had a question about the topical niacinimide. The pigmentation in my facial skin is horrible and I would like to try this. You said you mix a capsule with aloe vera and I was just wondering if any niacin vitamin capsule would work, or what you use and how may milligrams. Also, any other insight to reducing redness/hyperpigmentation would be greatly appreciated.


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I had a question about the topical niacinimide. The pigmentation in my facial skin is horrible and I would like to try this. You said you mix a capsule with aloe vera and I was just wondering if any niacin vitamin capsule would work, or what you use and how may milligrams. Also, any other insight to reducing redness/hyperpigmentation would be greatly appreciated.


Use niacinimide. That's the only form I've seen any studies or references to studies on. And in the studies, they found a 5% solution provided the benefit. 5% = 1/20th. I never measure, but I figure you could measure a capsule and then add 19 of whatever that measure is of aloe.

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Why is this still not pinned?? I refer to this thread often and it's such a hassle to dig it up every time. It should really be available at the top of the page as the complied info is extremely helpful especially as it's all in one place and is also a great resource for people who are just learning or still in the never ending process of learning more about the acne connection in relation to diet and health. Oh, and also I want to really thank alternatvista for even taking the time to make this thread as I can tell it took ALOT of effort and hard work to get all this info in one place.

Like I was saying though, this is easily one of the most helpful and informative threads in this ENTIRE section of the forum! Please pin it!!

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^I'm glad it's helpful to you. I made it just as much for me because there's so much to know and I can't remember it. In fact, I'm always reading something and thinking I should add that, then I look and see it's already there. And of course, I use it to find great old threads.

And I've registered the domain name dietforacne.com. I haven't set the domain up on a server yet and when I do, it will probably just point here for quite a while because I should be doing other things, like working. But it might make it easier to find. Also, there's a link in my signature so all you have to do is find a post of mine. You can always use the pinned Food and Recipe thread as a quick way to find a post.

Also, I've added topics to do with oily skin, sebum quality and the impact of fats. There's little info in them, but I wanted to make sure people realize these are factors. And much of the info is already scattered elsewhere under other categories.

This thread is doing pretty good though. Over 12,000 reads, which I think is a lot for a thread that isn't an active discussion and is rarely on the first page of topics.

Oh, and here's a tip I just found, thanks to NatureMade: Nutrients measured in IUs are fat soluble while nutrients measured in grams (mg, mcg) are water soluble.

Edited by alternativista

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I agree that this post should be pinned, so that it's easier to find, since it's so awesome :)

The vast amount of info here is up-to-date with research... and I'm often browsing this post to further my understanding of the various supplements/ diet changes recommended to me by my doctor. This post definitely has good info for those of us with acne prone skin, but ultimately the info is relevant to general health as well. I think everyone trying to get clear will benefit from reading this post. (...though maybe they'll appreciate it more appropriately after researching acne formation, so that they also know the purpose/mechanisms of their various acne treatments.... and thus will further understand why the info here is valuable for any regimen...)

Thanks for keeping this updated, alternativista!

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This is such a great thread!

It would be great to get this turned into an E-book haha, or just a book... I'd love to have this in a little hard cover, handy whenever I need information.

Thanks so much :)

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