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Cameron Sane

Ache Indian Diet

Hey everyone. To start out, today is a friday and I'm going home for Thanksgiving week! I am so happy and I'm also going to start a new diet this week and continue to see If I notice any good progress. Also, the new Harry Potter is out! Probably won't do the book justice... but nevertheless, I'm going to see it.

To start with, I have:

Moderate-severe acne

Moderate, extremely slow fading hyperpigmentation

Inflamed blood vessels (from Accutane)

Pollen Allergy to certain raw vegetables and fruits

Possible dairy/gluten sensitivity and/or digestive issues. I am going to multiple doctors these next few doctors for an official diagnosis.

I also went on a very high-fat diet these last two or three months for my redness associated with my blood vessels. It did seem to help, but recently I noticed an insane increase in oil production. Upon my immediate decrease in fatty foods, I noticed a dramatic decrease in oil. Just what happened to me (perhaps a high-fat diet has benefited some of you).

Now, on to the stuff you care about. The big debate: Does diet influence acne? My belief, yes. I'm not going to spend this whole post trying to convince the Acne.org community that diet plays a role in acne pathogenesis and/or aggravation of acne (but I probably will make a compilation of studies for everyone's benefit), but there is undeniably blatant evidence that diet does contribute to acne in some way.

On to my new diet. After being at college here for a while, I began to use my academic resources for acne research. Because I am in no way going into the medical field (or any scientific field for that matter), I mainly researched things I could control personally. There is a wide variety of research consisting of clear evidence that points to milk, a high-glycemic load, insulinotropic foods, and perhaps a high-fat diet playing a role in acne. Do I necessarily believe that every one of these plays a role in every human being? No, but clearly each factor does influence acne in some way (small or large).

Here is one study that particularly interested me because it mentioned these "legendary" acne-free peoples that, to me, seem to be so elusive in what we know about them. Enjoy the following:

"Population-based studies suggest that acne prevalence is lower in rural societies than in industrialized populations. Cordain et al.19 studied the Kitavan islanders of Papua New Guinea (n = 1200) and the Aché hunter-gatherers of Paraguay (n = 115). The islanders subsisted mainly on root vegetables, fruit, fish, and coconut. Their intake of dairy products, coffee, alcohol, cereals, oils, sugar, and salt was minimal. An estimated two-thirds of the Aché hunter-gatherer diet consisted of sweet manioc, peanuts, maize, and rice. Approximately one-quarter of their diet consisted of flour, sugar, and meat. No cases of acne were detected in either population. The authors suggested that the low fat intake and the absence of high-glycemic-index foods may explain the low prevalence of acne in these populations.

Freyre et al.20 compared acne prevalence in three Peruvian populations, including indigenous and white populations (n = 2214). Among 12–18-year-olds, the indigenous popula- tion showed a significantly (P < 0.001) lower acne prevalence (28%) than the white population (45%) or those of mixed ancestry (43%). Each adolescent group had a lower prevalence of acne than that reported in 12–18-year-old Americans.20

Bechelli et al.21 assessed the prevalence of acne in 9955 Brazilian schoolchildren: 8980 were impoverished urban children, whereas 975 were from rural areas. Less than 3% of the combined population (2.7%) demonstrated evidence of acne.

Two reports have suggested that acne prevalence increases as populations adopt a Western diet through migration or cultural change . Reports of northern Canadian Inuits made no mention of acne until acculturation with their southern neighbors and subsequent increases in soda, beef, dairy products, and processed foods, after which the acne prevalence increased.22 Pre-World War II Okinawans, who traditionally followed a diet of sweet potatoes, rice, and vegetables, together with some soybeans, but little meat, reported an increase in acne prevalence after adopting a diet high in animal products.23

Before we venture further, I need to disclaim that I am not here to denounce anyone's current diet. I really don't want to argue with anyone who believes that diet does not play a role in acne. I respect that you might believe otherwise, but I would also be disappointed that you chose that route.

Now I realize that this diet might not be the correct route for myself, but I am going to try and closely imitate the Ache Indian diet. The next few weeks I will eat the following:

Salad (the reason I name salad specifically is because it is easy to have daily)

Most vegetables

Sweet Manioc/Cassava

Brown Rice

White Rice

Corn

Small amounts of fish, chicken, and turkey.

Small amounts of fruit, such as apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, and coconut.

I specifically chose those fruits because of their low sugar levels and their low GI Index. I will be abstaining from processed foods, high-sugar foods, dairy in all forms, beef and pork, high sugar fruits, no oils, no nuts, and no nightshade plants (potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes)

Should be pretty brutal right? :) I can't wait.

If anyone has anything to contribute or has a question about the diet, I would love to hear it.

p.s.- One thing that I was particularly confused about is that generally all nuts are very high in fat, yet the Ache Hunters still ate it with no adverse effects. Perhaps they only ate a handful. Nonetheless, I'm excluding nuts from my diet.

Edited by Cameron Sane

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Ookay. Good luck.

You also kind of have to consider their lifestyles, as that's about 50% of your health. You going to be very active and get some sunshine, and adequate sleep?

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Hey dude good luck with the diet. Honestly though, I would cut out the rice. White Rice especially, very high GI. Brown is also, to me it doesn't seem worth it to eat those foods.

I am so surprised those people actually have sugar, flour, and such lol.

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The "European superpower" diets, including German, British, and French food, are generally bad, but not all European diets are; the Finnish diet is very healthy as well. When I was in Finland I hardly saw anyone with acne. For some reason the Finnish had the best skin I'd ever seen; their diet consists mostly of fish, rice, berries, and low-yeast, high-fiber baked goods, with some dairy mixed in.

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Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I'm actually going to lean away from the starchy food items. Even though there are these studies that implement grains and such with no negative effects, I do not feel like they are right for me. So I actually won't be eating rice, cassava, etc. (though I might just eat a small amount of corn on Thanksgiving).

And absolutely I agree with you on lifestyle. I am very active. I actually played soccer in college (I quit) but still run and stay fit. I get a good amount of sunshine and always get adequate sleep (and avoid naps).

I will be eating some almonds. My diet will mainly consist of chicken, turkey, vegetables, raw almonds, and low sugar/GI fruit (grapefruit/berries).

Cheers! :think:

Edited by Cameron Sane

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There is a wide variety of research consisting of clear evidence that points to milk, a high-glycemic load, insulinotropic foods, and perhaps a high-fat diet playing a role in acne.

I believe I've read every study on dairy and glycemic load versus acne. The result is modest preliminary evidence relating glycemic load, and completely ambiguous evidence for dairy -- unless you distinguish between various grades of milk (full fat milk essentially showing no convincing correlation to acne, while skim milk offers the best evidence). If you know of any studies to the contrary, I would be grateful if you post references, as I try to stay up on (it ain't hard -- there ain't many studies) the two particular topics of dairy and glycemic load versus acne.

Salad (the reason I name salad specifically is because it is easy to have daily)

Most vegetables

Sweet Manioc/Cassava

Brown Rice

White Rice

Corn

Small amounts of fish, chicken, and turkey.

Small amounts of fruit, such as apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, and coconut.

I specifically chose those fruits because of their low sugar levels and their low GI Index.

Modern apples are crammed with sugar. The Kitavans get very few fruits, and those they get tend to not be sweet. A single large, sweet apple can have more excess fructose (over molar glucose) than a can of Coke. I don't know how you arrive at the idea that apples have "low sugar levels" -- there's a reason they can sell apple juice to a million kids everyday; it's liquid sugar.

You started out talking about glycemic load, then end up choosing foods based on glycemic index. Which makes me wonder if you actually read Cordain's studies. The Kitavans, of course, traditionally ate a fair amount of bananas and sugar cane, which would make no sense if you're looking at glycemic index rather than glycemic load. Sugar levels, glycemic load, glycemic index: three different things.

Also seems puzzling that you would read about Kitavans and then eschew pork.

Finally, both the Ache and the Kitavans spend pretty much all day every day exposed to sunlight and sleep where no electric lights can bother them. They're nearer the equator than most of us (especially the Kitavans, for whom the acne study was much larger and more compelling), so they are getting UVB on their skin constantly, as well as all frequencies of sunlight (including UVA) on their retina (which alters the digestion of nutrients relevant to acne). Most of us live at latitudes where there's no chance of getting year-round UVA and UVB (not to mention, we work indoors and constantly have glass and other obstacles between us and sunlight). They don't have alarm clocks, or weekend parties where they can screw their melatonin cycles up with electric lights; I'll assume you're not going to bed every day at the same time, sleeping >=9 hours per night, and giving up all use of electric lights.

So, any experiment might tell you something worth knowing, but if yours fail to clear your skin, there's a lot of candidate factors in the environment/diet of the Ache/Kitavans you will not have replicated.

p.s.- One thing that I was particularly confused about is that generally all nuts are very high in fat, yet the Ache Hunters still ate it with no adverse effects.

Where else would they be getting fat in their diet? The meat they're getting is pretty lean (especially after they spend a few hours running it down). I also suspect the amount of exercise you get when you "run and stay fit" pales in comparison to one long morning hunt with the Ache. When you do massive amounts of exercise, you can eat things in quantities other people can't.

IMHO. :D

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There is a wide variety of research consisting of clear evidence that points to milk, a high-glycemic load, insulinotropic foods, and perhaps a high-fat diet playing a role in acne.

I believe I've read every study on dairy and glycemic load versus acne. The result is modest preliminary evidence relating glycemic load, and completely ambiguous evidence for dairy -- unless you distinguish between various grades of milk (full fat milk essentially showing no convincing correlation to acne, while skim milk offers the best evidence). If you know of any studies to the contrary, I would be grateful if you post references, as I try to stay up on (it ain't hard -- there ain't many studies) the two particular topics of dairy and glycemic load versus acne.

Salad (the reason I name salad specifically is because it is easy to have daily)

Most vegetables

Sweet Manioc/Cassava

Brown Rice

White Rice

Corn

Small amounts of fish, chicken, and turkey.

Small amounts of fruit, such as apples, strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, and coconut.

I specifically chose those fruits because of their low sugar levels and their low GI Index.

Modern apples are crammed with sugar. The Kitavans get very few fruits, and those they get tend to not be sweet. A single large, sweet apple can have more excess fructose (over molar glucose) than a can of Coke. I don't know how you arrive at the idea that apples have "low sugar levels" -- there's a reason they can sell apple juice to a million kids everyday; it's liquid sugar.

You started out talking about glycemic load, then end up choosing foods based on glycemic index. Which makes me wonder if you actually read Cordain's studies. The Kitavans, of course, traditionally ate a fair amount of bananas and sugar cane, which would make no sense if you're looking at glycemic index rather than glycemic load. Sugar levels, glycemic load, glycemic index: three different things.

Also seems puzzling that you would read about Kitavans and then eschew pork.

Finally, both the Ache and the Kitavans spend pretty much all day every day exposed to sunlight and sleep where no electric lights can bother them. They're nearer the equator than most of us (especially the Kitavans, for whom the acne study was much larger and more compelling), so they are getting UVB on their skin constantly, as well as all frequencies of sunlight (including UVA) on their retina (which alters the digestion of nutrients relevant to acne). Most of us live at latitudes where there's no chance of getting year-round UVA and UVB (not to mention, we work indoors and constantly have glass and other obstacles between us and sunlight). They don't have alarm clocks, or weekend parties where they can screw their melatonin cycles up with electric lights; I'll assume you're not going to bed every day at the same time, sleeping >=9 hours per night, and giving up all use of electric lights.

So, any experiment might tell you something worth knowing, but if yours fail to clear your skin, there's a lot of candidate factors in the environment/diet of the Ache/Kitavans you will not have replicated.

p.s.- One thing that I was particularly confused about is that generally all nuts are very high in fat, yet the Ache Hunters still ate it with no adverse effects.

Where else would they be getting fat in their diet? The meat they're getting is pretty lean (especially after they spend a few hours running it down). I also suspect the amount of exercise you get when you "run and stay fit" pales in comparison to one long morning hunt with the Ache. When you do massive amounts of exercise, you can eat things in quantities other people can't.

IMHO. :D

Whoa brother. If you're interested in my diet, feel free to ask. You just came off a little condescending. But I'll do my best to answer each of your comments individually.

As far as I'm aware, I did sound very confident in that diet relates to acne in some way or another, but wasn't specific in claiming a universal aggravating factor. In my own words, diet seems to be "blatantly" linked to acne. Do I claim to know the specific aspect(s) of diet that contributes to the pathogenesis of acne? No. It was meant to be more of an confident speculation. And I do believe I might have read some articles you perhaps missed (and I'm sure I missed some that you have read), but my ability to access said articles has been terminated (two-month time limit). I will attempt to get another account created soon. And I was mainly using Medline as my primary database. I had gone through about 300 or so articles out of a little under 90,000. Not all necessarily specifically relative to diet and acne.

It's funny that you posted the reply about the apples. I actually absolutely agree with you. Since my original post, I have done much follow-up research and, while clearly not learned as you in the Ache culture, I'm quickly trying to diversify my knowledge on the subject. At the moment, I am only eating berries.

I personally avoid pork (along with processed beef) because it, uniquely to myself, physically causes inflammation in certain parts of my body. I will only say that much, because the rest is somewhat personal. But fair point. When I originally posted this, I was so excited about taking control of my diet and hoping to clear my skin that I failed to post what I should have: I do not follow the Ache diet. I am interested in the theoretical aspects behind it, but I am not following it. Because of my own personal adversities (oral allergy syndrome, undiagnosed internal inflammation, digestive issues, etc.), I am combining the more appealing aspects of different diets and making it my own. I clearly gave the wrong impression, which is completely my fault (seeing as I clearly stated that I would be following the Ache diet).

I do agree with you that I will not being able to control the lifestyle of the Ache Indians. I am a little disappointed that you took such an attacking approach when I never proposed that I would attempt to replicate every aspect of their culture. Clearly I cannot. Simply said, we live in different countries. That alone makes it unrealistic for me to hope to live their lifestyle.

And lastly, I am a perhaps a little offended about your comment on my exercise. While perhaps true, it was said with what sounded like a harmful intent. Either way, I do realize that the Ache Indians wake up, don't eat, hunt for as long as 6 hours, and then eat. But I am sure that my original post clearly advocated the Ache diet, not the Ache lifestyle. So I do appreciate (as I'm sure we all do) that you can contribute so readily to the subject, but perhaps try a little more tactful approach.

p.s. I would bet that I am almost as fit as an Ache hunter :P I doubt you can realize the time I put in to staying fit. 6 hours on a hunt? That's not non-stop sprinting. That's a lot of tracking and being stealthy. I have to be able to sprint 7 miles every 45 minutes without water or stopping. While I am allowed to stop, I have to be physically fit enough to abstain from doing it.

Edited by Cameron Sane

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