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Ketosis And Its Effects On Acne

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Recently, ketogenic diets have been shown to help reduce acne. Many doctors list a reduction in acne as being one of the prime benefits of ketogenic diets. A myriad of studies and anecdotal evidence also suggest eating low-carb diets in general help reduce acne significantly. Acne can supposedly be a result of insulin resistance and ingesting too much sugar, so when the body adapts to running on ketones instead of glucose, or sugar, as fuel, acne is staved off.

This all sounds so magical, right? Who knows, maybe some of you have just had a "Eureka!" moment like I did when I first read about all this. I've eaten a diet rich in carbohydrates my whole life, so why not try completely reversing your body's energy source and see what happens? That's the reason I have been eating a ketogenic diet for the past three days. Ketosis to cure acne? Easy. I've juice fasted for a week, eaten completely raw for a few weeks (only to somehow develop acid reflux whenever I ate large quantities of fruit and feel completely depleted at my new landscaping job. This all forced me to stop after 21 days after a HUGE breakout with no signs of improving anyway. I truly don't think it was detox either because detox is supposed to cease after a week or so). Anywho, the main study on the effects of ketosis that's been referenced found that most participants saw almost a 25% reduction in their acne after 12 weeks.

Here's where I I seriously just want to quit everything. 12 WEEKS AND NOT EVEN A QUARTER OF THEIR ACNE WAS REDUCED? Ladies and gentleman, 12 weeks is four months. How in god's name can you ever tell if a treatment is truly working for you after so many weeks? To me, this study is frightening. Who knows - perhaps everyone's acne decreased as a result of a placebo effect. Or maybe it was simply the omission of sugar and caffeine. Maybe ANYTHING else could have contributed.

My point is, everyone is different. Some people who enter a state of ketosis find their skin gets worse. Others are cured. And many seem to take a long effin' time to even see a slight reduction in their acne. Besides stating the obvious, this all leads me to a few questions:

1. Is this how long it normally takes to see a marked improvement in one's skin regardless of the type of treatment?

2. When can you throw in the towel and decide whether or not a treatment isn't working? If I were one of the participants and it had been about two months, I probably would have quit the experiment and tried something else. This is what I'm most worried about. I simply don't think I could spend four months investing my time and effort on a treatment only to see very little results. If I started to see improvement, I would definitely stay on the regimen I chose, but I always thought a treatment could be shown to be working after a few weeks to a couple months and to continue working (with the exception of Accutane in rare cases and The Regimen. However, these usually produce very noticeable results in a few weeks to a couple months). Can ketosis really be thought of as an effective acne treatment? I just don't see how less than 25% of a reduction in one's acne after fourth months is conclusive whatsoever.

3. Have you tried a ketogenic diet? If so, did it help your acne? If so, how long did it take to see results?

Despite this study, I've read countless reports of ketogenic diets restoring the quality of one's skin. I firmly believe it is most definitely an effective acne remedy for some (just like raw diets are). I'm going to continue trying to enter ketosis to see if it will help my acne. If it does end up helping, I don't expect my face to be fully clear after a few weeks or even a few months. But I feel like I should be able to notice whether or not it's helping. I'm afraid I'm going to spend my whole life jumping from treatment to treatment only to find I was never giving the treatment I chose enough time.

I really just wanted to raise a few questions on acne in general as well. Where do we go from here?

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I have done a year of hard core ketosis. It completely and utterly stops acne all together and leaves the skin looking unnaturally flawless. I noticed the skin would produce very little oil. Just another reason I solved my acne issue with my alcohol based glycerin. It will do about the same thing

Edited by AthleticHunta
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Wow I wish I had been as successful as you! I've been doing ketosis for a year now (for weight loss and my gluten,sugar,and carb intolerance) but I discovered it did help acne! Only to a certain extent though. 90 pounds less later, i still had persistent acne so now I'm on accutane. :ermm:

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Bump. Any results truckacne? or more stories to share? I started keto a week and a half ago and while my pimples have almost completely gone away, I now get new little red rashes all over my body every day that resemble acne/rosacea. It's just as bad (-_-)

On a good note that I can attest to, I have not had any cystic acne since going low carb keto (under 30 grams a day). My current macros are 80% fat, 15% protein, 5% carbs. And I am past the dry skin phase, as long as I stay hydrated.

Thank you in advance for any replies.

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I have maintained a state of nutritional ketosis on multiple occasions. Longest I went was about 8-9 months.

It's complicated to explain how to properly set yourself up for success.

I emphasize that half of your caloric intake should come from protein and the rest is lipids. Consuming carbohydrates is contradictive to the physiological activities you are trying to benefit from during a ketonic state. Having protein allows your body to catabolize the nutrient for amino acid utilization in conjunction with oxidation of your fat storage and subsequent lipolysis.

Being in this state alters your body's use of available energy and energy rationing mechanics. It will predominantly use lipolysis to oxidize and break down lipids, but it can also undergo gluconeogenesis allowing the synthesis of glucose from non carbohydrate sources.

You will feel like crap the first couple of weeks due to the gradual acclimation to the lack of carbohydrates that your body so desperately believes it needs. Afterwards you may notice your skin feeling a lot tighter, diminished inflammatory activities, increased vascularity and smaller adipocytes, breath smells like acetone in the morning, more energized, and reduction in oily-ness of your skin due to the cells of the skin also being lipids (increased lipid metabolism) as well as the absence of insulin spikes and its correlation with increased IGF-1 activity.

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Your problem is fruit/fruit juices. Stop eating it and go only leafy greens.

Nothing wrong with the non-starchy alternative source of carbs due to the caloric return after including the net energy expenditure needed for metabolism. In the end the fibrous green veggies provide a negligible source of energy and hardly cascades into a considerable insulin response.

The marginally accepted rule to ketosis is staying under a total carbohydrate consumption of 50G in a given 24 hour period.

Edited by BaxterMcDoobinson
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