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Diet and acne

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Of course I'll be the first to say that my experiences should not be the basis on which to judge others. Diet might very well affect some people's acne. It does not, however, affect mine. Period. This is not based just on this Christmas, but on ten years of having acne, trying various strategies, and making careful observations. I spent an entire year (that's one whoel year) on a diet that eliminated excessive fats and sugars once, which really didn't do anything for me. As for a proper study, well as far as I am aware, there have been some clinical studies on the link between diet and acne which have failed to find a link. Now, I can't comment on the details of these studies, so I'm not going to argue for them. I also have a PhD, in molecular biology. I carry out experiments all the time and use statistical analysis all the time, I also read and analyse scientific studies all the time. Honestly, I really do understand how this works. I'm not saying this because I want you to think that my opinion is now somehow worth more than yours, nor am I trying to say I have all the answers. I don't. I just want you to realise that I am more than qualified to establish a link between MY acne and diet if there was one. If diet affects YOUR acne, fine. Why would I argue? That would be foolish of me! I do think that some people, SOME not ALL, may think it is diet because they want a reason. I'm sometimes like that. When I get a new spot I will say 'ah yes, I got this spot because I did this...' and I will tell myself I won't do that again and all will be well. I hate the idea that spots can come up by themselves for no reason, that despite my best efforts they can appear. I hate not having any say and any control. I would love it if I could adjust my diet and have no acne, or even reduce my acne! Oh joy! But, alas, that is not for me. BUT, and please listen, I am perfectly willing to accept that some people find certain foods aggravate their acne, and that the foods in question may well vary from person to person. There, we all agree.

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Call me a douche, perhaps I am self righteous and 100% retarded too...

Cant take the all knowing, Angry, self righteous, close minded,

Most likely Hemmoroid riddled BentKfeller any longer...

He has been ultimately Silenced on my computer screen ...

For all of you "Simpletons" out there..You know who you are...

(as Bent would like to think, everyone BUT him..)

I will put it words you may possibly understand...soooo read slowlyyyy...


I HAVE.. B-L-O-C-K-E-D him....


lol.gif <--looky, acne cleared due to less Ben stress..yah!

(It just may make him ...go INSANE!!!! wacko.gif

...hmmm..just a thought.)

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why the hell is everybody arguing? I go to emo there is one, I go here and the first thread I read is arguing.

Can people no longer debate without resorting to anger and bitterness?

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I didn't realize it was so hard for her to spell my name.

"Now that I've heard your excuse for stating the atmosphere is 5% oxygen, let me hear your excuse for assuming someone in Melbourne, Australia would state temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the world, including Canada, uses the Celsius scale, but of course you wouldn't know that."

Actually, I would know that since I've been in Europe and Australia more this year than in the US. I took his argument in Celsius and accidentally added my parts in Fahrenheit but I'm quite aware of the difference. Now, knowing that, feel free to go back to the old thread and *EDITED BY MODERATOR* see why my statements were not nullified.

"I don't understand why your antics are tolerated here. What you do runs contrary to the purpose of this message board. "

The purpose = to follow the stupid hysteria? I'm here because of (and appreciated because of) liking to find truth. I'm sorry if it runs contrary to your history of looking at my old messages for logistical flaws.

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LOL, there ya have it. Two members, both with Ph.Ds and a difference in opinions. I can add that I've got a B.S in Biology, will start taking the neccessary classes so that I can become a Registered Dietician and if I fall madly in love with this field will probably skip the masters and get a Ph.D in nutrition, or clinical nutrition, or something along those lines. So, what's really good to know, and lets me know that I'm on the right track, is that I've run into a few other biologists, nutritionists, and even medical school students and usually they agree with both Doberwoman and myself!

Due to not everyone agreeing, this goes to show WHY people don't always trust the experts, specialists, and all doctors because...not everyone can know or WANTS to know everything. As such, if you go to an expert or specialist and they haven't kept up on the latest (some of this is decades old) research they are NOT likely to be of much help to you. This is why unfortunately, members of this board that may not have any degrees or careers in science or health can sometimes be much more knowledgable, than someone who "should" be. Personally, I wouldn't trust any of us. Listen to us, hear both sides of the issue, and if you WANT this BADLY enough, do your OWN research.

Although, I can say that while nothing is usually ever 100% effective for ALL people, the problem here is that some of these doctors, etc just aren't AWARE or perhaps open-minded. They are locked into focusing on the wrong aspect of diet and acne and as such have completely OVERLOOKED the connection. They are focusing on the right idea, but in the WRONG way. There's this study done back in 1996 (see below) that discusses how food affects our hormones (there's plenty of other older & recent studies) but this one is of particular interest to me because it differentiates between "food" and the results suggests WHAT foods to eat and NOT to eat, but I can't obtain the full text (at least electronically). =( Due to lacking differentiation among food composition (fiber, carbohydrates, starch, fats, etc) and food groups this IS why people can go on a "healthy", "no sugar", "low carb", vegetarian, or vegan diet and STILL have acne, because they are not avoiding (all of) the specific wrong foods (for them)! Of course, following one of the diets that most of us on this board or other acne boards do, isn't a guarantee either as, sometimes it can (also) be something entirely misc. like citrus or nuts. That's genetics for ya, and just because these foods don't give you acne, it doesn't mean that these SAME foods aren't (slowly) contributing to giving you Diabetes Type II, Obesity, certain Cancers, Heart Disease, or other health problems or hormonal disorders.

Like our male Ph.D said, if he could do it with food, he would've but he couldn't find the connection for himself. Well if I could've done it with a pill I would've but it wasn't effective enough. Actually I think that we may both be a bit wrong because there are other more specific diets that he may not have tried and I could've taken 30 pills of supplements or upped the dosage of my prescriptions or tried accutane. Corvidea, do you mind if I ask what exactly was an " excessive fats and sugars" diet to you? Regarding myself, sure perhaps had I continued the Birth Control, taken 300mg of Spironolactone (as 200mg for 6 years wasn't enough), AND 6 - 8mg of Avandia (as 2mg wasn't enough), I could have done it! Yet I don't want to be THAT drugged up so I'm quite thankful that I started participating in these boards almost 3 years ago, as it was members willing to "fight", debate, discuss, & research, similar to a percentage of this board, that GREATLY helped me out =)

Obviously you have to understand what these abstracts are discussing, but I didn't understand all of this stuff myself 3 years ago, but I wanted it badly enough that I kept researching, even after I had tried the diet and found that it worked for me. Yet, I still didn't fully understand HOW it could work, even though it was working above my guarded expectations, but I have a much greater understanding now:

Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jan;63(1):22-31. Related Articles, Links 

Association of dietary factors and selected plasma variables with sex hormone-binding globulin in rural Chinese women.

Gates JR, Parpia B, Campbell TC, Junshi C.

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-4401, USA.

Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is an important regulator of plasma sex steroids as well as a sensitive indicator of insulin resistance. SHBG may be an important diagnostic measure of risk for pathologies associated with insulin resistance syndrome (IRS) such as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. In women, SHBG is also implicated in diverse pathologies such as cancers of steroid-sensitive tissues and hirsutism. Data from an ongoing ecological study linking diet and health in rural China were analyzed to determine the relation of selected plasma variables and diet to plasma concentrations of SHBG. All data represent county mean values, pooled by age and sex, to assess the relation between biochemical and lifestyle characteristics and disease-specific mortality rates at the county level. The study sample consisted of 3250 Chinese women between the ages of 35 and 64 y living in 65 widely dispersed rural counties. Consumption patterns for 21 different food groups were derived from a food-frequency questionnaire and a 3-d dietary survey and subsequently compared. Correlation analyses of county mean values demonstrated a significant association between SHBG and insulin, testosterone, triacylglycerols, body mass index, age at menarche, and several foods. In regression analyses, after adjustments, the strongest predictors of SHBG concentrations were the dietary intake of rice (beta = 0.42, P < 0.01), fish (beta = 0.34, P < 0.05), millet (beta = -0.27, P < 0.01), and wheat (beta = -0.34, P < 0.01). When insulin, testosterone, and triacylglycerols were added to the model only triacylglycerols (beta = -0.26, P < 0.05) remained a significant independent predictor of SHBG. Additional analyses suggested that the consumption of green vegetables was modestly positively correlated with SHBG and negatively with insulin values. Consumption of rice and fish in particular appeared to favorably influence the principle plasma variables associated with a reduction in the risk for IRS pathologies.


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The super androgen DHT can be the end result of all of these and is implicated in sebum production, acne, hirsutism, androgenic alopecia and interstingly enough certain retinoids that some of you may have used, like RetinA & Accutane, inhibit the enzymes neccessary for it's formation. 

I KNOW some one is going to mention the fact that I just posted "a ton of studies", but how can you understand anything, unless you at least try to read the books, the studies, etc?

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Speaking of studies, SweetJade, what do you think of the very recent one which found no effect on acne by the potent systemic 5a-reductase type 1 inhibitor MK386?  I've cited that study in full and discussed it in at least a couple of other threads.  What do you make of it?


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After a bit of reading, I'm still not certain about PPAR and DGAT as there are several forms of each of these, but I know that upregulation of PPARalpha will usually increase DGAT1 and decrease DGAT2 (ex: fish oil, niacin). Yet with mice, we want to decrease DGAT1 and as such increase DGAT2. They don't give much of a reason for wanting to decrease DGAT1 except that it (in leptin deficient mice) affects the functioning of sebeceous gland growth & sebum production to the point where it's almost non-functioning. Yet with DGAT2 defficient mice, they die after a certain period of time, possibly due to having a weaker immune system from the lack of DGAT2 (found in skin & hair). So don't know about that but have had more time to think about DHT.

I'm wondering if the presence of DHT or more specifically it's metabolite, 3-alpha diol G (this is supposed to be a better indicator of DHT), may function as an indicator. Similarly, to the way PSA levels for men & women help show androgen activity, perhaps 3-alpha diol G, is also just another way to show the level of androgen receptor activity in those that are hyperandrogenic or just sensitive to normal levels of androgens. Thus, that may be why myself and others can still produce neccessary amounts of DHT for hirsutism & androgenic alopeicia, and yet still not get acne.

When you consider that antibitotics are the other option, if not androgen antagonists, it leans toward the possibility that controlling inflammation may be more important. Since the presecence of androgens calls forth, IGF-1, which calls forth the presence of inflammatory products, this may be why anti-androgens usuallly do work. Except I've also read that IGF-1 can call forth androgens, but either way, the other inflammatory events will probably still occur as it's the presence of IGF-1 that activated their role in the process of acne development.

There's A LOT that I still don't get and obvioulsy neither does the rest of the science community, but I did find these articles discussing PPARs and basically it says that there's three types: PPAR-alpha, PPAR-beta/delta, and PPAR-gamma. According to one studies, done back in the 1998 each one of the above has a role in the amount of lipid-forming colonies:

PPAR-beta/delta - 95%

PPARgamma - 66%

PPARalpha - 20%

PPARgamma + DHT = 70%

DHT = 25%

Control = 11%


So based on that it looks like you really want to get the beta/delta as it's also implicated in athersclerosis, yet it's the least understood of them. However, another study in 2004 showed that upregulation of PPARgamma & PPARalpha could actually inhibit lipid production so this is one full text I need to grab a copy of: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...t_uids=15491415

Furthermore, in a 2003 study PPARs were also implicated in keritinoxyte formation. Since it's not just about cell hyperproliferation but also hyperkeritinzation thats leads us to the theory of developing clogged pores in the formation of acne, it's interesting to note that again PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma are less involved than PPAR-beta/delta and is better explained by reading this:

Br J Dermatol. 2003 Aug;149(2):229-36. Related Articles, Links 


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in cutaneous biology.

Kuenzli S, Saurat JH.

Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland. [email protected]

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors that regulate the expression of target genes involved in many cellular functions including cell proliferation, differentiation and immune/inflammation response. The PPAR subfamily consists of three isotypes: PPAR alpha, PPAR beta/delta and PPAR gamma, which have all been identified in keratinocytes. PPAR beta/delta is the predominant subtype in human keratinocytes, whereas PPAR alpha and PPAR gamma are expressed at much lower levels and increase significantly upon keratinocyte differentiation. PPAR beta/delta is not linked to differentiation, but is significantly upregulated upon various conditions that result in keratinocyte proliferation, and during skin wound healing. In vitro and in vivo evidence suggests that PPARs appear to play an important role in skin barrier permeability, inhibiting epidermal cell growth, promoting epidermal terminal differentiation and regulating skin inflammatory response by diverse mechanisms. These proprieties are pointing in the direction of PPARs being key regulators of skin conditions characterized by hyperproliferation, inflammatory infiltrates and aberrant differentiation such as psoriasis, but may also have clinical implications in inflammatory skin disease (e.g. atopic dermatitis), proliferative skin disease, wound healing, acne and protease inhibitor associated lipodystrophia.


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Guest OnlyJoe

i almost read that... then decided not to.

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BenKweller, it's too late to go back to debating ideas, because you've already poisoned the air in which rational debate occurs, by issuing your pseudo-clever insults. It's isn't just me you've done this with. I've witnessed your personal attacks on others for several weeks now, and now you've met me head-on, and as you can see, I have zero tolerance for your ego games.

You recently had an exchange with a very intelligent and knowledgeable poster who has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, in which your attitude toward her was clearly disdainful. There is no need for me to speak in her defense, because she handled herself quite well, showing your arguments to be nothing more than the usual inane personal attacks. What she has is intellect, but all you have is a childish ego which seeks gratification by spewing verbal abuse. I know it must be hard for you, but if you can't behave like a grownup, at least have the decency to try to act like one.

The days of your ego games on www.acne.org are swiftly coming to an end. That is one of my resolutions for 2005.

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You seem like a reasonably bright guy, and so I find myself a little mystified by how hot you’re getting about Ben. I have read a lot of Ben’s posts, and he is often rude - which can be offensive - but it isn’t a big deal. Furthermore, I don’t think you show much foresight when you mention that you’re going to see Benji removed from Acne.org, Ben will be posting at Acne.org long after you and I tire of it and take up our next hobbies. Have you seen how many posts that guy has made? He is an institution here, and he spices things up. I must confess, I sometimes look up his posts to have laugh, or to kill office boredom.

Unless I am mistaken, you can block Ben’s posts and make them invisible or blank on your computer screen. My guess is you probably don’t want to do that, and if you ask yourself why, you might find that it is because BenK has engaged your attentions. That you are now seeking him out, to engage in a contest of will. Has BenK given your life greater meaning? Do you owe him your thanks?


“and maybe some pizzamasturbation fun time is coming for you every minute.�

This excellent phrase caused me to spill herbal tea on my desk.

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Unless I am mistaken, you can block Ben’s posts and make them invisible or blank on your computer screen. My guess is you probably don’t want to do that, and if you ask yourself why, you might find that it is because BenK has engaged your attentions. That you are now seeking him out, to engage in a contest of will. Has BenK given your life greater meaning? Do you owe him your thanks?

“and maybe some pizzamasturbation fun time is coming for you every minute.�

This excellent phrase caused me to spill herbal tea on my desk.

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I spent an entire year (that's one whoel year) on a diet that eliminated excessive fats and sugars once, which really didn't do anything for me.

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Hi SweetJade -- I'm not sure if I'm the other PhD that you're referring to (I've only skimmed the other responses), but Corvidae and I were actually agreeing, not disagreeing.  We both were saying that we are willing to believe that diet may help some people, and not others -- I just happened to be one who diet helped, and he (she?) was one who was not helped by diet.  And I think we both only mentioned the bio-oriented PhD's (at least I know I did) because others have suggested at times that if you think you see a link, you must be fooling yourself -- we both wanted to establish that we do understand what the scientific method is about, we do understand the relevant biochemistry, and we both feel that our observations about our own bodies are valid.  Seriously, there was no disagreement there at all that I could see.

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