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SweetJade1980

ACCUTANE - FOOD CONNECTION = ACNE during PUBERTY/ADULTHOOD

We've ALL heard of the age old myth about chocolate and greasy foods, right? Well, did you notice how OLD those studies were? They were done back in the 1960s and 1970s and some of them were quite flawed. So zoom into the 2000s, and mabe a bit in the late 90s, and you will see the Acne-Food connection from an entirely DIFFERENT angle!

More recent studies out there connect increased Insulin levels to increased DHT, Testosterone, Androgen levels.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...3&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...7&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...7&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...3&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...6&dopt=Abstract

That increased levels of IGF-1 and IGF -2 have been linked to those with acne and normal individuals that consume gluten. However, Celiac individuals tend to be defecient in IGF-1 when they DO consume gluten. This may be due to the fact that they are now capable of eating and digesting gluten-free grains/carbs that would increase their levels. IGF stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor and Celiacs are people who are genetically unable to digest & tolerate Gluten (wheat, barely, rye, etc) proteins.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...1&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...1&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...2&dopt=Abstract

That various types of drugs (anti-androgen, insulin sensitizers, etc) and/or a low carbohydrate diet in a ratio similar to: 30% Carb, 45% Protein, & 25% Oils have been shown to reduce the 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme neccssary in converting Testosterone into DHT (super androgen).

http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-117.shtml

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...3&dopt=Abstract

That according to Eat Right 4 Your Type and the Protein Power Lifeplan, certain Lectin Proteins (ALL grains & Nightshades) and Gluten proteins ACT like Insuin Mimickers. Also, that the most prevalent Blood types, Type 0 and B, are most likely to have problems with Lectin and Gluten proteins, resulting in them more likely to be Insulin Resistant or Diabetic.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...6&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...6&dopt=Abstract

Also, that certain antibiotics actually increase our levels of DHT, yet because of their anti-inflammatory actions (til you become resistant) still manage to help with existing acne. Maybe that's why some of us broke out horribly after we went off of them....we had more male hormone than what's "normal" for us =0

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...6&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...9&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...4&dopt=Abstract

Of course, what you've all been waiting for.... 13-Cis Retinoic Acid (isotretinion or... Accutane) reduces Insulin Sensitivity, acts as an anti-androgen on the sebaceous glands and ceases the conversion of testosterone into DHT!!!! Unfortunately, these are usually temporary effects lasting only during treatment.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...5&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...7&dopt=Abstract

http://www.sinacne-roche.com.co/estudios/arte.html

What does ALL of this mean to an acne sufferer? Well, what causes acne again? Oil, dead skin cells, and inflammation....is that what the defination is? OK and what causes our bodies to do the above??? Usually no matter what the culprit, is it NOT DUE TO HORMONES????? Before one scoffs and quickly dismisses the evidence, they should really learn the mechanisms of the way food & nutrients interact with the human body first. Thankfully, more scientists and doctors are starting to pay attention! Unfortunately, some of them did keep the "secret" to themselves....money money money???

This is all information I've gotten from various reputable places, including http://www.pubmed.org and below are further articles that explain something that I found rather interesting. While I believe that everyone has varying degrees of sensitivity (foods, cosmetics,etc), which explains WHY different foods, or certain amounts, are aggrevating to some people and not others, maybe this will help more of you out. At the very least, it should dispel the latest "myth"(denial) that this is all psychosomatic or a placebo effect. Those of us who've actually gone the dietary route know better. Not to mention, it did other postive things for us that we certainly were NOT expecting. =)

More Abstracts:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...8&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...6&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...6&dopt=Abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...8&dopt=Abstract

FYI

http://www.rtfm.com/lowcarb/lc-pcos.html

http://oak.cats.ohiou.edu/~cp391990/carb.html

Also, through my research on various hormonal disorders that can have acne as a symptom, defects in several of the Cytochrome P450s have repeatedly come up. CYP450s are genes that are responsible for various enzymes neccessary in the conversion or production of trans-retinoic acids, testosterone, cortisol, detoxification etc. http://drnelson.utmem.edu/P450lect.html Which once agains brings us back to a hormonal imbalance involving various organs, with the end result being some form of....Insulin Resistance??? I myself wasn't expecting to find some of the info that I did so if I missed something, please contribute to it. Yet if that is the case, then ALL these years we have been LIED to! ALL this time, some of you have been paying $400 plus retail per month for Accutane! When the people that knew the truth, quickly ceased further research on this (see for yourself) because all ANY of us has ever needed to do was reduce our Grain, Carb, Sugar intake!

Sigh...there you have it. Outside of environmental causes, bad skincare or an allergy, I have not found any other reason as to why we get acne. Obviously it's a defect and it may indeed be on a CYP450 gene, but obviously not all of us have the same defect. So until we can figure out which gene and which defect it is for each of us, some of you that have "done it all", may want to try some other internal approach, such as detoxfying your liver or changing your diet.

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Of course I understand that some people won't want to change their diets, that's exactly why the pharmaceutical industry's sales are on the rise. A pill for every problem, eh ;-)

I can work with that, after all if topical methods don't seem to be enough, sometimes all one needs is a round of accutane or a "maintenence dose" to increase insulin sensitivity. While other's go through 4 rounds of this stuff and they are still never "cured." Others of us have found great success in taking Birth Controls, Anti-Androgens, other Insulin Sensitizing Drugs and Anti-Inflammatories. Yet sometimes a pill is NOT enough! I myself and others were forced to utilize a combination of drugs and/or alternative treatments (herbs, vitamins, diet), while others went the purely diet route.

So thenwhy is it that accutane managed to cure some people when the results say that the effects last only during usage??? Perhaps it permanently shrank your sabaceous glands or maybe your hormonal levels finally balanced out (end of puberty). Here's what one article has to say about why teenagers get acne:

"The theory, reported in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology: Most staples in the American diet are high-glycemic foods -- those that tend to spike blood sugar levels and have already been implicated in increasing risk of diabetes, obesity, cholesterol, and other health conditions.

But they also cause acne, says Loren Cordain, PhD, a Colorado State University health and exercise scientist and lead researcher of the study. He says these foods cause acne by triggering a "hormonal cascade": By raising levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), more male hormone testosterone is produced, which leads to overproduction of more sebum -- the greasy gunk that blocks pores and triggers acne. Researchers have long known that elevated testosterone levels does trigger acne"

"But why are teens most likely to wear the battle scars of a national diet consumed by those of all ages? "Because the teenaged years are a time of natural insulin resistance," Cordain explains. "The teens are growth years; for tissues to grow, they become insulin resistant."

http://my.webmd.com/content/Article/57/660...tm?pagenumber=1

Obviously we don't all respond the same to our hormones. Some people's bodies do other things in response to the hormones that give us acne. Some people actually have NORMAL hormonal levels, but their receptors are extra sensitive to certain hormones. Whereas, some of us have HIGHER than normal hormones and/or extra sensitive receptors and our bodies respond accordingly. Perhaps that is why certain diets work better for certain cases. Indeed, that could be why people have gone on diets like a Low Fat diet (fat stores hormones) or a Low Carb - No Grain diet (increases insulin sensitivity) and found that their acne improved, if not cleared 100%!

While others discovered that all they needed were some enzymes or liver detoxes and things were perfect for them. =)

Maybe this article might help more of you out:

"Clearing Up the Cause of Acne

Written by Jen Allbritton, CN, Copyright 2003 Jennifer Allbritton, CN. All rights reserved.

Skin eruptions by any name are unsightly! Acne is characterized by pimples, which may be closed (sometimes called pustules or “whiteheads�) or open (blackheads), on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. Most acne is mild, although some people experience inflammation with larger cysts, which may result in scarring. Current research is starting to shed some light on the true cause of this condition.

It Starts with Diet

The American Academy of Dermatology has long called the diet-acne connection a myth, blaming the skin disease on genes and overactive sebaceous glands, which are particularly busy during the teen years. One study back in 1970 lead to this misguided belief.1 A researcher by the name of Gerd Plewig gave one group chocolate and another group a placebo. The incidence of acne was no different between the two groups, thus it was decided that sugar and unhealthy foods had nothing to do with acne. Nevertheless, new findings are proving the connection and demonstrating the flaws in Plewig’s research.

A study published in the Archives of Dermatology suggests that consuming a low-carbohydrate diet could help treat the increasingly common curse of acne and lead to clearer skin.2 Loren Cordain, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University, and colleagues analyzed more than 1,300 Kitivan Islanders of Papua New Guinea and the Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay. Their diet consists mainly of wild game, nuts, fruit, fish, sweet potatoes, and tubers. The scientists found a significant difference in acne rates among those groups and modern Western societies consuming sugar, grain filled diets. Over the course of the study, no case of active acne was observed in either Kitivan Islanders or Ache hunter-gatherers. Interestingly, those of similar race, living nearby ate very different foods, similar to the typical Western diet, and had their share of acne. This is what led the research team to dig deeper into the diet-acne connection.

The perfect skin of the two unrelated groups in the study could not be explained by genetics, but likely was the result of differing environmental factors, the researchers concluded. "High-glycemic foods such as bread, cakes, sugars and soft drinks may contribute to the acne suffered by 95 percent of westernized teenagers," Cordain said. The research team, consisting of members from the United States, Australia, Sweden, and New Mexico, believe Western diets permanently boost insulin. Highly processed foods, such as refined breads and cereals, are easily digested and lead to a chain reaction in the body by increasing the amount of sugar in the blood. Additionally, the processes used to manufacture modern breads and cereals may alter the protein structures in the grains, leading to rapid digestion followed by excess releases of insulin. This excess sugar allows the body to produce high levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). Elevated insulin levels lead to an excess of male hormones, which cause pores in the skin to secrete sebum, a greasy substance that attracts acne-promoting bacteria. Additionally, IGF-1 promotes the multiplication of skin cells, a process [associated with acne. Previous evidence has shown a link between insulin or IGF-1 and acne.

The bottom line is that researchers feel switching to a more natural, whole foods, hunger-gather-type diet will reduce acne by better regulating the metabolism of insulin.3 For example, “They [the tribes studied] only have what you can grow in the garden or catch in the ocean.�

Now to touch on the flaws of the Plewig study that made such a lasting impression on our acne-food connection beliefs. Over the last 30 years we have come a long way in understanding how foods affect the body. What Plewig did not know is that the food used as the placebo, although it was not considered “candy,� had the same glycemic (sugar) load as the chocolate. Basically, this study proved nothing with respect to food’s influence on acne. In fact, Plewig sat on the team that reviewed Cordain’s report and was said to have “eaten humble pie.�

We all need to take a deeper look at food and its power on our physical symptoms. Food is medicine and can either build the body up or tear it down ­ it’s our choice.

Supplements May Help

Several double-blind trials indicate that zinc supplements reduce the severity of acne.4, 5, 6, 7 In one double-blind trial,8 zinc was found to be as effective as oral antibiotic therapy. Doctors sometimes suggest that people with acne take 30 mg. of zinc two or three times per day for a few months, then 30 mg per day thereafter. It often takes 12 weeks before any improvement is seen. Long-term zinc supplementation requires 1­2 mg. of copper per day to prevent copper deficiency.

Large quantities of vitamin A (300,000 IU per day for females; 400,000­500,000 IU per day for males) have been used successfully to treat severe acne.9 However, large amounts of vitamin A for extended periods of time should be used carefully and under medical supervision.

A preliminary report suggested that vitamin B6 at 50 mg. per day might alleviate premenstrual flare-ups of acne experienced by some women.10

Supportive Herbs to Consider

Historically, tonic herbs, such as burdock, have been used in the treatment of skin conditions. These herbs are believed to have a cleansing action when taken internally.11 Burdock root tincture may be taken in the amount of 2 to 4 ml. per day. Dried root preparations in a capsule or tablet can be used at 1 to 2 grams three times per day. Many herbal preparations combine burdock root with other alterative herbs, such as yellow dock or cleavers.

Some early German research suggests that vitex may contribute to clearing of premenstrual acne, possibly by regulating hormonal influences on acne.12 Women in these studies used 40 drops of a concentrated liquid product once daily.13

Some Last Suggestions

Chill out! Research suggests stress may be a factor in blemish formation. Stress hormones may work in concert with other hormones to stimulate the oil-producing glands of the skin, increasing facial oils. This, in turn, may make your skin more prone to breakouts.14 Try taming your worries with some stress-reducing activities, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

Some doctors of natural medicine have observed that food allergies play a role in some cases of acne, particularly adult acne.15 Consider a food elimination diet, which can be explained and supervised by a Nutritionist or other natural health professional.

Several preliminary studies have reported that a series of acupuncture treatments (8 to 15) is markedly effective or curative in 90% to 98% of patients.16, 17, 18

Your skin is what you eat! Take advantage of natural approaches to helping your body heal itself. Choose to eat clean, whole, natural foods and minimize sugar, flours, and processed foods to improve the clearness of your skin. The more we learn about eating like our ancestors, the closer we get to the heart of true healing. Take it easy on yourself, relax, and avoid getting overwhelmed with responsibilities. Keep in mind symptoms are a sign of some irritation or problem. Finding out what the actual cause is key to long lasting, blemish-free skin."

http://www.healingalt.com/Articles/acne.htm

Take care and GOOD LUCK!

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Hi SweetJade,

Thanks for this extremely informative post. I'm sure lots of people will attack you for maintaining the diet & acne are linked, but there are plenty of us who appreciate the information too!

Vanessa

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Vanessa,

Thanks but I really didn't set out to connect everything to a poor functioning liver and/or our dietary choices. I just couldn't understand how somethings were working to help acne like Antibiotics and Accutane and so I did several searches on them. I certainly, didn't expect to get the answers that I found for Accutane!

NO ONE has EVER explained to me how accutane supresses the sebaceous glands! From the people it worked for to the ones that don't believe in it, everyone just says it does something to stop the oil. LOL, yeah because it turns out to be an Insulin Sensitizer and Anti-Androgen. Of course that makes perfect sense, I had that suspcion, but some said that food didn't help them. Well, usually that was because they didn't avoid the RIGHT foods for their problem. Then again, sometimes a pill is enough and other times....you're ARE going to have to do something more.

Take care =)

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Dude, that is one full bodied, chock -full o goodness post.

I use bcp's as I know the dark plottings of Androgens which along w/ my regimen, and conscientious sugar consumption, has kept me very clear.

Thanks!

Namaste'

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Hi SweetJade,

I have seen you post many things about acne and food, and i'm just wondering what your diet consists of?

Thanks.

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Sorry it took me a while to respond, but I'm always hestitant when it comes to telling or suggesting to someone what they should eat. It's such a touchy subject and sometimes it is very individualized.

What I can say is that a lot of the foods you hear that we are avoiding tend to also be the same foods that are highly allergenic.

Milk

Egg

Peanuts

Tree nuts (walnut, cashew, etc)

Fish

Shellfish

Soy

Wheat

They are usually also the same foods that contain gluten and/or toxic lectin proteins. These are proteins that are basically coated with sugar, can supposedly mimic insulin, and can be harmful to certain people (if not all). That MAY be why we have trouble digesting or metabolizing them properly. So while some need to just avoid the refined foods, others need to avoid that particulary food entirely. While you hear some of use use the phrases low carb or no grain, you may also find that you see that some of us are fully capable of eating table sugar and chocolate ;-)

In additon to those, some people may find that citrus fruits aggrevate them or that spicy foods do.

Take my family for example:

Dad - still gets a few breakouts on his back and beard, Oranges set him off. His blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be deemed Diabetic Type II. A few members of his family are or borderline and so he's more open-minded than mother and believes in the carb-insulin connection and follows a traditional low carb diet.

Mom - used to be skinny and have body acne like me when she was a teen. Face is clear and her body looks flawless now. She's a bit overwieght and has some arthritis (certain carbs can do this) and had severe menstrual problems (hysterectomy). Several of her sisters and my grandma had hysterectomies due to uterine cysts and all are overweight or obese. Eats junk (sugar, fake juices, candy, cookies, etc) like mad sometimes, but Chocolate will give her a pimple.

Brother - He's in his 30's and still has a bit of acne and was always thin like me

Me - I'm 22, underweight, (see other post). So far I KNOW that Gluten GRAINS cause me problems. I also avoid a few lectins. I try to eat organic and harmful preservative free when I can afford it. I always buy organic milk, although since I don't eat cereal daily or bake, I don't drink it much anymore.

So if I were to suggest diets for anyone I would say, in the order of strictness or desperation ;-)

Whole Foods/Organic - no processed or refined foods. low preservative.

Low Carbohydrate Diet - follow the Glycemic Index, the Glycemic Load or just buy a book ;-)

Gluten Free Diet - Avoid primarly WHEAT, barely, and rye grains (there are a few more) and their derivates (90% of the food at your grocery store). Safe grains are Rice, Corn, buckwheat, quinoa and Oats (there's a few more)

Evil Lectin Free Diet - avoid ALL grains, Legumes (beans, peanuts, cashews), Nightshades (tomatos, potatos, peppers, eggplant) and bananas for 2 - 8 weeks. Then slowly add in 1 item each week. If you don't break out, keep it, if you do minimize or completely eliminate the item. (yams and sweet potatos aren't nightshades)

Elimination Diet - drop one item at a time and see what happens...the long way. OR drop all allergens for 2 - 8 weeks and slowly add in 1 a week.

Keep asking the questions and until then, take care all ;-)

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Alright I KNOW some of you don't like the whole diet idea and that is of course your option. So for those that want other alternatives, here ya go. Of course, I would be MORE than happy to further explain these and give you the other possible alternative treatments.

I would like to state though, that I've had some form of acne since I was 6, but I didn't get the real breakouts until I was 10. I didn't get the body breakouts until I was 11. I'm now 22, I've been open minded enough and thankfully had the ability to try various things and see various doctors to get the answers that I NEEDED and it has gotten me where I am today...99% clear. =)

Ever since I was 11, I KNEW I had an imbalance, but I never knew what it was, and over time other symptoms of my hormonal imbalance (insulin resistance) have progressed (terrible menstrual cramps, mild hirsutism, hair growth problems). That is EXACTLY why the sooner you find out the truth (is it just puberty? or worse?) the better and happier you will be.

You may be wondering what else is wrong with me, LOL. To be honest I'm perfectly healthy and haven't been sick in years (if you don't count that odd ear infection last summer). I am NOT a Diabetic Type I or II. I do not have high cholesterol levels or high blood pressure. I am not obese, but actually underweight. Basically I don't fit the Mold, but yes, these treatments, some MUCH more than others, have worked for me.

Like I've mentioned in a few other posts, Insulin Resistance is something that we ALL go through during Puberty and then it goes away. It is a temporary part of our hormonal imbalance. Unfortunately for some of us, it can occur while in the womb or all the way into adulthood. As a result other hormonal problems occur, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Diabetes, Heart Disease, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH or NCCAH), Obesity, Hirsutism, Hyperandrogenism, Hypothyrodism, etc.

Now, I'm not really sure if ALL hormonal disorders are related to this mechanism but the various defects that have acne as a symptom, keep going back to the same gene (cyp450). It's job is to make the enzymes neccessary in controlling our hormones, detoxification, etc. Infact, some of the treatments below, depending on your hormonal disorder, are a result of our body's being deficient in a certain enzyme.

That is why I URGE you ALL to see a doctor, a specialist even! If one of them ignores you, then TRY AGAIN and AGAIN!!! Over a 10 year time span, it took me THREE tries with an Endocrinologist before I got diagnosed and more importantly the neccessary prescriptions (spiro only now). However, there are various herbs and vitamins, and other supplements that can do the SAME job as the medications or diet would do. They all are going to either:

-balance your insulin levels which will balance your androgen levels OR

-they will balance your cortisol levels which will balance your androgen levels OR

-they will reduce your androgen levels, OR

-they are going to inhibit the effects of androgen in your system (sebaceous glands) OR

-they are going to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT (super androgen)

The list goes on depending on the disorder, but did anyone notice the key here is ANDROGEN? Thankfully there's several ways you can go about dealing with this hormone. While, I do not claim that diet will help EVERYONE, what I do know is that it has helped me and others that had tried a great deal of things, natural supplements, medications and I believe that we are really lucky as a result. We might be able to stop something worse from happening (fingers crossed).

Now, from various reputable sources, doctors, and testimonies, I've found that the most popular PRESCRIPTIONS among women are:

Birth Control (regular bc - contains estrogen to balance hormones, lowers testosterone)

Yasmin BC - (see above & has a progestin [synthetic progesterone known as Drospirenone]

Diane BC - (see above & has Cyproterone to block effects of androgen)

Spironolactone (diuertic for high blood pressure, DHT conversion inhibitor, inhibits the effects of testosterone, anti-androgen)

Flutamide (antiandrogen)

Prednisone (anti-inflammatory, corticosteriod that improves cortisol balance)

Dexamethasone (anti-inflammatory, corticosteriod that improves cortisol balance)

Metaformin (balances insulin levels)

Avandia (decreases insulin resistance)

The most popular "NATURAL" treatments among women are:

NAC (n-acetyl-cysteine)

D-Chiro Inositol (formed from Lecithin, or inositol)

NPC (natural progesterone cream)

Vitex (chaste berry herb, NPC is made from this)

Saw Palmetto (DHT inhibitor)

ALA (alpha lipoic acid) / Chromium GTF

Digestive Enzymes / Fiber / Probiotics

Low Carbohydrate Dieting (Insulin Resistance Diet, Atkins, Blood Type, Anti-candida diets, etc)

In case I failed to say this, but you DO NOT have to have ALL of the "symptoms" of PCOS (Syndrome X, Syndrome O, & other names) to be dx as such. That's why it's called a syndrome, because there are no set symptoms. You can be thin and have regular periods, and no cysts, like myself and a few others, and still be pcos. The confusing part is whether PCOS is a symptom of Insulin Resistance or if Insulin Resistance is a symptom of PCOS ;-)

Through some hormonal testing of her own, one woman found out that she had high copper levels. Then she found out that progesterone cream would help balance this and so when she took it, her acne went away and her menstrual cycle regulated. She was PCOS this whole time, but her doctors didn't pay enough attention to her (gave her accutane, but it didn't work 100%). I'm not sure what else she uses, but she doesn't avoid food as "strictly" as I do becaue the NPC has balanced her hormones wonderfully.

So you see, I'm not just all about diet. I'm more about getting you all to be AWARE that there are other reasons and treatments available that go behind possible temporary drugs, such as Accutane and Antibiotics. Cuz to be honest, I don't really care what you use, (I do want you to be healthy) as long as you get the results you DESERVE! Hopefully, if nothing else, you'll at least be more aware of ALL the other treatments that exist and you can pass this along and HELP someone else.

Take care =)

P.S. Yes, MEN can be PCOS also ;-) Or if it makes you feel better, you can consider yourselves Insulin Resistant, since you aren't likely to have certain supposed symptoms. Personally, I think the term PCOS is just used for those people that the doctors can't find another disorder for. Infact, unless I'm really close with them, most people just think I'm sorta Insulin Resistant as the reason I avoid certain foods. So anyway, because men are just as capable of being Insulin Resitant as women, they can and HAVE used MOST of the above treatments to balance/lower their testosterone levels, among other health problems.

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That varioustypes of drugs (anti-androgen, insulin sensitizers, etc) and/or a low carbohydrate diet in a ratio similar to: 30% Carb, 45% Protein, & 25% Oils have been shown to reduce the 5-Alpha Reductase enzyme neccssary in converting Testosterone into DHT (super androgen). 

http://www.lef.org/protocols/prtcl-117.shtml

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...3&dopt=Abstract

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Scotty,

Hey there, you've actually come across an old thread. My more up to date thread is here: http://acne.org/messageboard/viewtopic.php...ccutane+insulin

Now, what is it that you want me to elaborate more on? The whole diet aspect or the hormonal effects (some are mentioned in the above thread)?

I can personally tell you that I follow a FORM of a low carbohydrate diet, where upon I reduced my carbohydrate intake by 50%, but I'm still consuming 200g - 300g daily. Considering that I reduced my carb load and saw such great effects I'm certain if more people reduced their current 200g - 800g of Carbohydrates a day levels....they would too.

It's not about eating 30g of Carbs a day, that's absurd. An Apple, or a box of raisens would be all you could eat for the day! It's about REDUCING our EXTRA Carbohydrate intake. Yet at the same time, sometimes it's not that simple.

Some people all they need to do is just Low Carb it in that manner (reduce EXTRA carbs). However, there's others, like myself, that had to reduce CERTAIN carbs to see results. We tend to follow dietary plans such as the Whole Foods Diet, Gluten Free Diet (primarily my diet), Paleolithic or "Evil" Lectin Free Diet, Perricone's Acne Prescription Diet, or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

If you want a good visual example of what types of foods we are eating, the Willetts Food Pyramid is the one to look it. Even Harvard is backing him http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/pyramids.html. Granted some of us Exclude certain foods, but his pyramid makes allowances for some of these exclusions. Here's his pyramid again

: http://www.sciam.com/media/inline/0007C5B6...88EEDF_3_lg.gif

Now, when you compare that one to the Current (working on being revised) USDA Food Pyramid, http://schoolmeals.nal.usda.gov/py/pmap.htm I hope you can see how those changes, can make a huge difference. A serving size is bascially the size of your fist. So most people eat 3 meals a day, some maybe 5 (trying to gain weight or training) and we most definately eat more than ONE serving of certain foods (I do) per meal. Therefore you can already see how the Willett's food pyramid cut our consumption of Whole Grains by 50%. 3-5 servings of Grains vs. 6-11 servings can make all the difference in the world, particulary if you follow the serving suggestions.

So what does that mean for the average person. It means that you can only have 1 sandwich (2 slices of bread) and a piece of cake and you are done for the day, in terms of your grains and sweets.If you're still craving sweets, eat some fruit. If you're still hungry (you've still got 2 more meals to eat) eat some fish, chicken or steak and do'nt forget loading up on the veggies ;-)

Personally, I still eat more than that. I consume around 50% Carbs, 30% Protein, and 20% fats. Keep in mind that my Carb intake was altered (I don't eat as many grains) and Fruits, Vegetables, and sweets (rarely) make up this amount. Despite what some feel about low carb type diets, my animal protein intake dropped some (I don't eat all that canned and frozen stuff since it has wheat in it), but I've increased my plant protein some through Vegetables, Nuts, and Seeds (not soy...yuck).

Now, my fat intake is based on when I remember to take an EFA supplement, salad dressing, butter, along with whenever I cook with Olive Oil, or I eat something that naturally already has fat/oil in it (fish, nuts, beef, etc). Oh yeah and lets not forget the times that I eat out at McDonalds or other fast food or resturant establishments. I'm definately getting fats there, and I know that sometime these fats are the Bad fats (trans fats that spike and alter your insulin levels too) but hey....I still eat french fries and flavored Chicken Wings (salads, chili, baked chicken, etc) anyway. Thats what my fast food consists of and when I eat a resturant....I eat whatever, as long as it doesn't contain wheat or other foods that I'm spefically avoiding. Yes, at times, I do have "safe" junk food, but I tend to be worse off when it comes to avoiding the bad fats (they are practically everywhere).

Slowly, but surely my diet will be perfect in the sense that I'll be avoiding all the Bad foods that at least spike our insulin levels. It wasn't something I did overnight. I waited a month or two, did my research, listened to others testimonies, and went for it. Just going Gluten Free alone and eating the Substitutes (cookies, muffins, waffles, cereals, etc) got me 95% clear and eliminated other problems that I had. It was amazing to me and since then I'm eliminated other foods which got me 99% clear. Yes, while I know its all SCIENCE and Common Sense, its still leaves me in a bit of awe some days. Less body hair, no menstrual pain, less oil, much smaller pores, no more body acne ( I can get it everywhere), etc.

So, what's your interest in this anyway? ;-)

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Some great posts, Sweetjade. It's good to see someone taking a scientific approach =D> If you're still around I have some questions

You talk about spiking insulin levels causing oily skin, but even when my acne was at it's worst I don't think my skin would ever have been described as oily, it was normal, dry even, and my pores were tiny. I always thought my acne was more to do with hyperkeritinisation (sp) skin cells not shedding properly, rather than excess oil. Or perhaps what oil I did produce was overly 'sticky'. Certainly the direct cause of each zit was a plug of dead skin cells clogging the pore. Do you know if maybe this is caused by insulin resistance?

You describle yourself as 'underweight'; so do you think this is because of your current anti-acne diet? Do you mean according to BMI or you think you just look too skinny and are you OK with this? My BMI is a bit low (170cm tall, weigh 56kg) and I am really paranoid about it (even though everyone else thinks I look fine lol). I already gained 5kg on purpose and want to gain about 5-8 more. But how would I do this if I reduced bread, sugar and fats? Any suggestions? I would be really depressed if I started losing weight. (and i'm a girl lol)

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Aw,

Hey I'm with you 100%. I started spiro I guess 5 years ago and I was so depressed when I lost 10lbs. I worked hard to gain that weight and spiro took it away, but it improved my skin. Unfortunately, it didn't clear me (was also on Birth Control) and after a bout with Minocycline (which broke me out worse than ever) I got depressed even more because my BC & Spiro combo weren't effective and riddding the breakouts from when I stopped mino. =( Luckily 2 years ago I changed all that.

Now, In terms of the oil production, this is exactly why I tell people that Oil does NOT equal acne. Yet they feel it does because the more oil you produce (has to do with hormones, but so does hyperkeritinization, etc) the more DHT and possibly irritating Bacteria (not true for everyone) that will sit on your skin, thus causing more inflammation.

Apparently most acne sufferers are just OVERLY sensitive to their normal amount of hormones and Bacteria(we ALL have acne bacteria but not everyone breaks out from it). Therefore, if they reduce their amount of oil or change their skin care products....whola...clear skin. That's why The Regimen and The Acne Cure works, helps or eliminates inflammation and encourages proper skin cell turnover and shedding (no more hyperkeritinzation). I used to follow a similar topical regimen using BHA and AHAs and a moisturizer & sunscreen and it was equivalent, and non-irritating, to when I was on RetinA. I used to love RetinA and Azelex and knowing that they were topical DHT inhibitors I can understand why now. For some people a topical solution is all they need, but it didn't help me PREVENT my acne. Unfortunately, for myself and others we produce too much male hormones and we had to find an Internal Solution.

That leads me to your wieght question again. I've ALWAYS been underwieght. The only way I can gain weight is if I eat 5 meals a day and consume protein (brewers yeast or shakes) AND exercise with wieghts. I'm actually going to post something in a bit that explains why some of us end up with acne, but are underwieght, while others just end up overweight, while others have a combination of acne and wieght problems, etc. That's when I realized that eating all those carbs in fact HELPED my body continue to produce MORE hormones for me....Body Builders know this, so....I gave up on trying to gain weight and decided I just wanted to have clear skin.

Sometimes you have to make a choice. The Weight Trainers on this board and others had to make their choice. Some chose clear skin and others chose improved skin and others felt that BIG muscles were more important than eliminating their acne. On the right diet you can build lean muscles (Paleo diet), and even on my diet I've noticed an improvement in my muscle tone. In terms of my body fat...well I've lost some fat and seemed to have gain some fat in other areas so in time you may find that your body will redistribute your fat (needed to produce hormones) elsewhere ;-)

Take care

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O.D

What is your problem? Your comment is uncalled for and highly offensive. Especially for someone who is trying as hard as possible to help everyone.

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whew....No one said it would be easy... truer words never spoken biggrin.gif

that's a lot to digest(pardon the pun) Jade, you are very verbose, and that's good, the more to read, the more to learn.

good stuff indeed.

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