Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Bonobo Man

Low Glycemic Load Diet

I have been informed of a study on the connection between acne and diet that is about to be published. In it, one group was told to eat a low glycemic load diet comprised of 25% protein and 45% low glycemic load carbs.

Hormonally, FAI and DHEA-S (androgenic hormones, apparently) were reduced by following this diet, and IGFBP-I was increased (a protein that binds to IGF-1, a hormone that has been implicated in acne).

Also, the group that followed the diet showed about twice the reduction in acne as the control group.

If this study is correct, it looks like diet could be an effective tool.

ALSO

I have had great success with eating frequent, low glycemic load meals throughout the day. Anyone else?

_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a link u could post by any chance?

I emailed Dr Loren Cordain, and he responded with the abstracts from the study. I just assume he doesn't mind me posting this, because I have no affiliation with their study, and he released this information to me without hesitation.

ABSTRACT 1

"Smith R, Mann N, Braue A, Varigos G. The effect of a low glycemic load, high protein diet on hormonal markers of acne. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14 Suppl:S43.

Background - Acne vulgaris is a common endocrine condition affecting adolescents in Western civilizations. Acne typically manifests during puberty when there is a transient decrease in insulin sensitivity. It has been suggested that high glycemic nutrition during puberty induces hyperinsulinemia which increases the bioavailability of androgens and certain growth factors. These changes may induce follicular epithelial growth and increased sebum production - two factors responsible for acne proliferation.

Objective - To determine the effect of a low glycemic load diet, comprised of high levels of protein and low glycemic index (GI) foods, on hormonal makers of acne vulgaris.

Design - Male acne sufferers [n=43, age=18.3+/-0.4 (mean +/- SEM)] were randomly assigned to either the dietary intervention (n=23) or control groups (n=20). The intervention diet consisted of 25% energy from protein and 45% energy from low glycemic index carbohydrates. The control group received no information about diet nor were they given dietary instruction. Venous blood was collected at baseline and 12-weeks for an assessment of testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), free androgen index (FAI), dehydroepiandrosterone - sulfate (DHEA-S), insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and IGF-binding proteins -I and -3.

Outcomes - Dietary intervention resulted in a significant reduction in FAI (-9.1 +/- 4.5, P<0.05) and DHEA-S (-0.72 +/- 0.33 umol/L, P<0.05) and an increase in IGFBP-1 (5.3 +/- 1.6 ng/mL, P<0.01). No significant changes were observed in levels of IGF-I, IGFBP-3, testosterone or SHBG following dietary intervention. The control group showed no change in any of the blood parameters measured.

Conclusion - These data suggest that a low glycemic load diet may reduce androgenic activity (as indicated by a reduction in FAI and DHEA-S) and may oppose the growth promoting effects of IGF-I by increasing levels of its binding protein, IGFBP-I. This implies that a low glycemic load diet may reduce hormonal influences involved in acne pathogenesis."

ABSTRACT 2

"Smith R, Mann N, Braue A, Varigos G. Low glycemic load, high protein diet lessens facial acne severity. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14 Suppl:S97.

Background - Acne vulgaris is a multi-factorial skin disorder which affects the 85-100% of the adolescent population in Western civilizations. Despite its high prevalence in the West, acne prevalence is extremely low or rare in non-westernized societies. It has been proposed that refined, high glycemic foods common in Western societies may accentuate underlying causal factors responsible for its proliferation.

Objective - To determine whether a low glycemic load diet, comprised of high levels of protein and low GI foods, can alleviate the severity of acne symptoms in young males.

Design - Male acne sufferers [n=43, age=18.3 +/- 0.4 (mean +/- SEM)] were randomly assigned to either the dietary intervention (n=23) or control groups (n=20). The intervention diet consisted of 25% energy from protein and 45% energy from low glycemic index carbohydrates. The control group received no information about diet nor were they given dietary instruction. The efficacy of dietary treatment versus control was clinically assessed by a dermatologist using a modified Cunliffe-Leeds acne scale. The dermatologist assessed facial acne by means of lesion counts and was blinded to the subject's group.

Outcomes - Dietary intervention resulted in a reduction in total lesion counts (-23.1 +/- 4.0 lesions, P <0.001) and inflammatory counts (-16.2 +/- 3.0 lesions, P <0.001). The control group also showed a reduction in total lesion counts (-12.0 +/- 3.5 lesions, P <0.01) and inflammatory counts (-7.4 +/- 2.5 lesions, P <0.05). However, between group analyses showed that the reduction was significantly greater in the intervention group for total counts (P <0.05) and inflammatory counts (P <0.05).

Conclusion - These data indicate that a low glycemic load diet, comprised of high levels of protein and low GI foods, significantly decreased the mean number of facial acne lesions, therefore alleviating the severity of acne symptoms. However, the multi-factorial nature of this condition is reflected in the fact that the control group also showed a decrease over time, thereby suggesting that other factors are at play."

NOTE: I have corrected my first post to reflect the fact that this was one trial, not two as I previously suggested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had great success with eating frequent, low glycemic load meals throughout the day. Anyone else?

ALSO

I have been informed of a study on the connection between acne and diet that is about to be published. In it, one group was told to eat a low glycemic load diet comprised of 25% protein and 45% low glycemic load carbs.

Hormonally, FAI and DHEA-S (androgenic hormones, apparently) were reduced by following this diet, and IGFBP-I was increased (a protein that binds to IGF-1, a hormone that has been implicated in acne).

Also, the group that followed the diet showed about twice the reduction in acne as the control group.

If these studies are correct, it looks like diet could be an effective tool.

_

umm, i have to follow a low glycemic diet for medical reasons. my complexion hasn't really changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

umm, i have to follow a low glycemic diet for medical reasons. my complexion hasn't really changed.

I guess it doesn't work for everyone. But with me, it is unmistakeable. And, it is too early for me to really tell whether it is the low glycemic load or whether I am getting some nutrient that I wasn't getting before. I am eating a lot more fruit and olive oil. My "meals" are really just frequent snacks, eaten casually all day long, as well as being low-glycemic, high "good" fat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i, too, notice improvement overall (skin, body & energy) when eating "good" proteins, "good" fats, and low glycemic carbs. i'm not too sure if it helps with acne but it does seem to improve my complexion. to say the least, i look more healthy. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi nobonobo - would you like to share what you eat in your low glycemic diet? thanks!

In my current experiment, I'm eating these things on a daily basis:

Bananas (if eaten under-ripe, meaning there is still green on the peel, the glycemic index is lower than if ripe.)

Apples (and unsweetened applesauce)

organic Broccoli

extra virgin Olive oil (lots of this stuff)

Avocado

Soft-boiled, cage-free, omega-3 eggs

extra dark chocolate (I'm being lazy and eating this several times a day right now... probably shouldn't)

olives / lettuce / cucumber / carrots salad at food hall

other random fruits/veggies

medium pulp orange juice with olive oil stirred in it (this is high glycemic, but it's first thing in the morning [does that make a difference?]. got this idea from waisays.com message boards)

and every once in a while I have the following (rarely on the same day):

Chicken (most often)

Salmon (less often)

Pork (even less often)

beef (very rarely)

I try to eat regularly, instead of one big meal (but I'm not sure how much of a role this plays.

It is easy to undereat when eating this way, so just be careful to eat often.

**** EDIT (from a couple months later). I am not so sure if it is the glycemic load that is to blame. I basically did a 180 with my diet earlier this year and my face improved dramatically... but it was foolish of me to only examine one aspect of my diet.

-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5. I eat a lot of fiber. This doesn't seem to affect my digestive system any more. But other people might be sensitive. (note that fiber USED to affect me, big time. But now it doesn't. So, maybe you will adapt as well.) (tip: don't eat a lot of high fiber foods at once)

I have one minor comment on all of this: the fiber in a meal can have a significant beneficial impact on its glycemic index by lowering it, but it depends on the TYPE of fiber. Soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar, but not insoluble fiber. Know the difference.

Bryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've found the best success through avoiding high glycemic foods and focusing on smaller, more frequent meals. my skin is clear if i follow a low gylcemic diet and strive to keep my blood sugar levels stable. occasionally, prior to working out i'll have something higher glycemic - but i believe the exercising prevents negative effects on my skin.

for the past year i've also been focusing on cleaning up my entire digestive process (through colon cleansing, taking probiotics, etc.) and this has also helped me considerably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi nobonobo - would you like to share what you eat in your low glycemic diet? thanks!

In my current experiment, I'm eating these things on a daily basis:

Bananas (if eaten under-ripe, meaning there is still green on the peel, the glycemic index is lower than if ripe.)

Apples (and unsweetened applesauce)

organic Broccoli

extra virgin Olive oil (lots of this stuff)

Avocado

Soft-boiled, cage-free, omega-3 eggs

extra dark chocolate (I'm being lazy and eating this several times a day right now... probably shouldn't)

olives / lettuce / cucumber / carrots salad at food hall

other random fruits/veggies

oj with olive oil in it (this is high glycemic, but it's first thing in the morning [does that make a difference?]. got this idea from waisays.com message boards)

and one of the following every day, alternating:

Chicken

Pork

Salmon

every once in a while I'll go out with my parents and get sashimi (raw fish, from a japanese restaurant)

All in all, probably 45% carb, 40% fat, 15% protein (though I don't sit there and count out my food to make sure I meet those goals)

The key thing seems to be to eat regularly, and ESPECIALLY never a lot of carb in one sitting.

And I am wary of suggesting that anyone else try this out. I have the advantage of being at college and having a food hall (and extra time between studying). At least half the items here I can just go to the food hall and eat, no hassle. If I were to rely on shopping alone, it would be a LOT of work. I have the advantage of being able to somewhat forget about the details because some of it is already taken care of for me (and because I am being very repetative in what I eat... which is probably not a good idea in the long term)

For other people though, this probably would take a lot of mental discipline... and when there is a lot of mental focus on diet, then comes the risk of developing so-called "orthorexia". If you do decide to experiment with something like this, don't let it be at the expense of having a life. And please include variety, and listen to your body... if you are having an unenjoyable experience, please stop

Plus, this is a work in progress. I'm constantly adjusting my habits

CRITICISMS OF MY APPROACH:

1. I eat a high amount of fruit. "But this is high glycemic, isn't it?". Well, I would argue (based on my limited knowledge of nutrition) that what seems to be more important is total carbohydrate during the day, frequency of its ingestion during the day, and total carbohydrate in relation to how fast it is assimilated at any point during the day. So, glycemic load is actually low. (but I could be mistaken... if someone out there who is smarter than me could either verify what I'm saying or tell me I'm an idiot, I would be very appreciative) Like I said above, less than 50% of my calories come from carbs.

2. My skin isn't totally clear. However, I am starting to believe that if I stick to this for more than 1 week intervals I can prolong and strengthen its effect... because all of my breakouts, thusfar, have fallen neatly under the explanation of very high glycemic load meals. I will have to stick with this for a little while longer to see conclusively.

3. I don't know the long term effects of eating this way.

4a. It might be that I'm simply eliminating something that I'm allergic to. I might have gluten sensitivity or something. I will have to experiment more to figure out exactly why this is working.

4b. It might be that I'm just getting a lot of some vitamin/mineral. Glycemic load might not be the whole story.

5. I eat a lot of fiber. This doesn't seem to affect my digestive system any more. But other people might be sensitive. (note that fiber USED to affect me, big time. But now it doesn't. So, maybe you will adapt as well.) (tip: don't eat a lot of high fiber foods at once)

PLEASE READ EDIT BELOW

-

First off I would like to commend you on your post. It is well organized and very sensible.

Most people who post on the diet forums don't list specific information. They say stuff like, I took X vitamin, my skin is clear. I like the fact that you told us what you were doing and then even took the time to criticize your approach. That is a truly objective approach and is much appreciated.

I think that it will take more than weeks. If your system was used to high glycemic load carbs then you would need probably 2 weeks to get healthy and then 2 weeks to start to improve. I think it would be a total of 6 weeks to see strong improvements.

Sometimes when people do healthier things they expect 3 day improvements and then get discouraged after 2 weeks if they don't see super results. Really great results come after 4-6 weeks of great care. That is how the body works.

EDIT:

I have been asked to edit this post by noBono. I edit it only to let you know that how I quoted him earlier has been changed. He changed his method and therefore you should read his edited post above.

I think the important thing to realize is that he realized that changing a single area was not good enough. By focusing on multiple areas of health he was able to make a dramatic improvement. My commends.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok, i will make myself determined to do this diet thing, it worked on me ages ago, i wouldn't touch anything that wasn't like 100% pure n healthy, im sure i can go back to this regime... excpet i have a box of chocolates sitting beside me i got from my bf for V.day... okay, il give them to dad... and start fresh!! Might aswell do lots of exercise aswell, maybe lose some weight, that'd be good! ah well, thanx for the tip! i just really need a bigger nudge in the irght direction, cuz my will power is crap!! xxxxxxx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how is it possible to get 45% of your calories from low gylcemic carbs ?.......about 1200 calories worth, thats a whole lot of cabbage !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok, i will make myself determined to do this diet thing, it worked on me ages ago, i wouldn't touch anything that wasn't like 100% pure n healthy, im sure i can go back to this regime... excpet i have a box of chocolates sitting beside me i got from my bf for V.day... okay, il give them to dad... and start fresh!! Might aswell do lots of exercise aswell, maybe lose some weight, that'd be good! ah well, thanx for the tip! i just really need a bigger nudge in the irght direction, cuz my will power is crap!! xxxxxxx

Experimenting can be good, but don't let it get out of hand. Please don't be afraid to eat chocolates that were given to you by a loved one or feel the need to be "100% pure n healthy"

Please read the forum on orthorexia, at the very least it's food for thought

-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how is it possible to get 45% of your calories from low gylcemic carbs ?.......about 1200 calories worth, thats a whole lot of cabbage !!

It isn't totally about glycemic index. It is about glycemic load. There is a difference. Most of my carbohydrates come from medium glycemic index foods (fruits, etc)-- however, the way that I eat them makes for a low-glycemic load. I don't eat more than a couple servings of medium-glycemic carb food at any given time. I might add fat and protein to it, to make a complete meal (or, in the case of extra dark chocolate, the fat is already there). Plus, I don't adhere to this way of eating 100%.

This also makes for many "meals" throughout the day. There is no way I could follow this way of eating without carrying food with me to school. If it is inconvenient for you to do so, please don't attempt this way of eating.

And yes, I can forsee someone pointing out: "well many breads are medium glycemic, why don't you just eat small portions of whole-grains all day, and just make sure it doesn't account for more than 50% of your total caloric intake?"

All I can say to that is, good point. But I am not totally convinced that glycemic load is the whole story (in my case), so I have elminated grains for now. I eat a little bit of pasta every once in a while, and that doesn't seem to be detrimental. So I could be totally wasting my time with this fruits theory. It might just end up that simply snacking throughout the day, and watching total carbohydrate intake could be just as effective for me.

-

First off I would like to commend you on your post. It is well organized and very sensible.

Most people who post on the diet forums don't list specific information. They say stuff like, I took X vitamin, my skin is clear. I like the fact that you told us what you were doing and then even took the time to criticize your approach. That is a truly objective approach and is much appreciated.

I think that it will take more than weeks. If your system was used to high glycemic load carbs then you would need probably 2 weeks to get healthy and then 2 weeks to start to improve. I think it would be a total of 6 weeks to see strong improvements.

Sometimes when people do healthier things they expect 3 day improvements and then get discouraged after 2 weeks if they don't see super results. Really great results come after 4-6 weeks of great care. That is how the body works.

Thank you, I appreciate the kind words.

On a side note, I have updated my previous post to reflect a couple of things:

1. My protein intake hasn't really been that consistent over the past few months. I might go somedays only getting protein from vegetables sources and eggs. Other days I'll have a large amount of meat. I don't know how much of an effect this has on the outcome. Waisays.com claims that cooked protein is the cause of all of society's ills, including acne. I'm not fully convinced, but there might be some truth to it (I just don't know).

2. I don't eat pork/ham nearly as much as I might have given the impression that I did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i currently do a low glycemic 'load' diet and it help my skin alot. im trying to find some taro root as this seems the best food for high carbs ( good for energy and calories ) with a low glycemic load.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it will take more than weeks. If your system was used to high glycemic load carbs then you would need probably 2 weeks to get healthy and then 2 weeks to start to improve. I think it would be a total of 6 weeks to see strong improvements.

Sometimes when people do healthier things they expect 3 day improvements and then get discouraged after 2 weeks if they don't see super results. Really great results come after 4-6 weeks of great care. That is how the body works.

i agree that a reasonable amount of time is required for the body to repair itself. however, i would say that expecting good results in 4-6 weeks is VERY optimistic. it took me more like 3 MONTHS before i began to notice a significant difference. it took awhile for me to figure that things like soy and nuts were continuing to break me out. and when i began changing my diet, my digestive system was a complete. and total. mess.

it took a few months just to get to the point of having 1-2 bowel movements a day. in my opinion, it takes at least a couple of months for probiotics to completely kick in and for one to re-establish healthy levels of bacteria. especially in individuals who have spent a lifetime eating diets high in sugar, starches and carbohydrates.

paying close attention to repairing your digestive system is equally critical for sucess as is a low glycemic diet.

and MOST importantly, one will need dedication, time and patience to begin seeing the results. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it will take more than weeks. If your system was used to high glycemic load carbs then you would need probably 2 weeks to get healthy and then 2 weeks to start to improve. I think it would be a total of 6 weeks to see strong improvements.

Sometimes when people do healthier things they expect 3 day improvements and then get discouraged after 2 weeks if they don't see super results. Really great results come after 4-6 weeks of great care. That is how the body works.

i agree that a reasonable amount of time is required for the body to repair itself. however, i would say that expecting good results in 4-6 weeks is VERY optimistic. it took me more like 3 MONTHS before i began to notice a significant difference. it took awhile for me to figure that things like soy and nuts were continuing to break me out. and when i began changing my diet, my digestive system was a complete. and total. mess.

it took a few months just to get to the point of having 1-2 bowel movements a day. in my opinion, it takes at least a couple of months for probiotics to completely kick in and for one to re-establish healthy levels of bacteria. especially in individuals who have spent a lifetime eating diets high in sugar, starches and carbohydrates.

paying close attention to repairing your digestive system is equally critical for sucess as is a low glycemic diet.

and MOST importantly, one will need dedication, time and patience to begin seeing the results. :)

That is probably a good point. I have been trying to eat sensibly for years. That might be the reason why I noticed results nearly immediately by eating this way. My digestive system was probably in decent shape. I haven't been on antibiotics or anything in a long time.

[edit: actually, I didn't notice results "immediately". I was on a mostly fruit, meat, vegetable, egg, olive oil diet leading up to the time when I actually committed to this kind of a diet (no grains, no dairy). Therefore, I cannot discount the idea that my extensive lead-up to this diet affected me hormonally or helped to stabilize my insulin levels etc. I cannot reduce months of diet into one or two sentences... and therefore I want to prevent giving the impression that it was necessarily a quick and easy change]

-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Failure #1 (potentially):

I am reasonably sure I didn't eat a high glycemic load day, today. But I ate some baked salmon and red wine, and within an hour my skin had that mild "sting" to it, and became inflamed and oily. This is usually the feeling that occurs in the very early stages of breaking out (or so my mind wants to think... it will take days to see if this really had a larger effect).

So either

a) salmon + red wine can cause some sort of freak insulin response (which I doubt).

or

b) glycemic load isn't the whole story.

I am most definitely sure this was in response to the meal (it almost always seems to be the case). But it is just unfortunate that it can be so unpredictable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ofcourse it isnt the whole story

I had very strong suspicions of that beforehand (I would have even thought "of course" if someone else had said something simliar). This just confirms it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Failure #1:

I am reasonably sure I didn't eat a high glycemic load day, today. But I ate some baked salmon and red wine, and within an hour my skin had that mild "sting" to it, and became inflamed and oily. This is usually the feeling that occurs in the very early stages of breaking out (or so my mind wants to think).

So either

a) salmon + red wine can cause some sort of freak insulin response (which I doubt).

or

b) glycemic load isn't the whole story.

I am most definitely sure this was in response to the meal (it almost always seems to be the case). But it is just unfortunate that it can be so unpredictable.

It's not possible that it was from something you ate the day or two before? Or possibly you're sensitive to alcohol or the sulfites in wine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×