Throughout the years, food has been linked to the occurrence of acne. The relation between food and acne has even quite a history; dermatology textbooks during the 1800s have often recommended dietary restrictions or acne diet that is considered as treatment for acne. In the early 1900s, researchers have discovered the link between acne, carbohydrates and impairment in glucose tolerance. Although there are research studies indicating the relationship between food and acne, it has been one of the most controversial topics related to skin disorders. Many have considered the connection between food and acne to be just myths and that there are no links at all. While this can be true due to inconclusive research data. Unfortunately, these research studies were considered flawed due to how they are conducted. For instance, those studies were not able to include sufficient amount of subjects and control groups. As a matter of fact, it is quite difficult to definitely isolate each of the factors that may cause acne breakouts. However, new researches have been conducted and have been returning to the relation between human diet and acne. For those who suffer with the skin disorder, it is fair to say that having an acne diet may help prevent acne breakouts and to some extent cure the existing acne.
Low Glycemic Index Diet
Low glycemic index diet is considered as an acne diet which can prevent an acne breakout. This recommended acne diet consists of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans and lean proteins. A study published in the American Journal of Nutrition has found that people who were on a low glycemic diet had fewer acne breakouts. Glycemic index is actually a system that measures how soon the blood sugar rise after consuming a certain amount of carbohydrates. Foods with high glycemic index are processed foods high in white flour like bread, refined grains and pasta. Foods high in sugar like candy bars, sodas and juices are included in the list of high glycemic foods as well. The theory on the relationship of high glycemic diet and acne is that refined carbohydrates cause blood glucose to rise fast thereby increasing the level of insulin in the body; this rise in insulin level triggers a hormonal and endocrine response which leads to increased sebum production and clogging of pores. This theory has been further substantiated with a study published in the Archives of Dermatology where people from Papua New Guinea and Eastern Paraguay who eat fresh plants and lean meat diet where studied and no single pimple were found. It was compared to people with the same genetic makeup living in Western countries and consuming diet rich in refined carbohydrates, saturated fat and processed foods, which develop acne.
Dairy Products and Chocolates
An article in 2005, published in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology indicated that tens of thousands of women were examined and found a link between milk and milk products with acne breakouts. The link between the two are further explained by experts’ theories in that milk people normally drink are produced by pregnant cow therefore contains high levels or hormones which can make the oil glands over active. These hormones can then worsen the acne. Skim milk is also considered more inflammatory. Theories that may explain this matter is how the skim milk is processed for one, and next is that whole or partial milk have higher estrogen levels which can offset the other hormones that aggravates acne. Although the reasons are still not quite clear, milk has been thought to aggravate acne. So for patients who have acne trigger by dairy product, a milk-free or dairy-free acne diet is recommended.
Chocolates are probably the most controversial food, battling between being a myth or an actual cause of acne breakouts. However, there is a new study that found a starting link between chocolates and acne. Subjects who are studied had increased acne lesions and researchers found that the increase in chocolate correlates with the increase in the development of pimples. Although it was pointed out that the study was only pertaining to existing acne rather than causing acne to occur.
Foods That Can Cure Acne
Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants all have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. Omega-3 has been found to control the production of a molecule, specifically leukotriene B4 which can increase sebum production and cause inflammatory acne. Antioxidants on the other hand helps prevent and treat acne by preventing the damaging effects of free radicals to the skin and immune system. Therefore, an acne diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and fish oil supplements, antioxidants like vitamins and flavonoids found in red wine, fruits, vegetables and tea can help prevent or improve acne.
Drinking a Lot of Water
Water intake is believed to contribute in dealing with acne. Including the increased water consumption in the acne diet is a great way to flush out toxins and hydrate the skin, making it much healthier. Researchers have found that increasing water intake caused an improvement in blood flow in the entire body and the skin. Although the relation of toxins to cause breakouts has still no definite study, it is believed that if the body is unable to eliminate waste products from metabolism, toxins increases and the detoxification system of the body weakens thereby causing breakouts.