Does Diet Affect Acne? 2 Studies Say Yes
It is a commonly-held notion that the only ways to get rid of acne are to use creams, gels and ointments, or by letting your dermatologist get you on a serious tretinoin or isotretinoin such as Retin-A or Accutane.
But two studies seem to show that we may want to start looking other places for the answer. The results of both studies? Acne may be caused by too much sugar in the diet.
A study conducted by Neil Mann, a PhD at the School of Applied Sciences at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and his colleagues concluded that:
"The improvement in acne and insulin sensitivity after a low-glycemic-load diet suggests that nutrition-related lifestyle factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of acne. However, further studies are needed to isolate the independent effects of weight loss and dietary intervention and to further elucidate the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms."
To restate, too many sugars cause lessened insular sensitivity, which results in poorer hormonal balance, which can lead to worsened acne. Although this study only focused on males aged 15-25 and the effects of only sugar intake, it is rather conclusive that eating fewer sugars will positively affect acne, especially if you fall into this age group.
A second study, headed by Loren Cordain of Utah University, involved looking at a large group of Kitavan islanders (1200), 300 of whom were in the prime acne age-range of 15-25 yet had not a trace of acne. The study shows how their diet, mainly fish, fruit and other unprocessed foods such as tubers, may be perfect for avoiding the refined sugars that lead to acne. It seems, indeed, that the best natural remedies for acne may come straight from nature in the form of unprocessed foods and natural sweets.
Of course, mileage will vary with the individual, and there are likely other factors at play.Â However, cutting back on sugars is not only likely to improve your acne.Â It has been shown that refined sugar intake can lead to raised insulin levels and thus a depressed immune system, which in turn will result in increased chance of contracting diseases.Â For these reasons, it seems very conclusive that cutting out, or at least drastically cutting back on, refined sugars will have a positive effect on your acne while increasing your overall health at the same time.