Acne can be a problem which seems that no amount of expensive ointments and creams can resolve. But in some cases research suggests that what you put in your mouth may be as important as what you put on your skin.
A researcher and dermatologist in Kansas City, at the University of Kansas Hospital, Dr. Daniel J. Aires said that a lot of patients got their acne under control just by changing their diet.
Dr. Aires said that many studies have been made, over the years, about the link between acne and various foods, and the strongest evidence can be summarized in three points:
■ Avoid starchy and sugary foods that cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly, meaning they have a high glycemic index.
■ Avoid low-fat dairy varieties, if you eat dairy products.
■ Eat plenty of colorful plants and produce.
A research brought some of the most compelling evidence about the connection between acne and high glycemic foods like white bread, sugar, pasta, white rice and other simple carbohydrates. Refined and highly processed carbohydrates are poor with fiber and usually cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Cutting back on these foods as was found by some small clinical trials, can help to reduce acne lesions in young adults and teenagers.
Scientists are not sure why, but one of the reasons may be that high glycemic foods not only cause blood sugar levels to go up but also to provoke the release of various hormones, such as IGF-1, growth hormone, and insulin, which can worsen acne.
Other research has pointed to a link between acne development and dairy products. But multiple studies have found that particularly low-fat dairy causes acne problems. Dr. Aires said that hormones might also be the basic reason.
He said that a lot of growth factors that are found in milk may be promoting acne. His guess is that when you take out the fat those get more concentrated.
He tells to his patients who eat dairy products that it’s better to avoid the low-fat options. If you’re going to eat cheese at all, it is better to eat the regular cheese. The director of the dermatology division at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Dr. Aires, also recommends to people to eat foods with high levels of polyphenols, which are plant compounds that help to decrease inflammation. Polyphenols can be found in green tea, dark-colored foods like berries, extra-virgin olive oil, dark chocolate, herbs, red wine and green vegetables.
So, in summary, Dr. Aires recommends to people to eat a diet full of real, whole foods without refined carbohydrates or sugar — and to eat plenty of vegetables and plants.