Acne Diet & Tips
There is a lot of controversy about acne diet. Although many healthcare professionals still believe food may not directly cause acne it appears to aggravate the condition and a lot of people seem to improve their skin after adjusting to healthier eating habits.
If I were to eat too much salty, high fat sugary foods, seaweed, eggs I would break out with newer acne lesions in a day or two. So acne control is easier if you eliminate junk food and those foods which cause allergy.
Acne and protein intake
Testosterone is converted to a more potent form called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5 alpha reductase. Acne patients show an increase activity of this enzyme resulting in more potent androgens to cause more oil production and clogging of pores.
Acne diet tip: By maintaining a higher intake of protein in relation to carbohydrates you reduce the activity of 5 alpha reductase and thus the formation of the more potent DHT. Avoid consuming carbohydrates which total more than 60 to 70% of your diet and keep your protein intake about 40 to 45%.
Since I gear most of my diet towards vegetarian, I avoid meat. They can contain hormones, pesticides, residual antibiotics and saturated fat. The best source of protein is from whey. Whey protein powders are a superior form of protein which require minimal digestion and depending on how it was manufactured, contains low fat and minimal lactose plus other ingredients beneficial to health.
Acne and Blood sugar
There is some relationship between high blood sugar and acne. perhaps due to a lack of insulin sensitivity and impairment in sugar metabolism acne patients seem to improve after using insulin. To keep your blood sugar levels from rising too fast and too high eat more fibre foods and complex carbohydrates rather than refined ones. Gear your diet towards low glycemic foods.
A study done in the Archives of Dermatology (2002) has revealed that diets high in refined carbohydrates causes not only an increase in sugar and insulin but insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).
Diets high in sugar can create a lot of immediate and long range health problems. Among some are:
1.impairment of the immune system, 2.chromium and copper deficiency, 3.increase in cholesterol, 4.increase aging, 5.hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) 6.hormonal imbalance and much more.
Acne and Fats
We all know saturated and trans fatty acids are harmful to health. These type of bad fats tend to promote inflammation in the body and contribute to more oily skin. peanut butter and its oil is especially bad for acne. It seems to increase oil production. You may notice yourself breaking out in new pimples in a day or two.
Acne diet tip: Use almond butter in place of peanut butter but don't over do it because all are still rich in oils. Take in more essential fatty acids in the diet by eating cold water fish twice weekly and use flax oil or hemp oil.These oils can help reduce depression.
Acne and Calories
Consuming excess calories can result in an anabolic state which influences hormone levels. You may notice your acne worsening after eating too much. Calorie restriction means taking in enough calories to maintain your ideal body weight.
Never go below 1200 calories per day as the body will begin feeding on itself...a sure sign of starvation. Even a 10% reduction in calories can produce measurable benefits, the most beneficial is slowing down the aging process.
Acne and Zinc
Zinc may be beneficial in healing the skin and reducing inflammation although some studies have used fairly high concentration to obtain any benefits. These higher doses can be harmful in causing a copper imbalance, affecting cholesterol and impairing the immune system. Dietary sources of zinc include raw pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and brewer's yeast. It may take 3 months of use before any benefit is seen.
Acne and Vitamin A
Vitamin A is required for maintaining a healthy skin and immune system, night vision and growth. Some people have improved their skin condition after using high doses of this vitamin. Anyone doing so should be under the care of a doctor as large amounts are toxic. Most vitamin products have 8,000 iu to 10,000 iu per dose but it's questionable whether this amount will have any benefit on acne.
Acne and Digestion
Impaired digestion due to low stomach acid and a leaky gut can result in inflammation and allergic acne-like rashes.
A lack of acid in the stomach reduces protein digestion and a more porous gut allows larger undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. This causes an immune reaction and the body looks upon these undigested food as foreign invaders. The end result is inflammation showing up in different areas of the body including the skin. Bovine Colostrum may help heal a leaky gut and reduce inflammation.
The older you get, the less acid your stomach produces. This could be one cause of adult acne. Low stomach acid can also be caused by taking antacids and ulcer drugs, stress and heredity. Glutamic acid, apple cider vinegar and digestive enzymes can help food digestion.
Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by refined carbohydrates, antibiotic medication, alcohol, caffeine, smoking and anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen etc.
Acne diet tip: Chew your food well, eat small frequent meals, and take lactobacillus to restore your bowel with friendly bacteria. This enhances digestion and reduces putrefaction and bloating. Therefore it comes as no surprise to me that some people have cleared their skin when taking probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus. These do a great job in displacing pathogenic (disease producing) bacteria and yeast in the bowel.
Furthermore, a study done in the Klin. Medical journal showed that more than half of the patients studied had a disruption of their normal bacteria flora. Adding probiotics to their standard acne therapy reduced the time it took to acheive acne control.
Acne and Green tea
A study done at the University of Chicago indicates that green tea can modulate the production and action of androgen hormones. This study implies that a specific powerful antioxidant found in the tea can reduce androgens if taken regularly. It's easy to incorporate Green tea in your acne diet.
Acne and Iodine
Acne can be caused by excessive intake of iodine from food or medication. Excess amounts are excreted through the pores causing irritation and inflammation in acne prone skin. The recommended daily allowance for iodine is about 150 mcg. Many vitamin and mineral products contain anywhere from 50 to 150 mcg per pill.
Your acne diet should minimize foods which contain high levels of iodine. Not everyone will breakout with new acne lesions but if you notice a connection after eating salty chips or using iodized table salt on your foods then it makes sense to avoid these.
High iodine foods
Acne foods which contain moderate to high amounts of iodine should be minimized or avoided.
Turkey, asparagus, beef liver, kelp, seaweed, iodized salt, chips with sea salt, brocolli, cauliflower.
Low iodine foods
Acne foods containing low to moderate amounts of iodine
Beans, chicken, brussell sprouts, tomatoes, corn, oats, bread, crab.
*This list is not complete.
The ideal acne dietconsists of eating whole grain foods and plant based foods which supplies vitamins,minerals,plant sterols and antioxidants.
Should you give up sweets?
Many people think that eating lollies or chocolate causes pimples. Research has not been able to prove any link between chocolate and pimples, but some people do find that it works this way for them. It is possible that you eat chocolate when you are under a lot of stress, and that it is stress which causes the pimples. However, if you get acne, healthy eating certainly won't hurt you, and it may even help if your overall health improves.