Lines are open Mon-Fri 08:00 - 18:00
Acne is extremely common, and the condition is generally considered to be hormonal. These hormonal changes can be the result of many different factors, including illness or age, which is why it’s most common in people during their teenage years. There are also those that believe that diet has a role to play, but anyone who has had to deal with acne will almost always tell you that they’ve been told by their doctor or read that diet doesn’t have an influence. That’s until now.
In future your doctor may have to consider making dietary recommendations as part of your treatment. Since the 1960s it was largely thought that acne and diet weren’t related at all, based on the results of two separate studies, but now, according to a review conducted on half a century’s data, diets that are high in GI could have an influence.
Foods that are high in GI are foods high in carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, sweets, milk and fizzy drinks. Foods that are low in GI include fruit, vegetables and whole grains and tend to be digested slower.
High GI foods are thought to cause hormonal changes in the body, because they are digested far quicker, leading to spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin is believed to have the ability to stimulate sebum production. Milk in particular has been associated with acne, because of the amount of hormones it contains, particularly skimmed milk, largely thought to be the result of how its processed.
This review was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the experts involved believe that it might be beneficial for doctors to consider a patient’s diet when looking into potential treatment.
Although further research into the topic is required, the importance of diet in a person’s general health should not be underestimated. An unhealthy diet in general might not always have an immediate effect on the body, but conditions such as cholesterol and high blood pressure eventually start taking their toll with age.
The connection between food and acne is still too tenuous to conclusively say that acne is the result of a poor diet, but if you currently have acne and you are using a treatment, you might want to review your diet with your doctor. Perhaps there are changes that could benefit your overall health? Ideally you should never exclude and entire food group, but ensuring that a balance of all the right foods feature may have a positive impact.