The Big Debate: Does Diet Affect Acne?

I remember it as if it were yesterday… sitting at the kitchen table as a blossoming teenager, listening to Elaine Randolph, my mother’s then bff (at least, that’s what they would have called each other had the term existed at the time—mom always was tuned in to pop culture) talk about eating a mixture of green grapes and brown rice daily in order to keep her skin looking young.

Now my mother made all sorts of faces at the notion of that concoction sliding down her throat. But Mrs. Randolph swore by it, no matter how vile it sounded. The memory made me smile. And brought up an interesting point to ponder: do the foods we eat really have an effect on our battle with acne?

On both sides of the debate are doctors, academics and home remedy enthusiasts that have researched this question and published their findings in various studies.

The Yea’s

A 2007 study by Australia’s RMIT University and Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Dermatology seems to indicate there is a link between high glucose and insulin foods and severe acne.  So if you are loading your lunch tray with white bread, potatoes and sugary drinks beware.  The 12 Mountain Dews you had today just might be one of the causes of your latest acne outbreak, according to this study that is. (Not to mention the fact that you are going to be up for at least three days straight) Other MD’s are currently investigating a possible link between milk products and wicked breakouts.

The Fun Haters

There are hundreds of so called “Acne Diets” on the market today and while some acne suffers may have found long sought relief via these diets there is no conclusive empirical evidence suggesting they are effective on a broad scale.

There are some common themes that run throughout both sides of the issue.  General agreement has yet to  be reached on the area of the glycemic index, diet,  and their impact (or lack thereof) on the severity of an individual’s acne.

No need to run out and by brown rice and grapes to smash together in a bowl.  They won’t cure acne anymore than chewing bubble gum while sucking on a lollipop will.  Best course of action?  Ask your doctor how various foods might be impacting your personal situation.

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3 Responses

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