Monday, 12 December 2011

Sugar, Milk and Carbohydrates: Your Enemy in the Battle Against Acne?

Are you suffering from acne? If so, you're not alone. Millions of people suffer from acne and have collectively spent billions of dollars seeking a cure for their problematic skin, fueling the anti-acne industry. Unfortunately, acne products (especially prescription antibiotics and creams) often come with side effects as serious as birth defects. Even more disenchanting is that the treatments don't always work, and when they do - it's often temporary. In those who are afflicted, acne can vary wildly from 'one pesky zit' to debilitating proportions. Unfortunately, even though acne is so prevalent and affects so many, a definitive cause has not yet been established. While there are many treatments available for acne, our limited knowledge of what causes it prevents the possibility of a cure.

Here is what we do know: We have sebaceous glands in our skin that secrete the oily, waxy substance called 'sebum' which is made from the debris of dead, fat-producing cells. Somehow, the sebum changes its properties - becoming thicker, clogging pores and resulting in infection. These infections create pimples, and eventual scarring.

However, it isn't that simple.

Carbohydrates from processed food were linked to acne for a long time, as carbohydrates increase insulin levels in the body. When it comes to carbohydrates, our digestive systems are not designed to handle such high levels of readily absorbed sugars. When our sugar levels raise too rapidly, our bodies' natural response is to increase insulin production. Insulin levels increase androgen secretion, as well as keratinization of epithelial cells resulting in clogged pores and infection.

Increased levels of 'androgens' are well-known to affect sebum, but why do so many of us seem to have raised androgen levels? Could it be from certain foods, like milk? Recent studies actually suggest that acne can be caused by milk ingestion. Milk is designed to encourage the growth of babies, and is naturally full of what we call 'anabolic hormones'. These are mostly androgens (like testosterone), and growth factors including insulin and insulin growth factors (there is no such thing as regular hormone-free milk). When we drink milk, we are actually ingesting these hormones and elevating our insulin and androgen levels, thus creating acne.

Though reasonable, it seems unlikely that acne is exacerbated by milk alone.

When the hormones in milk are ingested, they're changed by the digestive process and instead of being absorbed - the body sends these hormones to the liver as waste. Milk alone is unlikely to be the cause of excess androgen production, but if androgen elimination is impaired it may be a problem.
But getting rid of milk is not easy:

1. It's addictive: the main protein in milk, called 'casein' is transformed during digestion into 'casomorphins' - which have an opioid effect.

2. It's recommended by the government: Look at it from an evolutionary standpoint; human beings are designed to drink milk until age 1, in order to rapidly gain weight. In that regard, why would the government recommend that adults drink milk, if obesity is so prevalent?

3. Also processed foods that we like so much are full of trans-fat. Trans-fats are synthetic, solid and more likely to clog pores. Saturated fats are natural, thin and unlikely to clog pores. Trans-fats are found in margarine, shortening etc. Saturated fats are found in fish oils and omega-3s. It is very interesting to note that omega 3s were found to exist in the fat of grass-fed cows -- however, not in their corn-fed counterparts.

Consumption of milk, sugar and carbohydrates in all forms do not necessarily cause acne or exacerbate acne problems. To drive the idea home, we can examine an interesting study conducted on the indigenous people of the island of 'Kitava'. Located in the Pacific Islands, the island's residents subsist on a diet of root vegetables, fruits and fish; and have undetectable levels of cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity - and do not have acne!

The things they're not consuming are processed grains (particularly wheat), refined sugar, industrially processed vegetable oils and other modern foods. I believe these foods are unhealthy, and its evidence is visible in the trail of destruction they have left around the globe. Its traces can be found in the Pacific islands, where close genetic relatives of the Kitavans have become morbidly obese and unhealthy on a processed-food diet.


Avoid carbohydrates, unless they are in fresh unprocessed fruits.Avoid dairy products expect butter.Avoid trans-fats and other processed food.Optimize your intake of fish oil.Take care of your digestive system.

What about you?

What experiences have you had with acne?

Have you tried to reduce your milk and sugar intake?

Do you think a Paleolithic diet like the Kitavans' can treat acne?

View the original article here

1 comment:

  1. Well I think sometimes it is quite difficult to give up something to get something. In case of home remedies it is possible to be happen. You can get rid of acne by wonderful products or treatment . just visit at