Doctor's Note

TOR is considered the engine-of-aging enzyme detailed in Why Do We Age? and Caloric Restriction vs. Animal Protein Restriction, as well as my previous video: Prevent Cancer From Going on TOR.

I've touched on this topic before in Acne and Cancer and covered acne and dairy in:

Urologists saving the lives of men is detailed in Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death and 50 Shades of Greens.

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  • Bonnie

    Are there any other suspected dietary causes of acne, other than dairy/animal protein? I’ve been vegan for about six months now, and my adult acne doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

    • Brad

      I have no medical certification, but I can point you to a relevant section of one of the studies in the Dr. Greger’s Sources Cited:

      “Nutritional therapy of acne should (i) normalize total calorie intake,
      (ii) lower glycaemic load and (iii) restrict total dairy protein
      consumption, especially whey protein abuse 5,19,25,32–34. The ideal nutritional therapy of acne should favour (i) a Palaeolithic-type diet
      containing less insulinotropic grains and minimal or no dairy products
      to avoid increased IIS and androgen precursors present in dairy
      products, (ii) higher consumption of vegetables, fruits and green tea
      containing natural plant-derived mTORC1 inhibitors (epigallocatechin
      gallate, resveratrol and other natural polyphenols) 121
      and (iii) increased consumption of fish (lower insulinaemic index than
      dairy protein; source of anti-inflammatory ω-3 fatty acids) and adequate
      intake of vitamin D (see Data S1, Fig. S1).”

      Full article:

      Best of luck with everything!

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Quickly off the top of my head is High Fructose Corn Syrup causes acne as well. You could also have allergies to some foods. I have seen allergies and papules/pustules with over-consumption of Highly processed Soy (Soy Protein isolates).
      You should try the bean and rice diet for a couple of weeks which is boring ( beans and rice 3 meals a day) but it cleans your system out and then you can start adding foods back to your diet to see which ones are promoting your acne.
      Just a quick answer for you that may help.

      • Lucia

        thank u I will try this

        • Kim Glasson

          Did you try it Lucia? Did it help?

    • guest

      I read Loren Cordain’s book, The Paleo Diet just to see what the “ememy” was up to. Most of it was nonsense with claims that eating meat has nothing to do with cancer and saying that we should eat as cave men did- including artificial sweetened soft drinks and tea! But the only part I was impressed with was the evidence he presented that grains can cause acne. I believe he was actually talking about refined grains such as white flour since they’re the most commonly consumed. So, it wouldn’t hurt to eat only whole grains in some moderation. Please let me point out Bonnie, that the point isn’t to be vegan (candy bars, cola, french fries and potato chips can be vegan foods) but to avoid foods that are processed as well. That’s why Whole Food Plant Based is a better description of this healthiest diet.

    • Julie

      In the book “Wheat Belly”, Dr. William Davis states that cultures that avoid gluten (especially wheat), sugar and dairy are acne free. So, you might want to try going gluten-free for a month, as well as continue avoiding sugar and dairy.

    • Jay

      Bonnie for me there is one thing that makes my acne flare up like nothing else. I’ve tried it over and over again. Mostly because I really really would like to be able to eat them. Unfortunately my skin doesn’t seem to like potatoes. Other night shades are no problem at all. I only have to eat one meal with potatoes and 36 hours later my acne appears.

      • DDDDDuane

        I started eating potatoes again and it made no impact…It shows everyone is different….

      • James Anthon

        I have also found that potatoes cause acne in me. What else have you found that causes your acne? I’m still tying to get rid of mine.

    • Jocelyn

      Hi Bonnie, I know that for female adult acne, a lot of it has to do with hormones, which are tricky business. I’ve struggled since I was 20 with adult acne. I gave up trying to find a cure and just decided to be happy and accept the whole me – acne and all. However, I became vegan for ethical reasons, and it substantially cleared my acne. It took a while before I started to notice my skin improving – so long that I didn’t think the diet change would help my acne at all (again it wasn’t my reason for going vegan, just a side affect I hoped for). Anyway, it is different for everyone and to pin-point one trigger foor or whatever I think over simplifies the whole thing. For me, it helped. I eat TONNES and veggies, lots of whole grains, legumes etc. I totally limit processed foods, oils, and especially sugar ( processed that is, not from fruit which I also eat TONNES of :)). I exercise daily, I find fun and happiness daily, and I get a lot of rest. My suggestion is eat whole plant foods with minimal/no processing, exercise lots, sleep lots, and love yourself unconditionally. Your body will be happy, you will feel great inside, and if the acne clears then BONUS!

    • dogulas

      Not sure about dietary causes, but stress is bad for it. Sunlight helps relieve it. So outdoor exercise is helpful, and a lack of it could allow more acne.

    • Eskil

      Same here with severe acne and I used to drink a lot of milk in my youth. However taking a few teaspoons of B5 vitamins everyday seem to almost completely eradicate it so long as I keep taking it. Otherwise it all comes back and I look like pizza face within weeks again.

      Does anyone know of any research indicating that acne may be caused by B5 defiency? Or that bioactive substances in dairy causes the need for excess B5 intake to keep acne away?

      • KM

        I just replied to Bonnie about this. There is research done on the subject. Just look for research regarding pantothenic acid. It has something to do with a lack of Coenzyme-A production. There are some websites that try to claim B5 for acne treatment is a myth but I know it works, so yeah..

    • Dr. Flora Mason Van Orden

      Are you still using vegetable oils, gluten foods, and frying foods? This will also prevent the elimination of old dairy in your liver and organs and interstitial spaces under your skin. An electric living food juice detox will help: fresh juices and blends.

    • Liz Li

      i’ve had acne from age 10-33… nothing helped… has improved GREATLY since I cut back on wheat.

    • KM

      I had the same issue on a strict diet, have never consumed dairy and was off of all animal protein. I read a deficiency in pantothenic acid (b5) could be a cause. I supplemented and the issue cleared up. I think it’s worth doing the research on it! I had to take loading doses but it was really worth it.

    • Kimberly Merrell-Pelletier

      Mine started when I became vegan. Mine was caused by soy. I have to avoid soy almost completely. When I do consume it it has to be a very small amount. I have been acne free since eliminating it. I rarely even have a pimple. Maybe 3 in one year. That’s it!

    • The Skin Liaison

      Stay away from peanut butter, peanuts, peanut oil, anything containing androgen hormones and iodized salt. These aggravate acne.

    • lisa

      Bonnie, I am 49 and have been vegan for 9 years. My acne seems to have gotten worse. It’s very frustrating. I have tried to get answers and haven’t found any.

      • Celia

        my guess is that it’s premenopausal acne

      • DDDDDuane

        “vegan” frequently means high sugar and junk food….

        • NFmoderatorStephanie

          Yes, DDDDDuane, the term “vegan” CAN include junk food. Oreo cookies, tortilla chips, and twizzlers are vegan as they do not contain animal products. However, at nutritionfacts, we like to promote the benefits of a WHOLE FOOD, plant-based diet. That means veggies, fruits, legumes and whole grains eaten with no or minimal processing to get the most nutrients and keep yourself healthy. I wish you lots of health and happiness with this way of eating.

      • Macoe Swett

        Did you start supplementing B12? That has been found to cause acne in some (including me). I’m fine as a vegan as long as I don’t take it but when I do, instant acne-like rash. It causes this in about 10% of people: Btw, my levels test ok without it.

    • Mike Davis

      virgin coconut oil, raw apple cider vinegar….use earthclinic to verify
      and instruct

      • Celia

        i’m still doubting coconut oil, since it boost testosterone, and too much testosterone would cause acne. Any theory behind using coconut oil?

    • meh

      One man, “Neto the raw boy” cured his severe acne by going on the 80/10/10 raw vegan diet, which is high carb, high-calorie and fruit- and leaf- based. His name on instagram is “therawboy”, he posted his before- and after- photos a while ago now but he periodically reposts them. Other people have had great success on this diet curing their acne. After all it’s the way we are designed to eat – the same as the other great apes. No other animal cooks their food.

      Also, ensure you are getting enough zinc (perhaps take quality chlorella? It’s like natures zinc supplement) and iodine. People doing the “iodine protocol” (I believe by Dr Brownstein) have also drastically improved their skin (it involves mega dosing on Lugol’s iodine and taking enough selenium in the form of methylselenocysteine. If you take iodine without selenium or vice versa it causes problems).

    • Bonnie

      Thank you everyone for your replies! My diet is comprised mostly of whole plant foods, but I’m going to have to experiment to find out what is causing this. Of all processed foods, I probably eat processed wheat products the most (in the form of breads and cereals) so that could be it. I’ll also have to experiment with B5 and see if that helps. Thanks again!

    • Janet Williams

      Eating Soy is a trigger for me and shampoo/health care products with sulphates. I had acne all around my hairline and my back where my wet hair touched my skin. Derma e makes good, affordable skin care without parabens which also cause problems.

    • BerksBound

      A couple of years ago I developed really bad acne on my forehead during an antibiotic regimen for lyme disease. The usual treatments did nothing, and I found an extensive guide that explained how acne on different parts of your face indicates different causes related to diet, lifestyle and your internal functioning.

      In my case, the antibiotics had caused leaky gut. I had sharp pains in my intestines towards the end of the antibiotic treatment and afterwards. I began taking aloe vera juice and probiotics and my skin totally cleared up (and stomach pain ceased).

      As a kid I had skin problems, but consumed lots of dairy. I stopped consuming dairy years ago and those specific skin problems went away.

      Here is a version of the guide I had that shows how you need to treat acne depending on where it occurs most prevalently on your face:

    • Justin H

      Hi Bonnie, I had serious acne through my teenage life and I continue to suffer from it. However, I have tried John Mcdougall’s Acne Diet. This basically said to completely avoid oils, and high fat foods such as soy products, avocados and nuts. Basically a low fat plant based diet. Here are the resources, it seems to be working for me so far.

      Best of luck! :)

    • Mary Smithson

      Sugar and white flour.

      • Kimberly Moore

        Sugar and white flour are big triggers for me. Not to be confused with natural sugars from whole foods (fruits, berries, honey, etc)! Natural sugars also do not cause insulin resistance.

    • Max22

      for me it was palm oil (organic or not organic, both). After I stopped all products containing palm oil my skin cleared.

    • DDDDDuane

      I still have occasional low level adult acne…I find when I take NO SUPPLEMENTS (amino acids, vitamins) my skin is 100 percent clear….B-12 supplements (in B complex) are a probable cause in most people….
      I went on a strict NO DAIRY regimen for about 6 months a few years back (paleo diet) and I still had low level breakouts…..
      Many of the amino acid supps, Hawaiian spirulina, B complex, oily fish proteins: sardines (but not high quality fish oil capsules in moderation) and ZMA caused me acne flare ups….I think avoiding sugar and grains is more important than avoiding dairy…(for myself…)….

    • Amber

      I feel your pain. Thankfully my acne has improved a lot since I was a teenager, but everyone said it would disappear by my 20s – not so much! I was hoping it would disappear as a side effect of going vegan, but no such luck yet. Did you end up finding something that worked for you?

  • sam

    Dr. Michael Greger, would you suggest an overweight vegan should calorie count? or are there better ways of losing weight?

  • edith

    I have been a vegan for 3 years and still have a very bad hormonal acne. I eat only whole foods (with exception for pasta and soy milk)

    • Ilana

      I was going to ask the exact same question! Adult hormonal acne, already vegan.

      • Angela

        Yep, been there done that. I had cystic acne, even though I was eating a very healthy vegan diet. While I know many will not agree, I ended up on Accutane at the age of 38 because absolutely nothing seemed to get it under control. The last cyst on my chin before Accutane was 7/8 inch across of red, swollen pain – and that was only one cyst. I was desperate beyond words for relief, especially when my very young child said it made me look like a monster.

        I don’t know if years of SAD simply messed up my body and a healthy diet couldn’t overcome the acne genes I inherited, but I completely understand everyone saying diet simply isn’t doing it. My sister, who had beautiful skin as a teen, broke out in horrific, horrid cystic acne when she was pregnant, so it was very much hormone-related since her diet didn’t change. She ended up on Accutane after birth, and still has numerous scars.

        • AndyA

          It took me over 45 years, and it happened quite by accident, but I eventually found the root cause of all my acne, drum roll…….

          TABLE SALT!

          Who would have believed that? I’ve always loved salty food and put far too much salt over my meals. Anyway, I was away in some remote location for a couple of weeks and there was no salt available (much to my frustration at the time). During this break ALL my acne started to disappear..

          It was still a while after that before I made the connection, but I got there in the end. I’ve since tried this theory out by reintroducing salt to meals, and within about 3 days new acne starts to reappear.

          All those years of suffering with sore, spotty, unsightly skin makes me sad, but then I’m just grateful that I found the cause and was able to put an end to this once and for all.

          I hope this message will help some other poor sufferer.

          BTW, love the site, and the priceless information that’s posted, and continues to get published here.


          • Dr. Flora Mason Van Orden

            Salt has lots of fecal bacteria from sea gulls in it. If you put the salt in a 400 oven for 5 minutes, it will kill the bacteria. Since salt is addictive, and really does bad things to our cells (better to eat celery or dulse leaves, the latter of which gives us all of the minerals and trace minerals we need to stay well), when we think we need it, our body is just telling us that this food is dead, devoid of the electricity we need to feed our heart muscles and brain cells.

          • Christine Price

            I’d like to see some legitimate research that shows fecal bacteria, specifically from sea gulls, in table salt. That just sounds completely ridiculous to me.

      • Melinda

        I use to have really bad hormonal acne until I cut out wheat, dairy and started drinking lemon water every morning. For the first time in 15 years I am acne free!!

        • Ilana

          It was probably the dairy, not the wheat or lemons….

    • conniemm

      My 16 year old son is essentially vegan (only very occasionally eats dairy while out of the house). He eats a lot of fruits and veggies. Unfortunately, he still has acne. I wish it was as simple as just eating a nutritious whole foods plant-based diet.

    • Andrea

      Read “The Starch Solution” by Doctor John McDougall . Do not consume any oils, not even olive oil. Do not eat fake meats, vegan butter, junk food. Give your body some time to adjust and voilà!

      • sofia

        have you suffered from acne?

        • Jocelyn

          I have. Hormonal acne since I was 20. Whole food vegan diet (similar to Dr. McDougall diet) was the only thing that helped (though it wasn’t why I went vegan). Cut processed foods, especially sugar, completely out. Cut out fats except those naturally occurring in foods like avocados and nuts. Also, exercise and rest. Limit/cut out alcohol. These are the things that have helped me.

    • Julie

      Besides avoiding dairy and sugar, try going gluten-free.

      • Jocelyn

        I’d see if you have an actual allergy first, otherwise you will be paying out the nose for GF foods without any benefit. Acne isn’t and never will be as simple as cutting out one food and having a cure. It is much more complex than that. In my opinion, it is lifestyle changes that make a difference. I’ve already posted this three times but whole plant foods (grains too!), exercise, rest, limit alcohol, and enjoy life. And what is there to lose? Worst case scenario, you are eating healthier, you’ve changed your life to a more wholesome healthy one – and who can complain about that!

    • eva

      I’ve struggled with acne all my life and I’m in my 40’s now. I eat whole foods now (have cut out the processed foods) and no milk, no meat, etc. I also drink lots of water. I’ve found that nuts (any kind) make my acne flare up. You may have to eliminate some foods and then see what happens when you re introduce them. I still eat nuts now and then, even though I know what will happen. I just accept it and move on.

    • Katja Breceljnik

      I am glad to see so many people overcoming acne! I completely agree that there can be several causes for acne, although
      dairy is often the most common one. Here is another cause linked to acne, the lack of Omega 3 fatty acids:

      Edith, if this does not relate to you, if you consume flax seeds daily and you do not overeat on coconuts, nuts and nut butters) you can get tested for allergies or food intolerance. You can also see your hormonal status via saliva hormone test (examines saliva samples over a 24-hour period). These tests can perhaps help you find a cause for your acne.

    • Robert Haile

      Polycystic ovarian disease can trigger acne no matter what you eat. See your gynecologist.

  • BenzoSt

    I think milk is useful if your goal is physical strength, not longevity. To quote Mark Rippetoe, author of popular book Starting Strength, “experience shows that people who drink lots of milk during their novice phase get bigger and stronger than people who don’t”. He claims it is common for a teenager to gain up to 60 pounds over the course a one year of consistent hard barbell training and drinking a gallon of whole milk every day. And those extra pounds, presumably mostly muscle, will certainly help to win at sports like football or hockey, even if sprouting a few zits is a side effect.

    Although I certainly value my muscular strength and strength train regularly and intensely, my priority is longevity. I have drastically reduced my consumption of meat, whole eggs, and dairy and have noticed a significant drop in my cholesterol for doing so. I intend to completely drop dairy and swap fish for a DHA supplement and be full vegan from September through November and see how it affects my athletic performance and blood work.

    • b00mer

      In regards to Rippletoe’s advice, one could make the same claim for anabolic steroids in injectable or pill form. Doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea…

      Sounds like you have a good plan. Lots of inspiring vegan athletes and bodybuilders out there.

  • Lee Johnson

    This makes me think about something I observed in a rural Chinese village where my wife grew up. The kids there don’t have any skin blemishes in general; no acne. But in the large provincial capital nearby, I see lots of acne (or skin problems in general) amongst younsters.

    The primary difference in relation to this video: The country villages don’t have cows, and very little (if any) cows milk or other dairy. Anything dairy would have to be bought in the city and transported out to the village.

    Whereas in the city, lots of grocery outlets (WalMart is a big one) have lots of dairy for sale; a product of more western-style food available in Chinese cities.

    I’d wondered in the past why the difference; but before seeing this video, I hadn’t thought about the milk.

    • george

      i’m originally from southeast Asia, where acne is very rare. The worst teenagers got were occasional pimples. I don’t know whether this is due to melanin-rich skin, a lot of sunshine, or the diet:
      carbohydrates-mostly rice (wheat products are an occasional treat.)
      fats-coconut oil and coconut milk
      proteins-fish, nuts, beans, vegetables (eggs: occasional; meat (mostly chicken):only at parties and celebrations; milk products-occasional ice cream or yogurt)

      • Lee Johnson

        The area my wife is from is in Southern China, Guangxi Province, bordering Vietnam and Beibu Gulf.

        Since we often traveled between the village and the city, and also had country kids come to the city with us for a few days, it was easy to catch the difference between the country kids and city kids’ complexions.

        I used to think maybe it was the country providing a better environment for developing stable immune systems (i.e. the city kids having too sterile an environment).

        But this last video makes a lot of since; especially because I know dairy isn’t a traditional part of Chinese diet; especially on the farm.

  • sofia

    I got acne when I went vegan frutarian, went cooked vegan and did not stop, now eating seafood and I get only in my pre mestrual days. I really wish what to do about my skin….

    • lounge

      Your body is probably going thru detox and pushing all the toxic stuff to the surface of your skin. You should go back to plant based since eating seafood is extremely contaminated and cruel. In the meantime try a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid.

      • Selene

        Dont use any exfoliants, just the face wash without the exfoliant beads!

  • tbatts666

    The picture looks like HP Lovecraft with acne.

    Yeah I definitely get less acne since I became vegan. But I also stopped being a teenager around the same time. I still seem to get the same amount of blackheads, but whatevs.

  • justme

    Thank you for this post. Sure wish it had come out a decade and a half ago, when our children were dealing with it. We tried all sorts of things to no avail.

  • b00mer

    For everyone commenting here that they still have acne despite eating whole foods plant based:

    This is what cured my adult acne. Vegan, WFPB, low sugar, low fat, all the froufrou “natural” cures, blah blah blah didn’t cure it for me. Your diet might be perfect, but if your pores are full of dead skin cells and bacteria, it’s not going to make any difference.

    If you have not tried the following, try it for a couple months. Most cases should respond favorably.

    Get a salicylic acid product e.g. toner, gel, etc
    pH must be no higher than ~3.8
    No alcohol, coloring agents, or fragrances
    No ingredients that cause “tingling” or “cooling” e.g. menthol, citrus, etc

    If you’ve tried salicylic acid before, but it did not fit the criteria mentioned above, give it another try. Most products on the market are not at the correct pH (so you’re not actually getting the acid), and/or contain alcohol or other substances that actively irritate the lining of the pore and are as a result, counterproductive. Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant which removes dead skin cells from inside the pores. Over time, pores that are kept consistently clear produce less sebum. Both factors make the pores less hospitable to bacteria.

    Get a benzoyl peroxide product (2.5 to 5%; 10% may cause excessive irritation) to kill bacteria. Keep in mind this step will not work very well if the pores are not first cleared with a chemical exfoliant. Physical exfoliants are not in any way the same, and will often cause irritation.

    Honestly if anyone wants to know exact products I use, I’m happy to share. Unsolicited, I hesitate for fear of sounding like an infomercial.

    Acne sucks! Best of luck to everyone.

    • Hopeful

      I’d love to hear the specific products. Thanks!

      • b00mer

        Hi Hopeful,

        [and hi moderators, I promise this isn’t a commercial, just hoping to help others through my experiences :) ]

        The two main products would be a 2% salicylic acid toner, and a 2.5% benzoyl peroxide from paula’s choice. I have accumulated various other salicylic and glycolic acid products, with higher percentages that are more like weekly treatments. All work great and I love them, but you really only need a basic SA and BP to start out with. Prices are around what I’d call mid to higher “walmart” level pricing. Along the lines of neutrogena or olay. The ones I use daily tend to last 9-10 months, and the weekly type treatments seem to last indefinitely.

        Even if you don’t get those, I still highly recommend the “advice” portion of the paulas choice website, with lots of articles about acne (with actual peer-reviewed lit sources) as well as the beautypedia section, which has reviews of products from almost all major skincare lines, so you can check out the products you’re currently using. Or get recommendations for products you can find in a drugstore or big box store if for some reason you don’t want to order things or live in a different country etc.

        A good article to start with:

        One thing I learned from one of the informational articles was that buying face washes with active ingredients is kind of a waste, since they don’t penetrate or stay on the skin. So I use a cerave foaming face wash, which is very gentle but also removes makeup very well. I can even use it on my eyes for mascara and concealer and it works well with no stinging. I tried some of the paula’s choice cleansers, but since they don’t really contain any “active ingredients”, it didn’t seem worth the cost or hassle. The cerave kind is available at walmart and about half the price of the paulas choice ones, and twice as big so you don’t have to be buying/ordering face wash all the time. I also use cerave am/pm face lotions from walmart. The paulas choice ones are again very good, but again not worth the cost to me, since it’s just lotion and not really a “treatment”. Both the cerave lotions and face wash get good reviews on beautypedia. The lotions absorb very well and are not greasy.

        Another big thing I took away from the educational materials was the idea that you *cannot* spot treat acne, or you’ll find yourself chasing pimples all over your face. I don’t know why but that concept really had an impact on me. I had to use the SA and BP daily, all over the face, in more of a preventive manner, for about 1.5 months until my skin had really turned a corner. Fyi, it did make my skin a bit red and flaky at first, but my acne had gotten bad enough that I didn’t even care! I felt so unattractive, and was just so downtrodden at the time. Looking back it’s quite sad. However now my skin is *never* flaky even in winter (due to the regular chemical exfoliation), which is a revelation.

        It’s now clear and has been for a couple years. Since I was a teenager I have always wore full coverage makeup; even without active breakouts I hated my skin. For the first time in my teenage/adult life now, I actually like my skin. I can get away with undereye concealer and tinted moisturizer now which I *never* would have imagined possible a couple years ago :)

        Best of luck to you. I’m *hopeful* that this was helpful. :) Any other questions I’m happy to share.

        • Thea

          b00mer: Speaking for me personally, I found this posting to be very appropriate. Also, speaking for me personally, I am grateful you took the time to post all these details. Very helpful!

    • Maya

      can you share the product you use please?

  • Laura

    What about Goat yogurt and kefir (organic, antibiotic and hormones free) with good bacterias. We need some good bacteria, right?
    What about butter?

    • Thea

      Laura: Yogurt and kefir are just concentrated dairy with some probiotics/bacteria. We know that dairy is not good for us. Here is more information on dairy:

      re: “We need some good bacteria, right?” You can get good bacteria from healthier sources than dairy. The following is a quote from one of Dr. Greger’s videos that I think is pretty helpful:

      “Unless one has suffered a major disruption of gut flora by antibiotics, or an intestinal infection—unless one is symptomatic—with like diarrhea or bloating, I would suggest focusing on feeding the good bacteria we already have, by eating so-called prebiotics, such as fiber. After all, as we saw before, who knows what you’re getting when you buy probiotics, they may not even even be alive by the time you buy them. They have to survive the journey down to the large intestine. Altogether, these points suggest that the advantages of prebiotics—found in plant foods–outweigh those of probiotics. And by eating raw fruits and vegetables we may be getting both. Fruits and vegetables are covered with millions of lactic acid bacteria, some of which are the same type used as probiotics. So when studies show eating more fruits and vegetables boosts immunity, prebiotics and probiotics may be playing a role.”

      I seem to remember that Dr. Greger has a whole video or even series on the topic of prebiotics, but I couldn’t find it/them. Maybe you will have better luck.

      re: “butter”
      Butter has lots of saturated fat:
      And don’t forget the cholesterol. Yikes. And butter is an oil/just fat/empty calories. Fat has twice the calories of sugar, making those empty calories all the more problematic. Bottom line: You do not need any oil/butter in your diet, and you are better off without it. For more information on fat, check out Jeff Novick’s talk/DVD: From Oil To Nuts.

      Hope that helps.

      • DDDDDuane

        Personally for me eating HUGE amounts of dairy or NONE didn’t make any difference….

        • Lynn A.


  • Vivian Malato

    This is very strange, for over a year, I like for breakfast one egg per day, I do not drink milk and dairy products, I do not eat meat (except fish once a month), I do not consume refined carbohydrates on a regular basis – rarely, my consumption of alcoholic drink is 02 glasses of wine or sake a month and I have ACNE, and I’m thirty-five years old.

    • Don’t confuse the condition “perioral dermatitis” for acne. Perioral Dermatitis occurs between the ages of 15 and 40 years usually in female which can be aggravated by potent topical (fluorinated) steroid creams. The etiology is unknown. Treatment usually consists of topical metronidazole or antibiotics. It is important to work with your physician(s) as it is important to have the correct diagnosis as there are several conditions which present similarly. Good luck.

      • Vivian Malato

        Sorry, but it is not that condition, and I am current on my vitamin D. =/

        • Just using the one diagnosis as an example to help make the point that it is important to have the correct diagnosis. As a Family Medicine physician I tended to treat the more common skin conditions. For conditions that didn’t respond or had an unusual presentation I referred to a dermatologist for diagnosis and any further evaluation (e.g. hormonal issues). Sounds like you have a good handle on the diagnosis… good luck with treating it.

  • Merio

    After viewing all Plant Positive’s videos, it’s a little weird to see Cordain and Boyd Eaton cited in this site… but just a little… ;-) …

  • Jason

    Hi Doctor. Three burning questions:

    1. Should I immunize my 5 year old? We didn’t do it yet, and are not sure what the smartest move is?

    2. Are supplements worth taking? And if so, would B-12, D, and a multi be the way to go?

    3. If I go 100% vegan, what is the best protein source to eat?

    Thank you!

    • b00mer

      Immunization is generally a good idea if you don’t like the idea of your child contracting and possibly dying from diseases such as diptheria, whooping cough, mumps, measles, hepatitis, rotavirus, polio, etc, or if you don’t like the idea of contributing to the chances of other not-yet vaccinated children contracting and possibly dying from these diseases.

      Dr. Greger’s “Optimum Nutrition Recommendations” here:

      Your best protein source is simply, food: vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, nuts and seeds. If you eat enough calories from those food groups, it is mathematically impossible for you to get less than your recommended daily amount of protein. In addition, every plant food in the world is a complete protein, meaning they contain all 8 essential amino acids, so there is no need to worry about specific combinations. Try eating plant-based and tracking your food in a nutrition diary like cronometer (it’s free), and you will see this is true.

    • Thea

      Jason: As usual, b00mer gave an excellent reply. I just wanted to supplement the information on protein. b00mer’s response was a good summary, but if you are new to the information, it might help to have some more details.

      The following resources were a GREAT in helping me to feel comfortable about what I was eating concerning the topic of protein. I highly recommend both of them. By the time you are through with these resources, you should feel very comfortable about how easy it is to meet protein needs and that there is no need to eat a special “protein source.”
      (check out December 2003 for McDougall’s site, “A Brief History of Protein: Passion, Social Bigotry, Rats, and Enlightenment”. Also maybe April 2007, “When Friends Ask: Where do you get your protein?”)

      Note that any diet takes some careful planning in order to be healthy and that kids have some different calorie needs percentage-wise compared to adults. Here is a good source for feeding vegan kids. It starts out with infants, but hits older kids further down. It is a good idea to absorb some of the earlier points regardless of how old your kid is.

      Hope that helps!

    • DDDDDuane

      B-12 frequently CAUSES acne….

  • Deb

    I am not a medical professional, but I have experience in this area. My adult daughter suffered with red, painful, cystic acne for many years. She tried various acne products with no success. While researching cystic acne, I stumbled upon a discussion much like this one. The individuals posting had discovered that Aspartame was causing their acne. They were encouraging readers to eliminate Aspartame from their diet entirely. My daughter tried it, and it worked. No more debilitating cystic acne. She has an occasional blemish from time to time as most of us do, but her cystic acne nightmare has been over for a couple of years now. Please know that this is not an overnight fix. It was months before my daughter felt confident that her cystic acne was not going to return. Aspartame is in so many food items. You must be vigilant if you are going to try this. Read labels carefully. You will be eliminating diet colas, most gum, mints, etc. Whole Foods Market sells gum and mints without Aspartame, thank goodness. I hope this helps!

  • Annalise

    I have been vegetarian my entire life, vegan for the last 10 years, and plant-based/low-oil for over a year. At first, the acne got better when I changed to lower consumption of oil but got worse again a few months later. Would additionally being gluten free help the acne?

  • Cynthia

    I love the information in this video but if it could be presented in a way that was interesting to teens and pre-teens it might help to get the message to the targeted audience. I’m afraid my kids will roll their eyes if I send this to them.

    • Lynne

      Absolutely. This video was so annoying that I could hardly get though it, much less ask a teen to watch it. It would have been better as a short article.

  • Lisa

    I was vegan for a year and had the WORST acne of my life. I developed severe pain in my stomach and became hypoglycemic even though I was consuming healthy hemp protein in shakes and all other protein rich vegan possibilities out there. It’s only when I went off of it and focused more on my vitamin counts that it started to improve. There is no one method cure for anyone and this information is frustrating for someone who has never dranken any milk products since childhood to see. I agree, lucky are those who cut out milk, cut out the corn syrup and shizam! their skin is perfect! but for others, there is something else going on. I believe mine is linked to stress and not being as in my body as it could be. I also found it I was SEVERELY deficient in vitamin c. Its incredibly how this has helped. IF you find viegan isn’t working for you – do not stick with it. I thrive on antibiotic, hormone free beef. Everyone needs more of something. and ps. if you have IBS chances are your stomach needs an enzyme to help you absorb the minerals in your food. You could be eating great, but not absorbing ANY of it and that’s what leads to a deficiency causing acne. Get allergy testing, but also get your vitamin levels checked. And- listen to your health. Vegan diet was not right for me, and no, the acne was not a “detox”.

    • meh

      It’s offensive for you to be on a vegan site, telling people not to be vegan. If a vegan did the equivalent on a necrotarian site they would be accused of forcing their views down people’s throats.

      It was your protein obsession that caused the problems. Protein shakes are not a whole food and the body struggles to process excess protein anyway. Plus it is obvious from your severe vitamin C deficiency that you were not consuming a normal diet. How on earth can a “vegan” get a vitamin C deficiency? By subsisting on protein


      Finally, if it was “stress” that caused your acne, a plant based diet would have helped, since cortisol levels directly correlate with the amount of animal produce one has just consumed.

      • Lisa

        Hi Meh, I can tell by your name that you’re high on life. Glad veganism has turned you into such a delightful person. Just to clarify for you, I respect the vegan diet a whole lot. Two of my favourite people in the whole world (make that three) are vegan and absolutely thrive.

        I unfortunately, did not last year. I had severe anxiety attacks, had to take naps on all work breaks and broke out terribly plus had stomach pain.

        No, I was not a stupid idiot who consumed protein shakes full of soy and garbage. I am an organic fruits and veggies gal who even saught the support of a naturalpath to assist me and ensure I was still getting adequate vitamins. She found out I was unable to produce adequate stomach acid myself equating to a body that is too alkeline.

        A vegan diet.. is also alkeline, and as you can imagine lacking acid to digest things and not having acidic food.. can mean for me, in my unique situation, that I was not absorbing anything from my food.

        You can bet I was on a high quality multi vitamin, taking my flax oil and pumping myself full of fresh kale, papaya, bananas, apples, alternative grains, pineapples, strawberries… I am very contientious about what I put in my body.

        Only this year did another doctor discover how severely deficient my vitamin C was. I want you to understand that those of us who are predisposed to digestive challenges (my brother has crohn’s and a few of my relatives passed away due to stomach related issues which lead to severe malnutrition and depression yielding suicide…) that we do not absorb things properly from our food.

        I want OTHERS here, who usually seek a vegan diet to help heal themselves from some ailment, to be aware that if they do not find healing from veganism, they may also be lacking in stomach acid and as a result, a very important vitamin.

        I took vitamin c tablets before.. but now I take them with other carrier vitamins as well as with a digestive enzyme.

        Please don’t judge me. It has been a hard, long, painful road for me. I fully support the vegan diet but I can tell you that it did absolutely nothing for me.

        I am hopeful that one day, as I get stronger and stronger (vitamin c helps me get better EVERY day it is amazing), that I may be able to cut back on meat again.

        For now, I have several servings a week of antiobiotic, hormone, blablalba, free meat.

        I am so happy that you rock the vegan diet. I wish I did. It just didn’t work and I don’t want others to be discouraged. We’re all built differently, do what works best for you.

        Go ahead and google acne on vegan diet. There are multiple people who find themselves in this situation. I believe these people struggle to absorb the vegan food options as well as those who thrive on this diet.

        I also did raw vegan for a few months and I can tell you I DEFINITELY should have absorbed enough vitamin c. It’s sad to discover that all the good you’ve been putting in your body has failed to be absorbed. That your body is full of chemicals because you lacked the vitamin c to oxidize your body like a normal person would.

        I’ve cleansed so many times and done so much for myself but this little imbalance truly set me off.

        Keep rocking this amazing diet that has helped you so much. I will continue to listen to my body as well and am glad everyone clearly here, is equally striving to do the same.

        No judgement. Just love. Encouragement. and peace.

      • Tommasina

        Meh, we try to keep this a safe place for everyone to share so please refrain from insulting other commenter’s experiences.

  • Tina S

    My 25 year old daughter has been having terrible bouts of acne on her face and back. She has been strictly vegan for 2+ years now. In her teens, she only had an occasional breakout. It has been getting worse, yet she eats no dairy/animal products. I changed my diet as well but get a little confused and doubtful when I hear your claims.

  • The Skin Liaison

    If you struggle with acne the best help I know to get clear is to see and esthetician who specializes in acne. They are very successful with clearing acne, they will spend the time consulting with you, are there to support you and they do not promote using any drugs.

  • mikenason

    Food doesn’t cause Acne. I know a bunch of Vegetarians/Vegens who only eat Salad and Fruits and vegetable and there face is still loaded with cysts and acne. Just follow a regimen of cleansing, treatment and moisturizer.

    • DDDDDuane

      Vegan idiots usually eat loads of sugar and grains…..

      • Thea

        DDDDDuane: Name calling is not allowed on this site. Please see the FAQ page linked to at the bottom of any NutritionFacts page.

        • DDDDDuane

          I DIDN’T call ANYONE a name so SHUT YOUR ASS!!!!

  • eric

    I live in Cambodia, dairy consumption is zero, absolutely zero, acne is not uncommon… How can that be explained?

  • Sabine

    I think there is also a genetic predisposition with acne. My brother and I had the same diet growing up except I was not drinking milk (I hated the taste) and I am still the one that got the worst acne problems, he had nearly nothing on his face! I had to take accutane to get rid off it and 2 years after the treatment the acne came back (not as much as before but still). So I think there is different factors. One of them I think is hormonal (I see it at every cycle) and given that our environement it crippled with endocrine disruptors I think it could also be a factor to explore.

  • Selene

    So what do you do when its a hormonal issue, hormonal acne?

  • Kyouran

    When I was young, I never drank any milk at all (as a baby, I had a milk allergy, so even as a baby I just got soy milk). Also, I barely consumed meat as a kid (maybe once or twice a week), although I was a sugar addict. Until this day (27 yrs of age) I still have acne, and it’s definitely not related to the consumption of milk in my case.

  • Timar

    While I agree that a chronic excess(!) of animal protein may increase the risk of certain cancers via IGF-1/mTOR signaling (the evidence for acne is much less compelling IMO. There are many vegans struggling with acne), I think it is irrepsonsible to talk about “saving lifes” by avoiding dairy from the limit perspective of cancer prevention. There is mounting evidence that in sum regular dairy consumption saves more lives than dairy avoidance, as a marginally increased risk of certain cancers is by far outweighted by the CVD- and diabetes-protective effects of dairy (particularly low-fat and fermented dairy products). Here are only the most recent studies showing significant protective effects of regular dairy consumption

    1) In CVD

    2) In metabolic syndrome / type II diabetes

  • Linda Clayville

    My adult acne went away when I quit eating chocolate. Every time I eat even a small bite or two my face will break out. I love dark chocolate but it doesn’t like me!

    • DDDDDuane

      I eat 3 oz a day of 90 percent dark chocolate and it makes no difference either way….

  • Clare


  • Clare

    I have been vegan for 18 months now, and have lost 63 pounds very easily, but it wasn’t until I started testing for all the foods that I was allergic/sensitive to was I able to cure my acne.
    I am 55 years old, and have acne since I was 10 – and it turned out that the culprit was RICE!! Yes, plain old rice. Once I cut that out of my diet, my indigestion was cured, along with my acne.
    Although everyone is different, it might be worth while to use muscle testing to see what you should steer clear of.
    Good luck

  • Eva

    I also suffered heavily from acne until about 2 years ago I turned into vegan (I’ve been a vegeterian for 10+ years). The moment I excluded all kinds of dairy, my face started to clear and now it is still clear. I have small scars from before but I don’t have inflamed skin any more. That was a huge progress and happened without me even knowing that dairy is the main cause of my troubles. :-)

  • Many people underscore the importance of proper diet and nutrition in skin care. Hence, they resort to the use of topical treatment to their skin problems, mainly acne. The information in this video clearly highlights the importance of one’s diet in the treatment of acne and I am sure that this principle is also applicable to other dermatological issues.

  • Jenna

    I went WFPB about 1.5 years ago, and am experiencing pretty bad acne. I RARELY consume oils, no nuts, I eat a tablespoon of flaxseeds everyday, no processed foods, lots of brown rice, potatoes (white and sweet), lots of veggies and moderate fruit intake. STILL getting acne. SOOO frustrating because I am eating so clean and yet I look like I eat greasy dairy-laden foods. Does not make any sense to me. I am getting my iodine levels checked to see if I am iodine deficient. I also was over-supplementing with b12. I went to a doctor 2 years ago (about the time when I was considering going vegan), and she told me to supplement with b12. She didn’t tell me how much, so I went on amazon and bought the highest rated b12 (which was methocobalamine 5000 mcg) the required dosage for b12 supplementation (according to Dr. Greger) is around 250 mcg a day! So needless to say, I was over-supplementing on b12. I have heard that if you over supplement on b12, you can get acne flareups. I have been off b12 for about two weeks, and haven’t seen a big change, but it might take a while to get back to normal. I want to continue on this lifestyle; however, I feel that I have more issues on this lifestyle than the SAD diet (it really pains me to say that). I don’t know what to do.

  • Anna

    Is there any good research about emu oil? The promoters of it list all kinds of great benefits like clearing up acne, reducing cholesterol, healing scars, etc. Is it healthy for you like they say, or is it another animal protein to be careful of?

    • Thea

      Anna: I haven’t heard of people trying to eat just emu oil before, but thought I would point out that if it is an oil, then it is pure (animal) fat, not protein. (I assume that was just a typo on your part.) To the point though is: I have not seen any compelling evidence that any oil is good for us, with the *possible* exception of pure DHA/EPA, which would be derived from algae. You wouldn’t get that from emu bodies I don’t think.

      I hope someone is able to answer your question about the research. I don’t know that part. I just thought I would share my 2 cents in case there isn’t any research out there, and only the hype. Good luck.

  • marie2015

    Coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, aloe Vera are also excellent for treating acne.. found this information useful

  • Emmanuel

    I will like to see more videos on acne. I went plant based 3,5 years ago and still struggle with acne. Im tired of it… I dont do oils, only whole seeds, very low fat and still… Any suggestions?

  • How can I unpuzzle this: adult acne, almost 5 years of whole foods low fat vegan diet, regularly active, meditate, drink lots of water, don’t smoke or drink alcohol, no oils, no table salt, himalayan or sea salt rarely- once a month maybe, eat a variety of foods and eat greens heavily, periodically track my food on and I get all my nutrients; acne doesn’t improve. I keep it under ‘control’ with benzoyl peroxide from, but it doesn’t entirely clear my skin, and it dries it heavily, too. I stopped using any chemicals on my face for a year after I was already vegan (raw vegan at the time), but my face just exploded with breakouts that kept getting worse. It was so physically painful and itchy, I’d scratch it in my sleep, not to mention the emotional struggles, so I went back to BP. Dr. Greger, do you have any suggestions please?

    • Lynn A.

      I was on that regiment as well and stopped it after 3 years. My skin got SUPER bad and still is bad to this day, 1 year later

  • Lucía

    Something strange happened to me. I never had acne between 10-17 years old.. now that I’m 18 and vegan 2 years ago with a healthy diet (no oil, whole foods), I’m having problems with acne. What could it be?

  • Emmi

    I’m vegan (3,5 years) and still struggling with acne. I watched your videos on
    acne and looks like IGF-1 triggers
    mTORC1 signaling that produce acne
    Since im already vegan (low fat whole plant based) I started to do more
    research on my own. In this video Dr. greger says that Leucine activates more
    mTORC1 than other amino acids and animal products have the most dietary amounts
    of this partirular amino acid (
    Could it be that I need to bring Leucine intake even lower?, for example,
    reducing beans that, in the plant kindom, are the ones with the highest levels
    of Leucine? And increase ursolic acid from fruits and spices? Ursolic acid
    inhibits leucine-stimulated mTOR activation
    (, found in apples, basil,
    bilberries, cranberries, elder flower, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, oregano,
    thyme, hawthorn, and prunes. Could this be the solution for plant eaters that
    still suffer acne problems? What about Glycemic load and insulin production? Thank
    you for responding!

  • Sara

    I havent drank cows milk or dairy since 2013 and also i am a plantbased vegan no oil and some days i just eat oatmeal fruit veg and rice. I dont drink any alcohol and i have low stress and sleep well. Why am i covered in painful acne?! :( help please

  • Olka

    I think the problem is a bit more complicated than that. So yes, after I quit dairy 2.5 years ago, my acne situation got better, skin clearer. However, it has not fully disappeared. Few weeks ago I had a massive spots breakout. My jaw line, neck, top of my back. Which means: hormonal acne. I have been diagnosed with PCOS years ago, so I had a blood test done to check my hormones – two were within higher range limit (typical for PCOS), the rest was in the middle or on the lower end. Nothing out of ordinary and yet so many spots. What helped? Well, primrose oil. I also learnt my overall cholesterol is too low and I suspect not enough fats was causing so much mess on my face.

    I am also trying to figure out if bread has anything to do with it. I don’t want to live on a gluten-free diet, but I will be experimenting with bread and spots by keeping a diary…

    Oh, and have I said that? I’ve been vegan for a year now (plus 1,5 years on a dairy free diet)

    • Johanna

      Olka, I thought bread was causing me an issue, too, but when I cut the amount of fat in my diet, my skin really improves. It is not perfect, but it is much better.

      • Olka

        In my case healthy fat helped. Now I only struggle with acne on my neck, near a jaw line, which usually is caused by hormones if I was to believe the Internet :)

        • Johanna

          I’ve cut out all added fat except I still use some flaxseed and have tofu occasionally. I’m thinking I may possibly need to cut down on those as well. Cutting out added fat has also helped me lose a few pounds (about 6-7 so far.)

        • Cody

          Hi Olka, I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. I’m certainly glad that healthy fat has helped with your acne. If you’re looking to minimize the acne even more, or possibly eliminate it, try eating more of a plant-based foods and reducing animal food intake like Dr. Greger mentions in the video. Cow’s milk and dairy consumption have been found to be significantly correlated with acne levels in Americans. Many plant-based countries never even experience acne, so we can use them as a model to try to base our actions for best health!

          • Olka

            May I suggest you read my comment where I say I have been dairy free for 3.5 yrs now and vegan for almost 2? It’s a 3rd comment above yours.

          • Cody

            My apologies. I did not see that comment. My next thought would be to decrease the amounts of processed vegans foods and replace them as much as possible with whole plant foods. Remember that a vegan diet does not necessarily mean a healthy diet. Also, I have not ever heard of anybody having too low of cholesterol. What were your levels at?

          • Cody,

            You can indeed have suppressed levels of cholesterol. We seem to be seeing some autistics and those taking some medications experiencing low levels of <160. mg/dl. ( There is no lack of published correlation with depression and other mental disorders, due to insufficient cholesterol to fuel the necessary hormones downstream. Remember DHEA, estrogens,testosterone and progesterone and others are cholesterol dependent.

            One of the issues to consider, whenever we choose a diet, is to always focus on the least processed , freshest option to optimize the nutritional value. Dr. Alan Kadish Moderator for Dr. Greger

  • Raquel Orozco

    Hi! I am vegan with lots of raw vegan food in every meal. I need help with my acne, sometimes is better, sometimes not. I have other problem, is my dandruff. About my acne, I have this since 12-13 years old (I have now 28 years), I left for a long time oils (olive oil, coconut very little, mostly for external use), junk food, processed food, lots of cooked food, and yet I can not remove this acne. I need help, I do not know how to be my diet in order to completely eliminate acne.

  • dawn

    I’m in my 50s and gave up drinking milk years ago. Still have acne on occasion. eat mostly plant based diet

  • Marjorie

    I was already following a whole foods plant-based diet such as Dr. Greger recommends when I developed a terrible case of perioral dermatitis. It was brought on after I had a severe allergic reaction (cause unknown). I had hives all over my face and body, and my face was swollen up and misshapen like a cartoon witch. I also got impetigo on top of the hives. I have had perioral dermatitis for the past 2 years since then. Often steroids are implicated as a cause of POD, but I did not take any for my allergic reaction, nor any since then. I have tried literally every recommended cure for POD, except for a “high protein candida diet” and antibiotics. Nothing has really helped. Any research out there about POD?

  • Jenny

    Has anyone noticed a link between soy in their diet – specifically only soymilk and tofu/tempeh – NOT soy in processed foods and acne? I recently switched to a plant based diet and my skin has flared up. I’m trying to figure out if it’s something to do with my diet. Thanks!

    • Johanna

      Dr. McDougall says to use soy products with care because of the fat content.

  • Johanna
  • Annie Girard

    There are many factors left out of the equation here. The presence of hormones (such as rBST) in US cows milk, the fact that almost all milk is pasteurized, and fermentation. In older times, people would consume ‘clotted milk’, which simply was raw cow milk left at room temperature for a few hours. There is no rBST in Canadian milk. However, many Canadian cheeses now contain US milk protein concentrates and those cheeses do cause more acne. How is the acne situation in European countries such as France, where a higher percentage of cheeses are made with raw milk? Knowing that cheeses made with non pasteurized milk are resistant to contamination by the listeria bacteria. Fermentation helps too, like with homemade kefir, which contains more than 80 different probiotic bacteria and yeast strains, vs commercial kefir which usually contains 3 or 4 bacterial strains. There is a difference in acne between people who drink non-fermented, non rBST, pasteurized milk and those who eat non rBST fermented milk such as homemade kefir, even if it is pasteurized.

  • QwkRedFox

    Hello friends,
    Aside from diet, I believe other ways acne is spread include:
    – bacteria infected makeup brushes, application pads, powders and creams (wash with soap and water weekly)
    – the use of ‘cladogenic’ makeups that clog pores, or makeup that is not properly washed off before sleeping (use soap, water and rag, use mineral makeups or no touch systems such as an airbush makeup system.)
    – skin oil-laden pillow covers and bed sheets (wash sheets every 2 weeks or as needed)
    – touching bacteria infected surfaces, then touching your face / body. (public door handles, nobs, chairs, desks, debit card machines, money; Dont touch your face if you haven’t washed your hands.)
    – glasses that haven’t been cleaned.

    I suggest using rubbing alcohol to sterilize makeup (apply, mix, let evaporate. Do not use rubbing alcohol on your skin.)

    Bleach or use a cleaning wipe on surfaces such as counters, sinks, and all handles.

  • Sarah Lynne

    Hi, I’m curious to know if you’ve stumbled across any research on Roseacea and diet? I ran a search on the site and did not see any links. Thank you!

  • Deborah Gallegos

    Is goat yogurt or cheese, better than cow’s milk? Thanks in advance for your guidance!!

  • theveganyoginomad

    Hello Dr. Greger, I have a question about acne. I have had acne for as long as I can remember. I went vegan three years ago and it seemed to improve when I did but never went fully away and the type that has stayed seems to be hormonal cystic acne. I only get it along my jawline, chin and beside my nose, under my one eye. It always comes back in the same place. I’ve done a lot of research because in the past nothing topical worked and actually that’s the reason I went vegan in the first place because it’s so obvious the correlation between diet and health problems. I try my best to eat only whole foods. I’m living in the carribean right now so organic and fresh produce is limited and expensive but I drink lots of tea and water, cook with brown rice, or pasta, beans, any veggies I can get my hands on but often just limited to onions, garlic, frozen spinach and maybe some peppers, spices, oatmeal, bananas and sometimes seeds. I limit alcohol, I don’t eat or cook with oil, I do yoga daily, I don’t really have any stress and I try my best to be as healthy as I can but still my acne stays. I did in the past use drugs and drink a lot and smoke. I’ve quit all that now. Sometimes I have issues sleeping. it starts under the skin and develops and It’s not the type of acne you can pop (not that you are supposed to do that anyways, and I don’t). I haven’t been to a doctor because I don’t have the money and I’m not able to get to one out here so I just did my own research and it seems to be an excess of androgens, which possibly could have been increased when I took the morning after pill last December and being on birth control pill in the past. I don’t take any birth control any more because of the hormones and haven’t for years but I have taken the morning after pill a few times. I won’t take the morning after pill ever again. But anyways, I started taking this supplement DIM because it can apparently help with hormone issues and I wanted to get your feedback on the supplement. It seems to be making a slight improvement so far but it’s hard to tell because I’ve only been taking it just over a week now. I know that whole foods are better but I don’t have access to the amount of whole foods as I would like at the moment but even when I did back in Canada my acne didn’t go away. I was eating tons of greens, smoothies, whole grains, beans, basically everything on your daily dozen list, and even though i felt amazing and my skin quality improved the acne was still around. Can you please let me know what you think of the supplement or if you have any other recommendations or input on the subject. I’m getting desperate now because I want to cure my acne that natural way. I have your book and I am about half way through it. I love it! Tons of great stuff but I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of this. Thank you so much in advance.

  • Laura Wilson

    I have been vegan for 3 years, raw for the first year. The other 2 years I have been average with my food mostly plant based some junk food but for the pastest 2 months I have been eating really clean no junk, for two years I have had acne and I have tried everything. A friend told me that it could be from soy consumption… is this true?

  • Ana Macias

    I have been vegetarian for 22 year, now I am 39. I eat very healthy just because I like it that way, I have never enjoyed junk food but once in a while a eat french fries, pizza or veggie burger…however I have been having problems with acne since I was 18 and for some reason the mayority of vegetarian or vegan people that I have known have acne. They are thin, they are healthy but they have acne, why?

  • Linne

    I’ve got a really big spot come up on forehead after a week and half of fasting sugar …how can I get rid of it it’s painful

  • Jeremy

    I’ve had severe cystic acne for 5 years or so (I’m currently 18) and it gets so inflamed and painful that I think something seriously might be up. Within the past 5 or 6 months I’ve gone completely vegan in the hopes that I’d cut out all the animal products that are shown to cause acne. Only problem is my acne hasn’t been getting better. I still have large painful bumps and boils that start off deep beneath the skin and after a few days they get to the surface and the skin becomes really soft and malleable (I can like push my finger into it and it opens into my hand). When they open they are composed of really dark thick blood and pus. Sorry for the graphic, but I’m so scared that something is really wrong, I get these on my face, back, chest, neck, groin, arms, basically any where I get hair. Every doctor I’ve gone to see wants me to do Accutane, but there has to be another way.
    I weight train twice a week and eat tons of vegetables and fruit, and try to drink as much water as I can. Is there something I’m doing wrong or could be doing better?
    Sorry for the length, but my self esteem is really suffering and I seem to be having a flare up and I have no idea what I am doing wrong. I’m trying to listen to my body and I see this as a sign that something is up. Does any one have any ideas? I’d really love to hear back from Dr. Greger. Thanks.

    • Thea

      Jeremy: I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I just can’t imagine how hard that must be. I’m forwarding your post onto our medical moderators. We have so many questions on this site, I can’t promise an answer, but I hope that you will get one.
      If a reply does not happen in a few days, consider doing the same post on the most recent video-of-the-day. We have some extremely knowledgeable community members who may have some ideas for you and they are more likely to see your post if you post on a new page.
      Best of luck to you.

      • Jeremy

        Thank you Thea!

    • NFModeratorKatie

      Hi Jeremy – Thanks for your question. Have you seen all of Dr. Greger’s videos on acne? If not, you can find them here: Acne. In general, following a whole-food, plant-based diet should help improve acne issues. It sounds like you’ve already done a great job incorporating many wonderful healthy lifestyle factors into your daily routine. However, it’s best to follow-up with your dermatologist if you’re not seeing the results you’d like with just diet alone. If you’re uncomfortable with Accutane, I encourage you to talk to you doctors about other options or medications that could maybe help (oral medications, topical creams, over the counter treatments, antibiotics if an infection is present, etc). You also might be interested in seeing a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need while following a plant-based diet. Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns. Wishing you all the best!