Acne may affect more than 85 percent of teenagers in industrialized countries, and, in the United States, nearly half of all men and women seem to suffer from it into their 20s. Why is this common skin disorder considered “a disease of Western civilization”? Might diet play a role in the prevalence of this skin problem? Are there any foods that may help prevent or even treat acne?
Barberries, for example, have evidently been important in herbal medicine for thousands of years. Perhaps the most antioxidant-packed dried fruit available, these tangy, inexpensive fruits were found to dramatically reduce both the number of pimples overall and the number of inflamed lesions.
In contrast, dairy has been identified as a potential contributor to the acne epidemic. What is it about milk, cheese, and other dairy products that may cause us to break out? Is it the butterfat? The animal protein? The hormones? Is some milk, such as skim, better than others? We’ve got videos on all those topics.
The “meat-sweet” Western diet conspires to raise the enzyme TOR’s activity, which may contribute to acne and obesity. So, suppressing the enzyme through diet may not only improve acne, but may stave off more serious, TOR-driven diseases later in life.
I am certainly not above appealing to vanity, especially for my younger patients who have seemed more interested in which dietary changes will clear their acne than which will clear their future risk of chronic disease. So I’m happy to see articles embrace these types of studies with headlines like “Greens to Be Gorgeous.” Still, although looking great on the outside is fine, looking great on the inside is even better.
Our growing video library on acne can clear up any confusion about the role diet plays in this disorder—and your complexion, too.
The information on this page has been compiled from Dr. Greger’s research. Sources for each video listed can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab. References may also be found at the back of his books.
Image Credit: napatcha © 123RF.com. This image has been modified.
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A 5% tea-tree oil gel is pitted head-to-head against the leading over-the-counter treatment for pimples.
Do Sunflower Seeds Cause Acne?
Should we be concerned about the pimples, cadmium, and “colonic crunch” associated with consumption of sunflower seeds?
Does Cocoa Powder Cause Acne?
Is the link between chocolate and acne due to the sugar, the milk, or the cocoa in chocolate? Researchers put white chocolate, dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and cocoa powder to the test to find out.
Does Chocolate Cause Acne?
What are the effects of dairy products, sugar, and chocolate on the formation of pimples?
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What is the role of dairy- and yeast-exclusion diets on arresting and reversing an inflammatory autoimmune disease?
Natural Treatment for Acne & Fungal Infections
Green tea may help with athlete’s foot, dental plaque, acne, impetigo, and bladder infections, but if it’s so good at killing bacteria, what may it do to our gut flora?
Treating Acne with Barberries
What happens when the most antioxidant-packed dried fruit available is put to the test in a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial for moderate to severe acne?
Food as Medicine: Preventing & Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet
Dr. Greger has scoured the world’s scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this new presentation based on the latest in cutting edge research exploring the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing some of our most feared causes of death and disability.
Why Do Vegan Women Have 5x Fewer Twins?
The hormones naturally found in foods of animal origin may help explain why women who eat conventional diets are five times more likely to give birth to twins than those eating plant-based diets.
Saving Lives by Treating Acne with Diet
Over-activated TOR signaling may help explain the link between acne and subsequent risk for prostate and breast cancer.