Skim Milk & Acne

Skim Milk & Acne
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Three Harvard studies linking acne with dairy consumption in adolescent girls and boys blamed the sex steroid hormone content naturally found in cow’s milk (even without added hormones)—particularly skim.

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The Harvard Nurses’ Study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, funded in part by none other than the National Dairy Council itself, found that the association between milk intake during adolescence and severe physician-diagnosed teenage acne was even more marked for skim milk than for other forms of milk.

This may be because there is so much more estrogen in skim milk. Researchers found 15 steroid sex hormones in commercial milk right off the shelves, and the highest levels were found in skim milk, compared to 2% and whole.

This study involved asking women what they ate years ago in high school, though. Who can even remember?

So, the next year, Harvard researchers studied milk consumption and acne in adolescent girls directly, following 6,000 girls, aged 9-15, for a few years, and found the same thing: a positive link between intake of milk and acne. Maybe it’s just girls, though?

So, next, they studied milk consumption and acne in teenage boys, and here we go again: a positive association between intake of skim milk and acne.

And it doesn’t appear to be an issue with bovine growth hormone injections, or added steroids. This is just what milk contains naturally. It should surprise no one that milk contains such a heavy complement of growth-enhancing hormones. Milk is, after all, specifically designed to make things grow.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to killthebird / Flickr

The Harvard Nurses’ Study, published in the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, funded in part by none other than the National Dairy Council itself, found that the association between milk intake during adolescence and severe physician-diagnosed teenage acne was even more marked for skim milk than for other forms of milk.

This may be because there is so much more estrogen in skim milk. Researchers found 15 steroid sex hormones in commercial milk right off the shelves, and the highest levels were found in skim milk, compared to 2% and whole.

This study involved asking women what they ate years ago in high school, though. Who can even remember?

So, the next year, Harvard researchers studied milk consumption and acne in adolescent girls directly, following 6,000 girls, aged 9-15, for a few years, and found the same thing: a positive link between intake of milk and acne. Maybe it’s just girls, though?

So, next, they studied milk consumption and acne in teenage boys, and here we go again: a positive association between intake of skim milk and acne.

And it doesn’t appear to be an issue with bovine growth hormone injections, or added steroids. This is just what milk contains naturally. It should surprise no one that milk contains such a heavy complement of growth-enhancing hormones. Milk is, after all, specifically designed to make things grow.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to killthebird / Flickr

Doctor's Note

Be sure to see National Dairy Council on Acne and Milk and The Acne-Promoting Effects of Milk in this three-part video series on the latest science on milk as a risk factor for acne development. I’ve previously covered this topic in my video, Dairy Hormonal Interference

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Skim Milk and AcneStool Size and Breast Cancer Risk; and Treating Sensitive Skin From the Inside Out.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

10 responses to “Skim Milk & Acne

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  1. Is there less hormone content in raw milk sold by local farmers? I have a friend who claims that kefir cleared up her acne. Thanks for these videos!




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  2. Dr. Greger I asked you a question on another video but you probably didn’t see it, so I’ll ask it to you here. Based on all the literature you have reviewed, do you think an entirely vegan diet is the healthiest? Thank you




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    1.  Yes  a whole plant vegan diet with Vitamin B12 supplementation is the healthiest diet based on current science. Of course you can be on a non healthy vegan diet if you use alot of processed plant foods. You need to get adequate sunshine exposure or consider Vit D supplementation. See the recommendations… http://nutritionfacts.org/video/vitamin-supplements-worth-taking/. Dr. Greger’s full recommendations can be seen at http://nutritionfacts.org/blog/2011/09/12/dr-greger%E2%80%99s-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/.




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