Acne may be one of the most common forms of skin problems affecting both teens and adults.
It is a chronic, inflammatory condition affecting the sebaceous gland of the hair follicle that can be very distressing for acute and chronic sufferers alike. Conventional medicine often focuses on topical treatments, but who says beauty only goes skin deep?? If you really want to clear up your acne, you’ve got to go deeper and get to the source — inflammation, which we now know is an inherent component of every aspect of acne formation. Inflammation can arise from various sources including stress, hormone imbalances and poor diet – specifically milk & high-glycemic foods (i.e. sugar).
In 2008, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed an association between dairy & high-glycemic food intake and the development of acne in teenage boys. Individuals prone to
breakouts are known to secrete a greater quantity of lipid-rich fluid called sebum via the sebaceous glands in the skin. Insulin & Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) have direct effects on these glands causing increased sebum production. IGF-1 also stimulates the production of androgen hormones, like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which stimulates the production of sebum and the enlargement of sebaceous glands causing acne formation.
A 2009 study published in Experimental Dermatology found that milk consumption resulted in a significant increase in insulin and IGF-1 serum levels which was comparable to high-glycemic food intake. Furthermore, researchers have suggested that the hormones in milk, which include IGF-1 and 5-a-pregnanedione, may survive milk processing. 5-a-pregnanedione is a precursor of DHT. So, if you are suffering with acne consider eliminating dairy from your diet for a week or two and see if your skin improves. Dairy includes anything made from cow’s milk including milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt & cottage cheese. Many baked and prepared foods contain milk so check your ingredient labels.
Luckily there are many alternatives to cow’s milk on the market. Go to any grocery store, even Walmart, and you can find almond milk, coconut milk & yogurt, flax milk, hemp milk, and cheese made from almonds. Vegan products are another alternative as long as they are made from non-GMO soy. There are also numerous websites available with non-dairy recipes that are free for you to enjoy.