Acne: Diet a Major Determining Factor...
Modern medicine is a mess. Drug companies pull the strings and too many doctors go with the flow. They’ve lost touch with reality. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Dermatologists insist that food has nothing to do with acne, rheumatologists insist that food has nothing to do with rheumatoid arthritis, and gastroenterologists insist that food has nothing to do with irritable and inflammatory bowel disease. Even cardiologists have been resistant to accept the accumulating evidence that atherosclerosis is entirely avoidable.
As for dermatology, a new study has determined that foods like milk and refined carbohydrates are responsible for an increased incidence of acne. Via Family Practice News:
The link between milk consumption and acne has been extensively pursued by investigators at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said Dr. Mancini. In a prospective cohort study of 6,094 girls, aged 9–15 years, who were children of Nurses' Health Study II participants, self-reported greater consumption of milk—whether whole, low-fat, or skim—on food frequency questionnaires was independently associated with acne severity in a multivariate analysis, said Dr. Mancini, head of pediatric dermatology at Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago.
Those who drank two or more servings of milk per day during the 2-year study period were roughly 20% more likely to have acne than were girls who drank less than one serving per week. The results weren't significantly altered by excluding girls using contraceptives or restricting the analysis to those who were less than 11 years old at baseline (Dermatol. Online J. 2006;12:1)…
…In an editorial accompanying an earlier study by the group, Dr. F. William Danby, a dermatologist at Dartmouth University, Hanover, N.H., noted that 75%–90% of all milk reaching the marketplace comes from pregnant cows. This milk contains progesterone, other dihydrotestosterone precursors, somatostatin, prolactin, insulin, growth factor-releasing hormone, insulinlike growth factors 1 and 2, and numerous other substances that could stimulate pilosebaceous activity (J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2005;552:360-2).
Dr. Mancini noted that the link between acne and a high-glycemic-load diet rich in processed carbohydrates was made by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., and coworkers at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. In contrast to the near-universal prevalence of acne in adolescents in modern developed countries, they reported a rate of essentially zero in two non-Westernized populations: the Aché hunter-gatherers of Paraguay and Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea. These subjects also had low serum insulin and high insulin sensitivity.
Dr. Danby is a champion of the diet-acne connection. Here are a couple more links to his work:
- Daily Mail: How a pint of milk a day can give you acne
- Dermatology Journal Online: Milk consumption and acne in adolescent girls
- The Boston Globe: A Clear Connection?
The power of nutritional-intervention—food as medicine—can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Most chronic illnesses have been earned from a lifetime of inferior nutrition, which eventually results in abnormal function or frequent discomfort. These illnesses are not beyond our control, they are not primarily genetic, and they are not the normal consequence of aging. True, we all have our weakest links governed by genetics; but these links need never reveal themselves unless our health deteriorates. Superior health flows naturally as a result of superior nutrition. Our predisposition to certain illnesses can remain hidden.
In fact, here's a great success story from one of Dr. Fuhrman's patients. Check out Caitlin's triumph, told by her proud mother:
For approximately a year before consulting with Dr. Fuhrman, our daughter Caitlin suffered from progressive fatigue, severe acne, and chronic stomach upset. It caused numerous absences from school, which was troubling because Caitlin was an honor student who had always done well academically. After seeing several doctors with no diagnosis, Caitlin became exceedingly frustrated and asked us to enroll her in counseling for stress management. We began counseling as a family. Caitlin’s symptoms worsened and she was eventually diagnosed with ulcers. Six weeks later, we learned that the tests revealed an alarmingly high presence of the antibodies that fight bacterially-based ulcers. According to the doctor, Caitlin probably had the bacteria in her stomach for more than a year. He immediately prescribed a course of four antibiotics taken simultaneously, which destroyed her digestive system. She was worse than ever. We asked our counselor to recommend a physician who practiced nutritional medicine and we were led to Dr. Fuhrman. He immediately put Caitlin on a cleansing diet with lots of green vegetables and high nutrient soups, but no medication of any kind. Over those first two months, as her digestive system healed, Caitlin regained her energy and her skin cleared. No more stomach upset, no more acne, no more fatigue. Caitlin was healthy in body and spirit and she was discharged from counseling. She graduated from high school with honors and received a scholarship to pursue her college education. We are so grateful to Dr. Fuhrman and nutritional medicine and can’t imagine where we would be without this approach.
I think dermatologists need to expand their minds a little and not take themselves so seriously. Dr. Cox from Scrubs would agree. Take a look:
In all seriousness, food is wonderful medicine. Just check out this post: Diet Influences So Many Aspects of Health.