In the past, the connection between diet and acne was not widely known or recognized. However, researchers at Australia’s RMIT University and at Royal Melbourne Hospital Department of Dermatology discovered a “solid link” between diet and acne development. The head of the research team was Associate Professor Neil Mann, from RMIT University’s School of Applied Sciences. The project took more than two years of careful and consistent study of metabolic changes in insulin and glucose levels resulting from dietary changes and how these changes affected the skin.
The outcomes of the research led scientists to believe that carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, which cause glucose and insulin levels to spike, directly affect acne development in the skin. The benefit of the study is that it also found beneficial dietary guidelines that may improve acne. Researchers showed that a diet high in protein and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index seemed to improve acne breakouts. While these findings are exciting in the science community, researchers admit that diet alone will not eliminate problems with acne. However, eating healthy may improve acne maintenance in addition to improving overall health. Fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of grains, and lean protein are all highly encouraged in the management of acne from a dietary standpoint. Soda, “junk foods,” or other sugary snacks should be avoided wherever possible. Smith R., Mann N., Braue A., Mäkeläinen H., Varigos G. “The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris: A randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2007); 57 (2): 247-256.
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