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Acne Diet - The Western Diet And Acne

Mar 30, 2008
The Western Diet is typically composed of high-glycemic foods, which have indicated in several studies conducted, to cause acne breakouts. Such foods that have high glycemic index (GI) include refined sugar and starchy foods such as cereals, grains, milk, breads, and processed foods.

According to some studies, the increase in the level of insulin hormone and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) in the human body system, results to the rise of testosterone level in males. Consequently, as testosterone directly affects the secretion of sebaceous glands, increased testosterone brings about an excessive sebum production. The sebum or oil produced inside the body may clog the pores of the skin, creating a bacteria-friendly environment and thus triggering acne outbreaks. Also, the previously mentioned hormones cause the overproduction of skin cells, further aggravating the clogging of the pores and nourishing the acne-causing bacteria.

A certain study conducted had observed that participants, who only ate natural foods rather than the highly-refined foods common in a Western diet, showed minor, or no pimple problems at all.

Furthermore, they conducted the same study on immigrants on westernized locations. Surprisingly, these persons, who used to consume only natural foods and did not ever experienced acne before, have developed the disease when they moved to their current western residence and have adapted the western diet that is composed of highly refined foods.

Western Diet - High Fat Foods

This diet also consists of high fat foods. Large amounts of fat inside the body can lead to over secretion of the sebaceous glands. Moreover, the fatty content in Western foods is composed primarily of sebum. Also, high fat foods can actually lead to poor blood circulation in the body, making the person more prone to acquiring acne.

Furthermore, incorporating the Western diet in young teenagers causes a sudden increase in the sex hormones, causing an even higher occurrence of acne.

Studies have also shown that too much caffeine can also increase the stress hormone levels inside the body. The large amounts of these stress hormones can further trigger the development of acne, or worsen existing acne conditions. The Western diet typically includes high-caffeine beverages, such as tea, soda, and coffee.

Other studies have also presented the relevance of the significant amounts of dairy products and red meats in the Western diet to the incidence of acne problems. The large content of protein in this diet increases the levels of IGF-1, which, as mentioned earlier, can also increase the level of testosterone, indirectly over stimulating the production of sebum, as well.

Studies further show that dietary changes concentrating on low glycemic carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, have positive endocrine effects that are therapeutically effective in treating acne. Such beneficial endocrine changes maintain the normal and healthy growth of the cells of the skin, as well as promote normal production of sebum.

Although there is actually no firm evidence on the relationship of certain foods in the Western diet and the occurrence of acne, it is still best to control the amounts (neither too little nor too much) of whatever kinds of food that we take.
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