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Skin Problems and Soy: Facts and Myths

May 20, 2008
The most common skin disease in the United States is acne. An overwhelming 85% of all teens will find themselves dealing with acne at some point in their young life, and 20% of adults will continue to have active acne. Acne seems to attack everyone, leaving no stone unturned. It doesn't matter if you're male, female, or any color of the rainbow; odds are acne will visit you sometime in your life. The cause for acne is an excess production of oil in the sebaceous glands. Although acne is treatable, only 11% of Americans actually seek some type of help.

There is a studied link between the foods you eat and acne. Refined carbohydrates and sugar both lead to a surge in insulin; this, in turn, leads to an increase in hormone levels. This will then cause an excess in sebum or oil production in the glands. Another culprit is caffeine, which will increase stress hormones and, in turn, increase sebum and bacteria growth.

However, the most compelling evidence regarding diet and skin problems, and more specifically, acne, is the intake of dairy and red meats. Ever heard the old saying, "you are what you eat?" Well, the condition of the skin can ultimately be determined by the condition of your internal organs. Research has shown that one of the easiest ways for the body to relieve itself of harmful substances is through the skin. It's the body's way of saying, "Yuck!" Harmful animal proteins and fats that are hard to digest are basically discarded through the body's defense mechanism resulting in acne.

Soybeans and soy products are foods that are healthy and contain no cholesterol and very little fat. The plant proteins in soy foods are very digestible and have been proven to actually aid the body in digestion, rather than prohibit it. Many people may experience a soy reaction when they first start eating soy foods and as a result sometimes acne or skin rashes may occur. This is a natural reaction in people's bodies and must not be confused with soy actually causing acne; just the contrary. When soy is taken for the first time, the body will activate its immune system and antibodies will be formed. Therefore, the next time you eat soy, you will most likely not experience skin irritation.

In old Chinese folklore it was said that the women workers in the tofu industries always had the most beautiful skin, shiny and radiant, giving them their porcelain glow. Even in the "Traditional Chinese Medicine Encyclopedia," a naturalistic book of healing that is used in many countries; soybeans' therapeutic benefits include smooth and healthy skin appearance.

Today, many cosmetic companies use soybean proteins, soybean oils, and soy lecithin in their skin care products. These soybean compounds have been proven to condition the skin. Studies show that the proteins and isoflavones found in soybeans help in inhibiting milanosome transfer, which is a direct cause of pigment reduction.

The health properties of the soybean seem to be boundless. Whether you choose to eat soy foods for their healthy benefits or use a skin care line with soy proteins for the added glow, most evidence does support the fact that soy products are great for long-term health, and even your skin.
About the Author
Dee Overly is an artist who discovered the health benefits of soy milk and now sells a
Soymilk Maker at www.SoymilkCrossroads.com. Stop by to grab a free Vegan recipe book and check out the blog.
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