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Milk Shown As Biggest Cause Of Acne

Feb 18, 2008
For a long time scientists have searched for the causes of acne. Now at last, a dramatic picture is emerging that shows milk to be a major cause of acne. In an article by Sanjida O'Connell (How a Pinta Causes Pimples, The Independent, May 8th, 2007, USA) the way milk causes acne is shown graphically.

Julianne, an American subject mentioned in O'Connell's article, never suffered from spots as a teenager, but by the time she was 28 she had terrible cystic acne along her jawline and across her neck. She had travelled to Europe to learn to learn about cooking.

She decided that on her return to the States she would open a deli as well as a restaurant. So before she returned Julianne toured Europe, sampling just about every cheese she could find. As she recounted this to the dermatologist Bill Danby, something clicked: "Oh my God, it's the cheese," she realized with horror. For the next six months, she cut out all dairy products. During that time she became 85 per cent free of acne, and her skin has now cleared up.

Danby, the dermatologist, said: "The ability to develop acne is partly genetic and partly the result of hormone exposure [e.g. hormones from dairy milk]. I tell my female patients that genetics are the key to the fact that Paris Hilton has lots of money and no zits and my patients have lots of zits and no money."

In teenagers acne peaks at between 16 and 18, although it can affect anyone at any age. Up to 98 per cent of people in Western countries are affected. A clear link between acne and dairy milk has been noted by researchers because acne is much higher in parts of the world that consume more milk. Acne makes the skin sore and uncomfortable, and is socially excruciating - $5 billion is spent worldwide each year treating it.

Acne is caused by hormones in dairy milk that affect the glands of hair follicles, making them produce more sebum than usual. This makes hair follicles stick together and form a kind of plug in the skin pore - this is the first visible sign of acne. The plug blocks the sebum canal and prevents the free-flow of sebum to the skin, thus making acne develop.

Dairy milk has many types of hormones. Some of the hormones are produced by the placenta to aid the cow's pregnancy. Other hormones in milk, such as IGF-1, help the calf to grow rapidly. Humans also produce IGF-1 growth hormones. This hormone peaks at age 15 in girls and 18 in boys, coinciding with peak acne levels.

IGF-1 is known to work with testosterone and DHT to cause acne. IGF-1 is found in all types of dairy milk: raw, pasteurized, organic and nonorganic. So when you consume any type of dairy milk it will significantly increase your levels of IGF-1 and be likely to cause acne.

The evidence that cow's milk is one of the biggest causes of acne is confirmed by several studies. For example, Dr Walter Willett led a team of researches at the Boston Harvard School of Public Health in a study of 47,000 women. The women were part of the 'Nurses Health Study II' (a major well-publicized project).

As part of the study, 47,000 women were required to complete questionnaires concerning their diet as teenagers, and to indicate whether they ever had severe acne. The study found no links between foods such as potato chips or chocolate and acne, but they did find a strong link between women who had acne and those who had regularly consumed milk.

Other research confirms this:

* IGF-1 [in dairy milk] contributes to the increase in sebum production during puberty. (Endocrinology, 1999 Sep, 140:9).

* About 80% of [dairy] cows are throwing off hormones continuously [dairy milk is] implicated as a factor in the development of acne teenage acne patients improved as soon as milk drinking stopped. (Frank Oski, M.D., Don't Drink Your Milk, Teach Services, Inc).

* About 80% of cows that are giving milk are pregnant and are throwing off hormones continuouslyDr. Jerome has found that acne improved as soon as the teenagers stopped drinking milk. (Dr. George J. Georgiou, Ph.D., Clinical Nutritionist, Milk - A Recipe for Disease, Nov. 2002, worldwidehealthcenter.net).

By simply switching to non-dairy milk you will go a long way to avoiding acne. Some supermarkets sell non-dairy milk (usually soy milk and rice milk). But there are many other kinds of wonderful non-dairy milk which you can easily make at home in a matter of minutes. When made correctly, home made milk is super-nutritious and truly delicious, and of course, it does not cause acne.
About the Author
To find out more about making your own non-dairy milk go to Make Your Own Milk . Unique recipes show how to make nutritious and super-delicious milk quickly and easily. No special milk-making machine required. Find out more .
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