Acne Vulgaris - The diabetes of skin?

Diet plays an important role to play in many skin disorders, and when it comes to nutritional advice I am frequently asked about the “Acne- Diet” connection.

Acne is by far the most common skin disease and is increasingly affecting both adolescents and adults in North America.  Clinical evidence suggests nutrient imbalances in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, Chromium, Folic acid, Omega 3 fatty acids, low blood antioxidant levels  and insulin insensitivity may be linked to the progression and severity of acne vulgaris.  It is also proposed certain foods  can “trigger” an inflammatory response in the body which is thought to aggravate the acne condition. As studies continue to build, experts are beginning to refocus their efforts in the management of acne and to bring nutrition into their treatment protocols.

To start with, focusing on a Low Glycemic Diet containing complex carbohydrates (vs. simple sugars) has been shown in human clinical studies to significantly reduce the number and severity of acne lesions over a 12 week period.  The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels.  Choosing low GI carbs - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels - is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, healthy weight management and is now being implemented for the treatment and management of Acne Vulgaris.  Well-designed studies have concluded that improving blood sugar balance through a low glycemic diet may help to reduce epidermal growth factor (that is over-excited in the acne patient) and inflammation within the skin.

There are many books and diets out there focusing on the Glycemic Index for optimal health and weight management. Below is the link that will take you to the “creators” of the glycemic index. The concept is rather simple and by providing your clients with these credible tools, you may offer them a long term approach to not only improving their acne condition, but also help them feel their best too!

Reference  University of Sydney – Home of the Glycemic Index