Does Diet Really Affect Acne?

H. R. Ferdowsian, MD, MPH; S. Levin, MS, RD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2010;15(3):1-2. 

In This Article

High-glycemic-index Foods

Authors of 2 large cross-sectional studies19 in Papua New Guinea (n=1200) and Paraguay (n=115) found no cases of acne in either population. Researchers speculated that the rural populations' low-fat and low-glycemic-index diets could be the reason for the absence of acne in these groups. Authors of a randomized controlled trial[20] examined the effect of low-glycemic-load diets on acne risk and insulin sensitivity. Individuals assigned to the low-glycemic-load diet experienced improvement in the mean number of acne lesions, when compared with the control group. In addition, the low-glycemic-load diet group's mean weight decreased, and insulin sensitivity and SHBG levels increased.[21] Increases in SHBG levels correlated with decreased lesion counts. As SHBG levels increase, free androgen levels would be expected to decrease accordingly. These investigative findings support the role of low-glycemic-load diets in influencing hormonal levels, as well as improving insulin sensitivity and acne.[20–22]


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