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

Fat and Fatty Acid Intake

Although there have been no published, large, well-controlled studies that examine the effect of fat or fatty acid intake on acne risk, omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and their pro-inflammatory mediators have been associated with acne.[23] By contrast, omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties[24] and may be associated with decreased risk of acne by decreasing IGF-1 levels and follicle inflammation. Typically, Western diets have a low ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, as compared with diets observed in non-industrialized nations.[25] Additionally, diets high in saturated fats have been associated with increased IGF-1 levels, while diets that are low-fat and high in fiber have been linked with decreased IGF-1 levels.[26]


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