Is Dairy Giving Me Acne?

There is some evidence that specific dietary changes may help reduce the risk of acne. For example, one meta-analysis of 14 observational studies that included nearly 80,000 children, adolescents, and young adults showed a link between dairy products and increased risk of acne. And some studies have linked high-glycemic-index foods (those that cause blood sugar levels to rise more quickly) and acne

Most empirical data agrees that acne is aggravated by the consumption of dairy. When we digest the proteins in milk, whey and casein, they produce a hormone similar to insulin – IGF-1. This hormone is notorious for triggering breakouts. What’s more, the hormones present in milk can interact with our own hormones, puzzling the body’s endocrine system and, as a result, causing acne.

A review published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics remarked on a compelling link between dairy consumption and acne. In their analysis of 27 trials, researchers found high dairy intake contributed to aggressive acne flare-upsii. The findings purported dairy increases insulin and androgen levels, which causes the body to produce more sebum and, therefore, more spots.

Acne isn’t always related to dairy consumption. But it’s worth experimenting to assess if it’s worsening your skin. To determine its impact, try limiting your intake of dairy for a month or so. It can be helpful to keep a food and acne diary during this window, too.

Adapted from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/adult-acne-understanding-underlying-causes-and-banishing-breakouts-2019092117816

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