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High glycemic index food may aggravate acne

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High glycemic index food

According to a study published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there could be a link between acne and high glycemic index foods. Although this research does not show a causal relationship, it seems that high glycemic index foods can influence and even worsen acne. Based on these data, medical nutrition therapy (MNT) could have an important role in curing or preventing  this skin disease.

Acne is a skin disease that mostly affects teenagers and young adults. There is estimated that 12 million Americans suffer from this disease and although it is not a life-threatening medical condition, acne has many psychological and social implications. Acne may affect quality of life and can lead to anxiety and even depression, so treatment is more than necessary.

aggravate acne

High glycemic index food

 Although it is a common condition, especially in adolescents, acne can also affect mature people, that is people over 30-40 years. Acne occurs due to excessive secretion of the sebaceous glands triggered by hormonal disorders. Most often it is caused by an increase in testosterone that occurs during adolescence. But besides testosterone there are also other hormones which are involved, such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), cortisol etc.

The link between acne and diet was made since the 1800s, when it was found that this disease occurs mostly in people who consume large amounts of sugar in their diet. Since then chocolate, fat and sugar were considered to play an important role in acne onset. But since 1960 this hypothesis began to be disproved  because two large studies have disputed the link between acne and diet. Jennifer Burris, MS, RD, of the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, said this idea that diet does not influence acne was implemented because these two large studies were repeatedly cited in the literature. She also added that dermatologists and dietitians have recently reviewed the relationship between diet and acne and are becoming more interested about the role that medical nutrition therapy may play in the treatment of acne.

To clarify the issue, the researchers conducted a review of studies published between 1960 – 2012 and there was found that  indeed there is a link between acne and high glycemic index / glycemic load diet and frequent dairy consumption. It also found that although there is no strict causal connection, it is possible that diet influence or aggravate acne.