Acne vulgaris, affecting over 85% of adolescents and nearly 50% of people over age 25, is the most common disease in the Western hemisphere. Recent studies show that a high-glycemic diet is the primary determinant of the acne epidemic as evidenced by the physiology of pimpling.
In contrast to people in eastern societies, westerners tend to abundantly consume processed foods which rapidly increase blood sugar. In response, the pancreas continuously releases insulin to prevent high blood sugar. The elevated insulin levels trigger hormonal imbalances that disrupt skin homeostasis, thus increasing acne.
Researchers suggest weight loss and low-glycemic index (GI) food consumption (e.g., meat and low-carb vegetables) may incline the body toward healthier skin states. In fact, recent studies show the lowest of low-carb diets – the ketogenic diet – may prove to be the best form of carb restriction in women and men.
Once the body is deprived of carbs, it enters into a state of ketosis. Dietary and excess body fat is converted into liver ketones (organic compounds) used to fuel the brain and muscles. The keto diet forces the body to power itself via fat rather than sugar.
Research from Italy indicates the ketogenic diet can be applied to the treatment of acne via inflammation reduction as well as insulin level and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) level reductions.
On the other hand, dairy-rich keto diets may cause acne rather than preventing it. Research shows that dairy products – particularly processed milk and whey protein-based products – stimulate high insulin and IGF-1 levels. As a result, dairy alternatives can be applied:
~ Replace dairy-based cheese with vegan cheese
~ Replace heavy cream with coconut cream
~ Replace milk with coconut milk
Furthermore, if carb and dairy restriction prove ineffective, the following measures may be taken:
~ Consume less dark chocolate
~ Consume more fatty fish
~ Fast intermittently
~ Drink green tea
~ Exercise daily