The Real Secret for Eliminating Acne

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Insulin Resistance & Metabolic Syndrome, General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Most everyone can relate to acne since we all likely had some degree of it as adolescents. However, it plagues about half of us into adulthood. We know the routine: scrupulous face washing, avoidance of chocolate, and, when nothing else works, blame dear old mom and dad for passing on faulty genes.

Guess what? None of these things causes acne vulgaris, as it is officially called. They’re all myths! Acne is not triggered by poor hygiene, chocolate, or genetics. Furthermore, the millions Americans spend on soaps, scrubs, and other over-the-counter acne products do little to foil outbreaks.

But there’s good news. Research reveals an underlying cause—and a very successful treatment—of this common skin condition.

Loren Cordain, PhD, a leading expert in Stone Age nutrition, observed acne is virtually nonexistent in cultures that eat a traditional diet of wild game, fish, and fruit. He also noted that once those people start eating refined sugars and other processed foods, acne becomes as common for them as it is for Westerners.

After ruling out genetics and other variables, Dr. Cordain concluded acne vulgaris is due to our unbridled consumption of high-glycemic (GI) carbohydrates.

If you eat simple carbohydrates multiple times a day, day in and day out, your insulin levels are chronically elevated. Over time, your cells develop insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease—and acne.

The reason is that elevated insulin triggers hormonal reactions that cause the skin to secrete excessive oil. Second, it increases IGF-1, a growth factor that stimulates the overproduction of skin cells called keratinocytes and impairs the normal sloughing off of cells on the surface of the skin. Third, it triggers inflammation. Pores become blocked and inflamed and bacteria in the skin get trapped under proliferating cells, setting the stage for skin problems such as blackheads and pimples.

To treat and prevent acne, eliminate starches and sugars, refined vegetable oils, and dairy products from your diet. Replace them with low-GI vegetables, fruits, and nuts, along with plenty of protein from fish, poultry, and lean beef. Also include 2–4 g of fish oil and 25–50 mg of zinc in your daily supplement program.

Now it’s your turn: Have you suffered with adult acne?

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