Do you break out when you are stressed out?
Does your monthly cycle include worsening acne?
Do pimples ruin your day?
Have you developed cystic acne as an adult?
Are expensive OTC acne products not working?
Have you taken multiple medications yet STILL have acne?
Does your acne seem to come and go without rhyme or reason?
Does your acne depress you?
Have you been told diet or foods do NOT cause acne?
Have you ever noticed that your skin improves with sunlight?
………………………. If you are still reading this – I’ve hit a sensitive topic.
I experienced acne as a teenager and young adult.
So, I know first-hand the frustration and aggravation of having acute and chronic acne – both superficial white-heads and deeper cystic pimples.
Mainstream medicine prescribes medications for acne. There are a variety of antibiotics that are given to kill the associated bacteria.
Some are topically applied and others are taken orally. But, the results are inconsistent and this approach has some significant drawbacks.
Antibiotics have tremendous benefit when used properly – acute infections can rapidly resolve – especially for some painful exacerbations of cystic acne.
However the underlying cause of acne is NOT addressed by this approach.
Long-term use of antibiotics is not the answer and can cause other problems like killing off the normal and beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
A side note: OTC preparations focus on skin cleansing – beneficial but not comprehensive.
This focus on bacteria and the cleansing the skin only yields limited results [and a few new problems]
Here’s a quick quote that may open your eyes a bit – on the topic of bacteria and disease.
“If I could live my life over again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural habitat–diseased tissues–rather than causing disease.” ~Rudolf Virchow, father of the germ theory [late in life]
What this quote illustrates is this: If our bodies are well nourished and healthy, we are not likely to get infections – Simple, but verifiably true. ……………
Do some foods worsen acne?
Are there foods that help acne?
What nutrients have been shown to help?
What about digestive enzymes?
Sugar, in excess, is one of the biggest culprits! Here’s why: Sugar depletes the B vitamins, sugar causes us to lose or spill minerals [like zinc and chromium] and finally sugar is converted to fat [this can disturb the normal prostaglandin balance leading to inflammation]. More on nutrients in a minute.
Using synthetic fats like margarine aka hydrogenated oil/TRANS fat will lead to acne. [Use real butter]
Eating more fruits and vegetables will improve acne. [I drink a blended shake of 6 baby carrots, an apple, a banana, two egg yolks and a handful of baby spinach every morning]
Salting your food to taste can help you produce the proper amount of stomach acid [HCl] which allows us to absorb our food and nutrients [B12, iron, protein, calcium and other minerals need acid to be absorbed]
Eating walnuts can improve your omega 3 balance and improve acne.
The B vitamins, especially B6, Pantothenic acid and B12 have been shown to improve acne.
Flax and fish oil supplements will help as well.
Vitamin A is very important to treat and protect against acne [for a good discussion of vitamin A look at my “Do you have dry eyes?” post on 7-7-12]
GLA found in evening primrose and borage oil is essential to healthy skin [I prefer borage oil, 27% GLA]
Zinc, a trace mineral, is lacking in those with acne [Always take zinc with copper]
Chromium supplementation will improve acne is most cases. It also helps curb sugar cravings and assists in weight loss.
30 minutes of sunlight per day will improve acne.
In summary: Diet and nutritional supplements can dramatically improve most acne. Some people need antibiotics and even stronger medication to help them get a handle on their symptoms. However, with proper nutrition and selected dietary supplements the majority of acne cases improve and even resolve completely.
To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.
Supplements to consider:
1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.
2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.
3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]
4) Consider a Zinc supplement. 30- 60 mg per day is usually enough for most acne suffers. Chelated versions are best. I like zinc products that include copper as well – this help avoid a relative copper deficiency]
5) Consider a Chromium supplement. Chromium picolinate is the least expensive and very effective. Start with 200mcg twice a day – it is very safe [toxic only at 70,000 mcg or more] – some people need more, I don’t recommend more than 1,200mcg per day.
6) Consider a Vitamin A supplement. I use a product that is 25,000 iu per capsule [containing 60% beta-carotene, 40% fish oil/retinol plus vitamin D3 – This is about 10,000 iu of vitamin A per pill]. Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant should probably avoid extra vitamin A due to risk of birth defects.
7) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.
As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.