Yet Another Study Shows Diet Does Affect Acne

By Seppo | Diet

If anyone still claims diet causing acne is a myth, a recently published study puts another nail to that coffin.

This is going to be a rather short post since the paper is in Russian and I can only write based on the English abstract. Fortunately, the abstract covers the main findings, which I duly present below.

The numbers are what the authors call power of influence. I’m not quite sure what they mean with that, but I assume it signifies the importance of that particular factor. The higher the number the more that factor increased acne.

  • Excess calories: men: 43% / women: 42%
  • Carbohydrates in excess of normal requirements (what those requirements are, I can’t say): men: 23% / women 35%
  • Dietary vitamin A deficiency (retinol, animal form): 44% / 42%
  • Dietary carotene deficiency (plant form of vitamin A): 46% / 31%
  • Dietary vitamin D deficiency: Only affected men with severe acne 30%
  • Dietary zinc deficiency: 44% / 34%

Few caveats. The authors used vague language in the abstract. They talked about ‘deficiency’ with regard to vitamin D and ‘lack of’ with regard to the other micronutrients. I assume they talked about dietary deficiency instead of low blood levels, but I can’t be sure as I don’t have access to the full text version. It’s also not clear where the deficiency cut off points are. I’m assuming they uses Russian RDA figures or other such officially established values.

This paper more or less confirms what we already knew. The interesting bits, for me, are:

  • Women react more strongly to carbohydrates than men. This is not surprising as women are more prone to hormonal acne.
  • Zinc affects men more than women. This could mean men are more prone to inflammatory-type acne than women.

This is yet another study that supports the notion that diet affects acne. Interestingly, all the studies published in the last 2 decades confirm this. Yet, many dermatologists still tell their patients not to worry about diet. Sad, is all I can say.


About the Author

Seppo Puusa, a.k.a. AcneEinstein shares rational advice about natural and alternative acne treatments. Read more about me and my acne struggles at the page.

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