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Acne, Nutrition and Milk Products

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The link between diet and acne has had a rocky past. Early studies from the 1940s suggested that some foods were linked to acne, but two key studies from the 1970s refuted this notion and indicated that there was no association between diet and this skin condition.

For many years, dermatologists concluded that there was not enough evidence to link any specific food with acne.

However, recent studies have re-examined the possible link between diet and acne, and some interesting new information has come to light.

Studies on the connection of milk products to acne have so far been weak. Some studies have used self-reported data from the people being studied. This information can be unreliable, especially in the case of retrospective studies, which ask adults to remember what they ate as teenagers! Because of these methods, there is a lack of strong evidence showing a cause-and-effect link between acne and milk products.

Some studies have examined the relationship between acne and glycemic load, which is a method for classifying foods based on both the amount of carbohydrate in the food and how it impacts blood sugar levels. A low glycemic load diet seems to have a favourable role against acne. Foods with a low glycemic load include most fresh fruits and vegetables, bran cereals, and legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils. Other studies have shown that omega-3 fats and antioxidants may also help with acne.

Considering the possible relationships indicated by these new findings, it is safe to say that more research is needed on how diet affects acne. Since this is an ongoing area of research, the best advice for now is to follow a balanced diet based on the recommendations in Canada’s Food Guide.

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