Diet and Acne: New Research Links Complexion Problems to the Foods On Your Plate

Posted on December 03, 2013 by Rachel Duran

Rachel Duran

Could cupcakes be causing your breakouts? Can you blame your zits on baguettes, baked potatoes, and ice cream?

The answer isn't a simple "yes" or "no," but after decades of being told that diet does not affect acne, nutrition is once again considered an important factor according to a recent study published in the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The research concluded that two types foods, those with a high glycemic index, (ie. your favorite carbs: bagels, white rice, cereals, potatoes) and dairy products, show stronger links to your complexion than previously thought. In fact, the researchers now encourage medical nutrition therapy as an important role in acne treatment.

Pointing fingers at French fries and candy as acne-affecting culprits is far from a new trend, but for years dermatologists have debated to what degree diet should be considered during treatment. Beginning in the late 1800s, research scolded chocolate, sugar, and fatty foods. But during the 1960s, studies completely disassociated food from the development of acne.

"This change occurred largely because of the results of two important research studies that are repeatedly cited in literature and popular culture as evidence to refute the association between diet and acne," says Jennifer Burris, MS, RD, of the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University.

"More recently, dermatologists and registered dietitians have revisited the diet-acne relationship and become increasingly interested in the role of medical nutritional therapy in acne treatment."

The new study reevaluated evidence collected from previous studies between 1960 and 2012. Investigators note that although research results from studies conducted over the last 10 years do not necessarily demonstrate that diet causes acne, there is evidence to suggest that it may influence or aggravate it. Until further research is done, it is still best to speak with your doctor for individual recommendations and dietary counseling.

  • Rachel Duran is an editor at Arithmetic.
  • About Us: Arithmetic is a new skincare company focused on helping adults with acne.



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