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Western diet associated with adult acne

Acne is a multifactorial disease in which both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Adult acne is defined as acne that occurs or persists after the age of 25 and is more common in women. Acne has been correlated with a high glycemic diet as well as the consumption of dairy products.  A recently published cross-sectional study of over 24, 000 participants revealed a correlation between adult acne and consumption of milk, sugary beverages and fatty and sugary products.

In this study, a large cohort of French adults was evaluated via questionnaires over several months. Participants in the study reported all food and beverages consumed in a 24-hour period with portion sizes validated through photographs and standard containers. The mean intake of  12 food groups across all dietary records was evaluated for participants.   Additional factors that were evaluated among these participants included educational status, smoking status, physical activity, BMI, sex, and medical history.

A fatty, energy-rich diet, or diet higher in consumption of fatty or sugary products, was consistently found to be associated with the presence of adult acne.

This supports the hypothesis that a Western diet, or a diet rich in animal products and fatty and sugary foods, is associated with the presence of acne in adulthood.

A high glycemic load diet may cause a rise in circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin. The increased levels of IGF-1 and insulin are thought to increase levels of oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting the development of acne. Milk products are thought to have similar effects on insulin levels.   One noted limitation of this study revealed the participant group in this study had a relatively high proportion of participants with self-diagnosed acne.  Lastly, it was concluded that further large-scale studies are needed to investigate more closely the association between diet and acne.

Byline: Sarah B.W. Patton, MSHS, PA-C
Posted September 8, 2020
©2020

Source: Penso L, Touvier M, Deschasaux M, Szabo de edelenyi F, Hercberg S, Ezzedine K et al. Association between adult acne and dietary behaviors; findings from the NutriNet-Sante prospective cohort study. JAMA Dermatology 2020; 156(8): 854-862.




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