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Quality of Diet Influences Acne

A recent investigation suggests that high glycemic load and index diet and frequent dairy consumption are the main factors in establishing the link between diet and acne. As such, dermatologists and registered dietitians have become more interested in the role of MNT (medical nutritional therapy) in treating acne. The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In America, more than 17 million adolescents and young adults suffer from acne, which can affect the quality of life caused by anxiety, depression and social withdrawal, making treatment necessary. Research has associated diet to acne since the late 19th century and has identified fat and sweets such as chocolate and sugar as the sources of acne.  However, beginning 1960, studies have isolated diet from acne development. According to Jennifer Burris, MS, RD, the change was brought about by the results of two important studies. These studies were frequently cited in papers and popular culture as proof to discredit the link between acne and diet.

Burris and colleagues evaluated the evidences linking diet and acne by selecting information from studies conducted between 1960 and 2012. The team concluded that the primary factors linking diet and acne are the frequent consumption of dairy products and diet high in glycemic index and load. They also noted that previous studies do not show that diet causes acne; it can however, influence or aggravate the condition.

The research team encourages the collaboration of dermatologists and registered dietitians to design and conduct quality research on the diet-acne link and to consider the possibility of diet therapy as additional treatment. It is still best to treat each patient individually and to consider dietary counseling, they added.


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. High glycemic index foods and dairy products linked to acne. ScienceDaily.


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