Drs. Jonette Keri and Rajiv Nijhawan from the University of Miami in Florida have reviewed the evidence.

Here are the highlights.

Does diet affect acne?

  • The landmark studies of chocolate and Coca Cola reported no effect on acne.
  • And studies in ethnic groups who do not get acne are problematic because of the inability to distinguish between diet and genetics.
  • Researchers have tried to establish a connection between diet and androgens, insulin, and IGF-1 (aka insulin-like growth factor, which plays a role in growth and has anabolic effects in adults).
    • But there are no studies on their effects in people with acne.

Milk and acne

  • There are several characteristic of milk that might predispose to acne.
    • An association with increased IGF-1
    • Hormones that might stimulate pimples
    • Other compounds that might affect skin pores and lead to acne
    • Iodine in milk, which might exacerbate acne
  • 2 studies made a correlation between acne and the effects of milk and skim milk.
    • But the studies had design flaws: one retrospective, the other relied on a questionnaire.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded that although increasing evidence suggests that diet might contribute to the development of acne, more study is needed to confirm its role.

9/28/08 15:50 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.