Milk consumption and acne

More than 85% adults who are between 20-29 years of age in the United States are suffering from acne vulgaris which is a skin disease. This has evolved into an epidemic with 50.9% women and 42.5% men being affected by it.

A finding has revealed that this disease is absent among people from Okhinawa, Inuit and Kitavan who do not intake diary and milk products and consume less carbohydrates which are high on the glycemic index. It is by these observations that it is believed that acne vulgaris depends on the nutrients consumed by people affected by it.

Till 2005 case control, clinical intervention and cross sectional studies which were needed to understand the relationship of acne vulgaris and diet of the people failed to provide proper objective measures, adequate controls and proper statistical analysis. It was only after 2005 that evidence was found to link dairy products like milk and other food products which had high glycemic load to acne problems. It has been found out that acne pathogenesis is dependent on consuming insulinemic food products.  Insulinotropic food products such as grains, refined sugar, potatoes, milk and other diary products are consumed in huge quantities in western diets and are known to comprise of almost 50% of per capita intake of energy.

According to Nurses Health Study II in which 47,355 females answered questions regarding their diet in high school, it was found that women who consumed milk and other diary products in large quantities had acne. In another study by the name ‘Growing Up Today Study’ in the United States was conducted to understand the relation between acne and consumption of milk. It involved studying the dietary habits of 4,273 teenaged boys and around 6,094 teenaged girls. In this research for boys it was found out that there was a correlation between acne and consumption of skimmed milk which points to acne promoting action of proteins present in milk.

As milk and other diary products are promoted for consumption due to their beneficial factors it has now become necessary that people are educated as to what are the right quantities in which they should be consumed so that they do not become a bane to the health of people.

Source: Bodo C.Melnik (2011), Evidence for Acne-Promoting Effects of Milk and Other Insulinotropic Dairy Products. Clemens Ra, Hernell o, Michaelsen KF (eds): Milk and Milk Products in Human Nutrition. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser Pediatr Program, vol 67, pp 131-145, Basel, 2011.