Fish, fruit, vegetables and stress management reduce acne
Adult women who suffer from acne may be able to at least partially solve their skin problems by eating fish instead of meat a couple of times a week and by increasing their intake of fruit and vegetables. Italian dermatologists write about this in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Reducing the amount of stress in daily life can help too.
The Italians studied 518 women over the age of 24. About half of them suffered from acne, and the other half did not. The researchers asked the women about their skin problems and their lifestyle and then looked at the ways in which the two groups differed from each other.
The women with acne said significantly more often that they had had acne during adolescence, as had close family members. They also had problems with body hair more often. That's not illogical: the steroid hormones that induce hair growth also activate the skin's sebum production. Sebum is a substance that the micro-organisms that cause acne thrive on.
More surprising is the relationship with diet. Women without acne ate fresh fish, fruit and vegetables more often than women with acne. The Italians were able to calculate that women who ate fresh fish at least three times a week, were almost three times less likely to have acne than women who did not do so. The same was true for women who ate at least three portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
Another factor was stress. Severe stress tripled the likelihood of acne.
The researchers found that dairy, cacao, bread, potatoes, rice and pasta had no effect on the presence or absence of acne. That goes against other research findings. In a previously published small epidemiological study researchers found a relationship between milk and acne. [J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Dec;67(6):1129-35.]
"Some of our associations could be viewed as explorative and therefore require further confirmation by other studies," the researchers wrote.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 Dec;75(6):1134-41.
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