How Dairy and Acne are Linked

Did you know that the health of your large intestine is reflected in the health of your skin?

Your large intestine and skin are organs that interact with the environment. They both absorb and emit chemicals, water, and other metabolic products. The large intestine is the body's largest internal organ; its purpose is to absorb food, nutrients and water. The function of the skin is to hold not only all of your other organs, tissues, capillaries and muscles in place, but also to allow your body to breathe. It is a respiration organ -- it both inhales and exhales.

Whether diet plays any role in the development or severity of acne has long been debated.   Recent research indicates that it does, but not by pointing to the food items that are traditionally thought of as exacerbating acne – things like pizza and French fries.

According to an article by Dr. Mark Hyman (one of my favorite functional medicine experts) published in the Huffington Post, dairy products have been shown to have a significant impact on acne, both in the number of cases and the severity. 

The reason is that milk, yogurt, and cheese all contain naturally high levels of anabolic hormones.  And, according to the article, there is no such thing as hormone free milk.  Even organic, raw, and bovine growth hormone free milk can contain up to 60 hormones, just a few of which are listed below:¹

•    20α-dihydropregnenolone •    progesterone (from pregnenolone) •    5α-pregnanedione •    5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-one, 20α- and 20β-dihydroprogesterone (from progesterone) •    5α-androstene-3β17β-diol •    5α-androstanedione •    5α-androstan-3β-ol-17-one •    androstenedione •    testosterone •    dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate acyl ester •    insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2) •    insulin

Dr. Hyman’s recommendation for helping get acne under control is to modify your diet with these tips:¹


Dairy, high glycemic index foods (white flour, sugar, rice, etc.) and foods that you are sensitive to.  When cutting back on dairy, make up for the missing nutrients (calcium and protein) elsewhere in your diet.


More fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy anti-inflammatory fats (omega 3’s), supplement with zinc, evening primrose, vitamin A, and vitamin E. Include foods that correct acne problems, like dark purple and red foods such as berries, green foods like dark green leafy vegetables, and omega 3-eggs.

Contact our skin specialist at Kasia for a personalized facial and at home care protocol today!  612.824.7611

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