How to avoid spots without spending a fortune

insulin scraping the poolDoes food cause acne ? Officially the answer is NO. 

Modern textbooks no longer tell you to avoid chocolates, fatty foods and fizzy colddrinks, but diet is STILL connected to your spotty face.  

The connection is not a specific food,  but a hormone cascade, which starts with what you load in your mouth.  

The hormone vortex begins with insulin and ends with androgens and PIMPLES.

Insulin stokes the hormone  storm

High levels of insulin promote tissue growth and turns on production of androgens.

Tissue growth

Insulin bumps up the levels of FREE insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).  IGF-1 is a mitogen which means it causes tissues to grow in general and skin cells are not exception.  So the more insulin that is around, the more skin grows – this sounds good in principle but the trouble is the odds that extra growth can potentially block the sebaceous follicles.  Blocked sebaceous follicles are step 1 in pimple formation.

Production of androgens

Insulin and IGF-1  also cause androgen levels to rise.  

Insulin does this by encouraging the ovary (in women) and testes (in men) to make more male hormone so there is more around.  But, in addition, escalating production, insulin also stops the production of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) by the liver.   The combined result is the body is awash with androgens.

So step 2 in pimple formation has kicked in – extra male hormones mean more skin oil (sebum).

All it takes is a bacteria trying to cool off

The  scene is set –  pools filled with oil.    POOL PARTY !

acne bacteria enjoying the pool party

The pool party is followed by red hot very painful carbuncle.

So what foods cause insulin to rocket ?

Carbohydrates particularly those that are considered to have a high glycemic index.

That means, fizzy cold drinks, pizza, pasta, bread…………………..  all the comfort foods !

Your body responds to eating carbohydrate loaded foods by producing the hormone insulin.  Insulin’s job is to open the glucose gates and get the glucose (which is the breakdown product of all carbohydrates), out of the blood and tucked away inside the cells so they can use it.

This is normal. 

But if you’re eating too many carbohydrates, then there is always lots and lots of insulin and due to a phenomenon called insulin resistance, there ends up being even more insulin. The condition is called hyperinsulinemia.   If you have hyperinsulinemia you are more likely to run into pimple problems.

Hyperinsulinemia will cause other health problems as well.  

To avoid spots without spending a fortune

rein in insulinRein in the insulin and keep your face clean.

You don’t need expensive soaps, ordinary soap and water will keep the levels of Propionibacterium acnes  low.  The few that manages to stop by, won’t want to stay because the pools will all be empty.

 

 
Glycemic index, glycemic load : new evidence for a link with acne. J American College Nutrition (2009) 28(4):450S-454S. Bruno Berra, Angela Maria Rizzo

 

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Further reading

insulin blocking glucose from getting too the heart insulin under attack from insulin degrading enzymes caffeine controlling SHBG 
 High insulin levels hammer your heart whether you’re thirteen or thirty  Beware the insulin boomerang sets off diabetes   A coffee a day keeps diabetes away

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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