Acne Improved on Low-Glycemic Diet

Foods that produce a high glycemic load – such as sugared drinks, white bread, and white potatoes – cause a quick rise in blood sugar. More complex carbohydrates with fiber, such as unrefined cereals, grains, and beans, have a more gradual effect on blood sugar, and, thus, have a low glycemic index. Eating low-glycemic foods can help stave off obesity and diabetes. It can also help clear up unsightly acne.

Dr. Robyn N. Smith, from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, evaluated acne symptoms in 43 male patients. The participants – who ranged in age from 15 to 25 – were randomly assigned to a low-glycemic-load diet or a normal diet. After three months, the low-glycemic diet was associated with a significant reduction in acne compared with the normal diet. In addition, the low-glycemic diet produced greater reductions in body weight and body mass and a greater increase in insulin sensitivity.

One reason for the success of the low-glycemic diet is that it limits the increase in insulin levels. Chronically high levels of insulin may lead to blockages in skin pores and extra oil building up under the skin.

Along with sticking to low-glycemic foods, eating lots of fish full of omega-3 EPA and DHA oils is very helpful for people with acne. Even with the best diet, many teenagers will be bothered with pimples. But their skin problem is likely to be less severe when they adopt a healthier diet.

[Ed. Note: Ray Sahelian, MD, the author of Mind Boosters, is internationally recognized as a moderate voice in the evaluation of natural supplements. Visit Dr. Sahelian’s website at]