Acne and Milk Consumption
BY: PAM POPPER, ND
Although acne has been a part of teenagers‘ live for many years – it was when I was a kid – the prevalence and severity of it have increased greatly during the last 20 years or so, indicating the potential for a dietary connection. Today, about $4 billion is spent annually on treatment. Additionally, acne can make kids’ lives miserable from an emotional and social standpoint. Consequently, many kids are given drugs to control acne. Most doctors are not talking about the nutrition connection.
Recently, data was examined from the Nurses’ Health Study to determine whether there is a relationship between the consumption of dairy products during high school and the development of acne. The high school diets of 47,355 women were examined, and correlated with physician-diagnosed acne. (Adebamowo, et al, “High school dietary dairy intake and teenage acne,” J Am Acad Dermatol 2005;52:207-14).
Participants were asked how many servings per day of milk they consumed. The dairy foods group included milk, instant breakfast drink, sherbet, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, hard cheese and butter.
61.2% of the participants drank whole milk, 20.2% drank low-fat milk, 7.4% drank skim milk and 2.1% consumed powdered milk. Only 7.7% did not drink milk at all – proof that the dairy industry has done a fine job of marketing its products!
The researchers concluded that intake of milk during adolescence was related to the development of teenage acne. The association was more marked for those drinking skim milk than those drinking other forms, which confirms my assertion that the dairy protein is a major problem, rather than the fat content of milk being the only culprit.
There was a correlation between instant breakfast drink, cream cheese and cottage cheese, and acne. And, there were correlations between Vitamin D intake from supplements, Vitamin D intake from foods, and correlates of early sexual maturity such as Body Mass Index and age at which participants began menstruating.
The researchers hypothesized that the hormone content of milk may be in part responsible for the association with acne. Milk contains estrogens, progesterone, androgen precursors, steroids, glucocorticoids, insulin-like growth factor, transforming growth factor, thyrotropin-releasing hormone-like peptides, and opiate-like compounds, none of which should be consumed regularly.
So, once again, more evidence to indicate that milk is not an appropriate food for humans and certainly not for children. Remember that cow’s milk is for cows!