For decades scientists have searched for the causes of acne. Now, for the first time, a dramatic picture is emerging showing that milk is a major cause of acne. An article by Sanjida O'Connell (How a Pinta Causes Pimples, The Independent, May 8th, 2007, USA) shows graphically how milk causes acne.
In the article, O'Connell explains that Julianne has never suffered from spots as a teenager, but by the time she was 28 she had terrible cystic acne along her jawline and across her neck. An American, she had travelled to Europe to learn to become a cook. She decided to open a deli as well as a restaurant back in the States, so before she returned home she toured Europe, sampling every cheese she could find.
As she recounted her story to the dermatologist Bill Danby, something clicked: "Oh my God, it's the cheese," she said. For six months, she cut out all dairy products. During that time she became 85 per cent free of acne, and her skin has continued to improve. Danby, the dermatologist, said: "The ability to develop acne is partly genetic and partly the result of hormone exposure [e.
g. hormones from dairy milk]. I tell my female patients that genetics are the key to the fact that Paris Hilton has lots of money and no zits and my patients have lots of zits and no money." Although acne can affect people at any age, it usually peaks at between 16 and 18, when up to 98 per cent of the population of developed countries are affected. A link between dairy milk and acne has been observed because acne is significantly less common in parts of the world that consume less dairy milk.
As well as being socially embarrassing, acne is costly - up to five $billion is spent worldwide each year treating the affliction. Acne is caused by hormones in dairy milk that affect the glands of hair follicles, making them produce more sebum than usual. This makes hair follicles stick together and form a kind of plug in the skin pore - this is the first visible sign of acne. The plug blocks the sebum canal and prevents the free-flow of sebum to the skin, thus making acne develop.
Dairy milk has many types of hormones. Some of the hormones are produced by the placenta to aid the cow's pregnancy. Other hormones in milk, such as IGF-1, help the calf to grow rapidly.
Humans also produce IGF-1 growth hormones. This hormone peaks at age 15 in girls and 18 in boys, coinciding with peak acne levels. IGF-1 is thought to work with testosterone and DHT to cause acne, and is heavily present in all types of dairy milk: organic, nonorganic, raw or pasteurized. So consuming any kind of dairy milk is going to increase your levels of IGF-1, thus contributing to acne.
The evidence that cow's milk is one of the biggest causes of acne is confirmed by several studies. For example, Dr Walter Willett led a team of researches at the Boston Harvard School of Public Health in a study of 47,000 women. The women were part of the 'Nurses Health Study II' (a major well-publicized project). In the study, the 47,000 women were asked to fill in a questionnaire that related to their diet as teenagers. They had to say whether they had ever been diagnosed with severe acne.
The results of the study found no links between food such as French fries, chocolate and acne. But a significant link was found between women who had drunk a lot of milk in their teens and those that had severe acne. Other research confirms this: * IGF-1 [in dairy milk] contributes to the increase in sebum production during puberty. (Endocrinology, 1999 Sep, 140:9). * About 80% of [dairy] cows are throwing off hormones continuously [cow's milk is] implicated as a factor in the development of acne teenage acne patients improved as soon as milk drinking stopped.
(Frank Oski, M.D., Don't Drink Your Milk, Teach Services, Inc). * About 80% of cows that are giving milk are pregnant and are throwing off hormones continuouslyDr. Jerome has found that acne improved as soon as the teenagers stopped drinking milk. (Dr.
George J. Georgiou, Ph.D.
, Clinical Nutritionist, Milk - A Recipe for Disease, Nov. 2002, worldwidehealthcenter.net). There is, of course, a simple solution to help prevent acne: switch to non-dairy milk. You can buy commercial non-dairy milk such as soy and rice milk in some supermarkets.
Better still, make your own non-dairy milk. When made correctly home made milk is super-nutritious and truly delicious, and of course, it does not cause acne.
To find out more about making your own non-dairy milk go to Make Your Own Milk. Special recipes show how to make delicious and super-nutritious milk in just a matter of minutes. No special milk-making machine required. Find out more.