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Low-GI diet fights acne

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An RMIT team that conducted the first randomised controlled trial on diet and acne in more than 40 years, and found that a protein-based, low-GI diet could have a dramatic effect on acne symptoms.

“Diet has long been thought to be the cause of acne, with chocolate most often named as a culprit, but I was surprised how little scientific research had been done in this area,” said Dr Robyn Smith, who studied the affect of diet on acne for her PhD.

“My research found that a low-GI diet significantly reduced acne lesion counts when compared with the conventional high-carb, high-GI Western diet.

“A diet designed to fight acne should contain minimally refined carbohydrate-based foods and include a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, wholegrain, lean meats, fish and seafood.”

Dr Smith worked with RMIT’s Associate Professor Neil Mann and staff from the Department of Dermatology at Royal Melbourne Hospital on the trial, which involved 43 teenage boys following two different diets over 12 weeks.

One group followed the typical Western teen diet of refined and highly processed carbohydrate foods while the other group ate a more natural diet higher in protein and low-GI foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and legumes.

“Those on the low-GI diet reduced facial acne by 50 per cent, and showed improvements in their self-esteem and overall wellbeing,” Dr Smith said.

Findings of the study were presented at the 15th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology in Greece and published in the prestigious Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

(Source: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: RMIT: December 2008)

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Posted On: 17 December, 2008
Modified On: 16 January, 2014

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