I have decided to write a series dedicated to skin and skin health. I have always been quite obsessive about the look of my skin and am constantly researching nutrients and foods that help contribute to that healthy ‘glow.’
Who doesn’t want beautifully glowing, blemish-free, silky smooth and soft skin that literally radiates good health? Unfortunately, modern diets and lifestyles tend to contribute to the poor health of our skin. Different conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne, warts, redness, pallor and even ‘dull looking’ skin are all reflections of your insides. High stress, exposure to toxins (smoke, cleaning chemicals, air pollution), processed foods, allergies, make-up and skin-care products can all influence your skin’s appearance. It is the largest organ in your body, so what it looks like on the outside is quite an accurate measure of what’s going on inside of you as well.
Each blog post in the bright skin series will give you information on how to improve the condition of your skin. I will pick a different topic to talk about in each post. Suggestions for future posts and questions are welcome for any skin concerns you may have. This week I will be discussing dairy and how it could be the one thing between you and blemish-free skin.
Did you know that acne is actually a disease of Western civilization? Acne is virtually non-existent in non-westernized societies! Studies suggest that environment and lifestyle and more likely to blame than genetics in this instance. So, what is actually driving this somewhat ‘normal’ condition that everyone in the Western world has suffered from at least one point in their lives?
Answer = lots of things
For one, our diet is completely different! We live in polluted areas and put toxins into and onto our bodies. Non-westernized communities like the Inuit and Kitivan populations wouldn’t even know what the food available to us is!
Let me steer away from this little tangent before I get carried away (I am quite passionate, as you can tell). I want to talk to you about one factor that is most definitely researched to cause acne. Can you guess?
Yes, it’s dairy.
Dairy products are one of the major causes of acne – my boyfriend is a walking testament to this, having cut out dairy completely from his diet and noticing a stark improvement in his acne. Whey protein in dairy actually induces a deficiency of a particular gene in the body called Nuclear FoxO1 through increasing particular hormones in your body – namely insulin and insulin-like growth factor-1(IGF-1). This gene is responsible for suppressing acne breakouts through various mechanisms. When you have large amounts of these hormones being produced, FoxO1 gets pushed to the side and can’t do its job. Interestingly, it’s all natural! It’s been argued that cows are injected with hormones and it transfers to humans when we consume the milk. This probably has some influence on our hormones – but, in fact milk naturally contains substances that would increase hormone production. And why wouldn’t it? It’s designed by mother nature to promote growth!
As a matter of fact, by raising IGF-1 (which cows milk does) – it increases your risk for cancer. It interferes with cell signalling and by reducing the levels of this hormone in the body, the body’s natural ability to inhibit growth of cancer cells increases and apoptosis* is accelerated.
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form ofmedicine or the slowest form of poison.”
Dr. Ann Wigmore, I couldn’t have said it better myself. This certainly rings true in this case of dairy research. If you feel up for the challenge – eliminate dairy from your diet completely for a minimum of 3 weeks. I assure you, you will see an improvement in your skin if you suffer from acne or the odd breakout.
I hope you found this post interesting and if you try to cut out dairy from your diet, I’d love to know! Questions are more than welcome, as always. All my research is evidence based using quality research articles from medical journals.
Enjoy your weekend!
Love Stace x
*apoptosis – programmed cell death. when the body recognizes a defective cell or foreign cells, it induces cell suicide.
*Photo Courtesy of naturemoms.com