For more than 200 years research has suggested that acne may be linked to diet, with early suggestions that chocolate, sugar, and fat may be responsible for the development of the skin condition. However recent decades have seen many more studies begin to disassociate dietary patterns to the condition.
“This change occurred largely because of the results of two important research studies that are repeatedly cited in the literature and popular culture as evidence to refute the association between diet and acne,” explained Jennifer Burris from New York University, who led the new review of the state of the evidence.
“More recently, dermatologists and registered dieticians have revisited the diet-acne relationship and become increasingly interested in the role of medical nutritional therapy in acne treatment.”
Indeed, writing in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Burris and her colleagues pool information from more than 50 years of research into acne – finding that that a high glycaemic index/glycaemic load diet and frequent dairy consumption are the leading factors in establishing the link between diet and acne.
The team also note that although research results from studies conducted over the last 10 years do not demonstrate that diet causes acne, there is evidence to suggest it may influence or aggravate it.
“The medical community should not dismiss the possibility of diet therapy as an adjunct treatment for acne,” said Burris.