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Can Your Diet Help Control Acne?

It has been estimated that in the UK over 80% of young people will at some time suffer from acne, for many of these their teenage years will be blighted by the problem.

A bad diet is not the sole cause of acne, some people are genetically predisposed to acne and for many others it is a by-product of growing up. During puberty, teenagers are prone to high anxiety levels and increased androgens (sex hormones). Androgens have the effect of stimulating oil glands usually on the face but often on the back and chest. This overproduction of oil is secreted through pores of the skin carrying dead cell debris with it; this in turn is converted, by the normal bacteria present in our skins, to products that irritate and inflame the skin.

It has become fashionable to blame what is perceived as the typical teenage diet of fast foods (particularly burgers chips etc.), crisps, sweets and sugary soft drinks as the main cause of acne. More realistically it is probably what we don't eat rather than that we do eat that contributes to the problem.

In order to maintain a healthy skin dieticians recommend that we should aim to follow these basic guidelines:-

Try to eat plenty of:-
Vitamin C (increases resistance to infection and helps wounds to heal) good sources include fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin B (promotes cell growth and division) is present in leafy green vegetables, potatoes, pork and pulses.
Vitamin E (helps heal the skin) is found in eggs, soya beans, olive oil, avocados and wheat germ.
Vitamin A (helps maintain a healthy skin) is found in eggs, liver, carrots, red or yellow peppers and spinach.
Zinc (increases the skins healing ability) good sources are meat, poultry, fish.

Try to reduce your intake of:-
Highly salted snacks
Foods with added sugar.
Chocolates and sweets.
Fatty and fried foods.

A good diet cannot cure acne but eating sensibly will certainly control it and help produce a healthier looking skin.


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