Fruits and veggies help control and prevent acne?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Vitamin A, zinc and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables help decrease the occurrence of acne.
WHAT WE KNOW
Historically, the relationship between diet and acne has been controversial. While acne tends to initiate in adolescence, many adults often suffer late into adulthood with unwanted blemishes as well, making acne treatment always in the limelight. Research is showing that certain dietary compounds, many found in fruits and vegetables, may decrease the occurrence of acne.
- Antioxidants help scavenge oxidative stressors that produce the inflammatory response of acne. Beta carotene (a form of vitamin A) is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals (molecules that damage healthy cells) and is essential in the formation of skin.
- Zinc is essential for the development and proper functioning of skin.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
A review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology compared several studies to help determine the relationship between diet and acne. Both zinc and vitamin A intake in large doses—well over the RDA—have been shown to be an effective treatment for acne. Zinc and vitamin A supplementation, however, have negative side effects.
Studies have also shown that oxidative stress is associated with acne and therefore lower levels of antioxidants could exacerbate the formation of pimples. Dietary antioxidants, like those found in fruits and vegetables, are helpful in either reducing the acne-causing bacteria or decreasing the inflammatory response associated with acne. Eating a low-glycemic diet (a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and limited in processed or sugar-rich foods) also appears to be beneficial in reducing the incidence of acne.
The review concluded that currently very little human data is available to support these factors in the treatment of acne. It is, however, important to consider dietary interventions.*
We do not recommend consuming high levels of zinc, vitamin A, or vitamin E supplements! This research has not been proved and there are many adverse effects of doing so! What we do recommend is eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. When it comes to acne, the most predominant risk factor is heredity; you can’t change that. However, the naturally existing beneficial compounds—especially vitamins A and E, zinc and other antioxidants—found in fruits and vegetables, may promote healthy skin.
Simple things you can do to minimize the occurrence of pimples …
- Hydrate! Hydrated skin is healthy skin. But this doesn’t mean just drinking water! Fruits and vegetables are composed mainly of water so they can help too!
- Eat Your Fruits and Veggies! They’re full of beneficial compounds that help your body function properly, plus they scavenge free radicals which cause damage to your tissues (including your skin).
Consult your doctor or dermatologist for specific recommendations for you!
* Bowe, WP, M.D., SS Joshi, M.D., AR Shalita, M.D. “Diet and Acne.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (2010): 63(1):124-141.