BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 00:13 GMT
Bread linked to teenage acne
Eating too much bread may trigger acne in teenagers.

Scientists in the United States believe the refined grain and sugar in some bread can cause high levels of insulin.

Previous studies have suggested that too much insulin can cause acne.


Dermatologists will tell you they have put patients on low-carbohydrate diets and seen improvements

Neil Mann, RMIT University Melbourne
The finding appears to back up claims that low-carbohydrate diets can help to reduce acne in some people.

Loren Cordain and colleagues at Colorado State University have suggested that because refined bread is easy to digest it leads to a surge in insulin and an insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1.

Insulin link

This in turn leads to an excess of male hormones, which encourage the skin to excrete large amounts of sebum.

This grease-like substance encourages the growth of bacteria responsible for acne.

The scientists believe the modern Western diet is to blame.

Up to 60% of 12-year-olds and 95% of 18-year-olds suffer from acne.

But in a study to be published in the journal Archives of Dermatology, they point to a lack of acne among teenagers living in other parts of the world, where food is largely unprocessed.

They cite the examples of the Kitava Islanders in Papau New Guinea and the Ache of the Amazon, where acne is almost unknown.

"The only foods available to these populations are minimally processed foods," Ms Cordain told New Scientist magazine.

They also point to the experience of the Inuit people of Alaska. Acne only appeared when people there starting eating a Western diet.

Scientists in Australia are planning a major study to see if eating a low-carbohydrate diet can reduce the incidence of acne.

Researchers at the RMIT University in Melbourne are planning to test the theory on 60 teenage boys over three months.

It will be one of the first controlled studies to examine the effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on acne.

"There's a lot of anecdotal evidence," Neil Mann, one of the researchers told New Scientist magazine.

"Dermatologists will tell you they have put patients on low-carbohydrate diets and seen improvements. This will be the first controlled study."

See also:

03 Nov 01 | Health
09 Jul 02 | Wales
18 Jul 00 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes