According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2005, there is a connection between milk and severe acne.
Does milk cause acne? For decades scientists have searched for the causes of acne. A study has identified one of the key triggers: milk. Researchers claim to have found a correlation between milk intake and the incidence of acne. Teenagers who drink a pint or more of milk a day are almost 50 per cent more likely to develop spots and pimples than those who rarely or never drink milk.
This supports the results of previous studies, researchers began by asking people to recall what they ate. One such study asked 47,355 women to remember what they ate in high school 9 years prior. Another study asked teenage boys to recall what they ate and to determine the severity of their acne. After analyzing the foods eaten, researchers concluded that girls that consumed three or more servings of milk each day were 22% more likely to suffer from severe acne.
Studies investigating a link between acne and milk have not given clear results. At the moment the research does not support a strong link between acne and milk. This study also found that People who regularly drank skimmed milk, with two half-pint glasses a day raising the risk develop acne by 44 per cent. Those who drank a pint of whole milk a day were 12 per cent more likely to develop acne, while semi-skimmed milk increased the risk by 16 per cent. Overall, those who regularly drank milk were 22 per cent more likely to have suffered from acne than those who rarely or never drank the white stuff.
These studies had limitations. Trying to accurately recall what you ate years ago or even days ago can be difficult, so the collected data cannot be considered entirely reliable. So why drinking milk can cause acne? Some think its the hormones found in milk. Milk contains progesterone and other hormones that are known precursors to DHT, the primary acne-producing hormone in humans.
Cow milk also contains Iodine, the amount of hormones gets increased when farmers inject their cows with more hormones. This is done to increase the productivity of milk by a given cow. These injections increase the amount of IGF – 1 present in milk. It must be noted that it is IGF -1 that woks along with testosterone and DHT to cause acne.
But Skim milk was associated with higher IGF-1 levels than whole milk. The processing of skim milk may explain why it is linked to acne severity more often than whole milk. Whey proteins are added to give skim milk a creamier consistency. Some speculate that these proteins impact acne development.
So, does this imply that you should stop drinking milk altogether to get rid of acne? Not really. Try to opt for a no milk and no dairy diet for about a week. If you experience improvement in your acne condition, you might as well give up milk. However, if your acne does not improve you can continue drinking milk and not deprive yourself of the essential nutrients present in it.