In addition to avoiding refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods, a recent report suggests that you may also think about how much milk you are consuming.
Acne may be caused in large part by the male hormone 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone, which turns on oil-making cells in the skin of both men and women. Cow’s milk contains 5 alpha-reduced steroids and other hormones that can be broken down to dihydrotestosterone. The enzymes necessary to convert the hormones to dihydrotestosterone are present in your oil glands.
These hormones in cow’s milk are particularly high in pregnant cows, which make up 75%-90% of the dairy milk market. High milk intake has been shown to increase blood levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). High IGF-1 levels are believed to promote acne through hyperkeratinization, a multiplication of skin cells associated with acne.
In a study of 6,500 adolescent offspring from the Nurses’ Health Study II, results showed a significant positive association between milk consumption and acne. The relationship was independent of the fat content of the milk.
Other foods with a positive association included milk-based instant breakfast drinks, sherbet, cottage cheese and cream cheese, but not other dairy foods or foods such as french fries, chocolate candy or pizza.
According to Dr. William Danby, a dermatologist who spoke at the Atlantic Dermatological Conference, “Milk is designed to make things grow. Human beings are the only animal to continue to drink milk beyond infancy, and it is not even the milk of our own species. Young growing humans need milk from pregnant cows just as much as young growing cows need milk from pregnant humans – not at all.”
Many women attempt to minimize PCOS symptoms by reducing the carbohydrate content of their diet and by increasing dairy consumption, since dairy is high in protein and has no carbs. This article suggests that milk products may not give you the results you’re looking for. We suggest you increase consumption of fresh vegetables and get some of your animal protein from fish, poultry and egg whites. Refined grain and dairy products are ubiquitous and convenient. But they are not necessarily healthy.
Source: Mahoney D, Got Milk? Got Acne? New Research Suggests Link, Family Practice News, June 1, 2004:54.