Sugar and Acne

Skin acne affects many of the 20 million teenagers in this country and it is a major source of anguish during a time when one’s appearance is a concern.  Many studies have shown and most dermatologists agree that some acne is caused by an imbalance of hormones and poor dietary choices. 

Diet can and does affect the health of one’s skin.  Too much sugar intake from soda and candy means fewer vitamins and minerals available for proper skin cell regeneration.  The sugars with the highest “Glycemic Index” (GI) tend to aggravate skin problems the most.  The Glycemic Index is a measurement for how quickly sugar from foods/beverages is released into the blood stream during digestion.  Simple sugars from soda, candy, sugary cereals, refined breads and sweetened juice have the highest GI number.  Complex sugars, or complex carbohydrates, have a lower GI number because these sugars are released into the blood stream more steadily and not all at once (high fiber cereals, fruits and most vegetables).

 It makes sense that a teenager (or adult) who consumes high sugary items (high GI numbered items) will tend to experience hormonal imbalances and therefore acne.  The reason for this is because high sugar levels in the blood also means high insulin levels.  When blood sugar levels are high, the pancreas releases insulin causing a surge of this hormone in the body and the potential for an imbalance.   This explains why individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes also tend to have acne problems. 

Skin acne is one outcome for a person who regularly has higher than normal levels of insulin in their body.  This is true whether they are unable to properly utilize the insulin because of diabetes or whether they’re continuing to consume too much sugar causing the pancreas to secrete more insulin more often.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.