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Finding flawless skin might be in the elimination of dairy from the diet

By New You Editorial
Posted On Dec 06, 2010

As the title of this blog implies, what you eat could really have an effect on your skin, in this case we’re addressing one of the top skin concerns: acne. Whether it’s a related to the standard adolescent rite of passage or an anguishing case of adult onset, you can likely attribute the cause to – you guessed it – hormones.

As an adolescent, we generally “get” why we get acne. But as adults, we’re often at a loss, wondering what’s the cause and, importantly, how to get rid of it. And so-called “solutions” abound. In fact, just last week Dr. Oz had a guest on his show to share certain so-called skincare “secrets.” One of those secrets? You can improve acne by introducing collard greens into your diet.

It seemed pretty sensational to me, so I turned to an expert who shared some very interesting facts with me about the most likely cause of acne – hold on to your pants here – Milk.

The No-Milk Diet

According to Dr. William Danby, a respected dermatologist in Manchester, NH, while eating collard greens can certainly help to create a more balanced and healthy diet (especially if, at the same time, you cut some of the junk food out) and be reflected in your skin, the biggest skin fix often comes from eliminating dairy from the diet.

“The reason that milk products cause acne is because milk contains hormones that ‘turn on’ oil glands. The cows that give the milk are pregnant and milking most of their lives,” he says.

Here’s how it works:

Acne is the result of pores that are plugged by the overproduction of cells that line the pore. Dr. Danby describes this as a “traffic jam” in the pore. Why does it happen? Hormones.

Dr. Danby says that we have three hormone sources: “The first is ovaries or testicles; the second is the adrenal (stress) glands; and the third is dairy products.”

“These three,” he says, “‘stack up’ on each other, and when the amount of hormone present is enough to plug up the pore, acne is started.”

(Huh. Very interesting…!)

So why do some people get acne and others don’t? Turns out, we all have a different hormone threshold. When hormones pass your individual hormone threshold, the result is acne.

“Many young women pass this threshold just before their period every month,” says Dr. Danby. “Others stay above the threshold for years because of milk and milk products.”

Still others may pass the threshold when they experience high stress levels.

According to Dr. Danby, if you remove dairy from your diet, you will likely be able to get your hormone levels down below your personal threshold. The result? With time, you’ll have less acne.

Importantly, your hormone threshold is also influenced by your family history. “So if one or both of your parents had acne, your threshold will be lower, making acne risk higher,” points out Dr. Danby.

Hormone-Free Milk?

But what about hormone-free milk? If you’re anything like me (and I happen to be the mother of two young girls and am concerned with premature puberty due to growth hormones in meat and milk), you probably stock your refrigerator with hormone-free milk. Perfect, right? Not so, says Dr. Danby. There’s no such thing as hormone-free milk, so you don’t want to continue this in your diet either.

“The confusion is caused by a company that sells a hormone (BST or rBGH) for injection into cows to make them produce more milk,” he explains. “Some milk producers have made the point that they do not use this injection by advertising that the milk is ‘hormone-free.’”

In other words, that hormone-free milk you’re buying doesn’t contain the injected hormone, but the fact still remains: All milk has the cows’ natural hormones in it.

So what’s a girl (or guy) to do?

We’ve got a couple of options. First, there’s Dr. Danby’s No-Milk Acne Diet. This diet has three different phases, the final phase in which you gradually reintroduce dairy to your diet.

He’s also got a No Dairy Low-Carb Diet, with extensive menus that identify high calcium sources.

How’s that for an “all natural” solution?

For more information or to contact Dr. William Danby: www.acnemilk.com


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