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Acne: An energy-dense dietary pattern (high consumption of fatty and sugary products)

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While multiple factors contribute to the development of acne, including genetic, hormonal, inflammatory, and environmental influences, recent research suggests that diet plays a significant role in acne pathogenesis and treatment.

Studies have shown that an energy-dense dietary pattern, characterized by high consumption of fatty and sugary products, is associated with current acne. In particular, high fat consumption has been linked to a reduction in the levels of beneficial Bifidobacteria. On the other hand, the co-administration of probiotics such as Lactobacillus and Streptococcus with fatty acids can increase the levels of anti-inflammatory fatty acids in the blood.

The glycemic index and glycemic load of foods have also been shown to affect acne lesions, with low glycemic load diets resulting in reduced acne compared to high glycemic load diets. Dairy products, particularly whey proteins found in milk, may contribute to acne development due to their insulinotropic effects. On the other hand, diets rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from fish and healthy oils have been shown to benefit individuals with acne.

Ketogenic diets, which involve a significant reduction in carbohydrates and increased fat consumption, have been shown to reduce inflammation markers and insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels. Additionally, studies have shown that acne patients have higher glycemic index and glycemic load levels compared to control participants, with chocolate consumption being a focus of study on its effect on acne.

The role of the microbiome in acne pathogenesis and therapy has also been investigated, with research showing that the balance of skin microbiota, particularly C. acnes, is important in acne development. Probiotics may have potential effects on acne, including the inhibition of C. acnes by Streptococcus salivarius and improvements in glucose metabolism and insulin levels by Bifidobacterium lactis.

Overall, the evidence suggests that diet plays a significant role in acne development and treatment. By incorporating probiotics, consuming a diet low in glycemic load, and including sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, individuals with acne may be able to improve their skin health and reduce acne lesions. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying the relationship between diet and acne.

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