I was just flipping through nutritionist Joy Bauer's wonderful new book Food Cures and saw this little tidbit about the acne / dairy connection.
It seems that the connection between dairy and acne is not the milk fat like I previously thought, but iodine and hormones. Iodine-fortified feed is given to cows since iodine helps fight infections and iodine can cause acne in some people. Although the amount of iodine in milk is low, it is enough to create acne in folks that are sensitive.
On the hormone side of things, lactating cows are often pregnant while they are in milk production. About 75-90% of milk comes from pregnant cows and pregnancy means hormones. The hormones get into the milk, and then into your system (if you drink milk and eat dairy products). Unfortunately, we all know the connection between hormones and zits.
Bauer recommends taking time off of dairy to determine if it is causing acne outbreaks. Eliminate all dairy from your diet for at least a month and see if your skin improves. If it doesn't improve, dairy is not your enemy. If you do see a positive change, try adding dairy back in your diet by having 2 servings a day for four days. If the acne flares back up, dairy is a trigger for your skin and worthy of elimination.
Fit's Tip: If you do eliminate dairy be sure to take a calcium supplement. Or eat these foods that are high in calcium to make sure you are getting your RDI of the mineral.
For more helpful food cures, you should check out Food Cures. It is chock full of information and tasty recipes. Buy it online from Barnes and Noble for $13.26 - or look for it at your local bookstore.