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Dairy and Acne: Is There a Connection?

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.

Join The Conversation
Acne-Free Acne-Free 8 years
My acne always seems to get worse when I eat or drink dairy. I think there is definately a connection there. Maintaining your daily recommended limit of calcium is very important too so keep that in mind. Just eat healthy and drink a lot of water and you should see an improvement.
mat mat 9 years
You can also massage your face to avoid and prevent acne.Face massages applied to neuralgic zones of your face and body will help you improve your blood circulation, making your organism work in harmony and avoiding the accumulation of residues that cause skin problems.To know how to do it go here
lady-T lady-T 10 years
i might try this see if it works..does goat's cheese count too??? i love that!! :(
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
:jawdrop: really?? HMMMM i need to check this out.
tifygodess24 tifygodess24 10 years
I have heard of the whole acne problem and dairy connection. I have had a problem with acne lately and im tempted to cut dairy out of my diet to see if that could be whats going on . I do not drink milk but I eat cheese quite a bit , so it kind of makes me sad to think of cutting cheese out of my diet ;) but im so tired of the pimples....
vixen2 vixen2 10 years
having grown up out of the USA, I was not used to the milk and other dairy that is pumped up with hoards of hormones. For the first time in my life, I developed severe acne and a lot of skipped periods. To that extent I'd say - SURE, dairy does have a connection to acne. However, once I switched over to organic foods, this was not really a problem per se. Now I undestand organic is a lot more expensive and not everyone can afford it, but think about what's more important to you? That $6-gallon of milk or those $3super-sized meals?
Hera119 Hera119 10 years
I drink milk everyday I think it's the best for my calcium supply 'n I can grow taller! I even think it kinda make my skin whiter! lol
Leanne1078 Leanne1078 10 years
On the flip side for me, I discovered that the main cause of my acne was actually soy! Now I just stay away from it completely and my skin is much better. Too bad though, because I love soy milk!
cams cams 10 years
That doesn't make sense to me, estrogen makes your skin clearer (which is why boys usually have worse acne). If the cows are pregnant wouldnt there be more estrogen in milk? Its been awhile since anatomy so I don't know if that is correct. However: acne > osteoporosis
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