New England Family Health Center
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 237-8505

Dr. Barry Taylor

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Can Better Nutrition help ACNE?

Acne affects millions of people young and old.

Acne can be both treated and prevented by understanding some basic nutrition and nutrients.

Healthier food choices and knowing how to achieve optimal levels of nutrients can make a huge difference to support healthy skin and eliminate Acne.
Most people are over fed and undernourished.
Toxicity interferes with healthy hormones.

Vitamin A is found in dark green leafy vegetables. Beta-Carotene is found in carrots and yellow orange vegetables like squash. Our body can convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A ( retinol ). Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin. The skin uses Vitamin A to develop new healthy cells and prevent our skin pores from getting clogged. Vitamin A is key for our immune system to neutralize infections. Often Acne blemishes get more problematic because there is insufficient Vitamin A for healthy skin. However, too much Vitamin A can be toxic for the liver. Too much Beta-carotene only turns our palms and soles of our feet orange and will go away easily when we slow down or cut out foods and supplements that have Beta-carotene.

Vitamin D levels can be low especially during the winter months when people tend to be outside less. Vitamin D can suppress sebaceous gland activity and regulate the skin’s sebum production. Excess sebum production can be part of the imbalances that need to be addressed to get to the bottom of why a person has Acne. A vitamin D supplement can be valuable for treating Acne if one is getting minimal sun exposure. Sun exposure has other negative effects (see blog on skin pigmentation).

Vitamin C is found in fresh fruit and some vegetables. Vitamin C is very heat sensitive so pasteurizing orange or other fruit juices makes most of the Vitamin C unavailable. Vitamin C is used up in large amounts with stress, infections and allergies. Vitamin C can be of benefit for Acne as an immune support to minimize the bacteria that is part of the condition. Vitamin C develops strong collagen which is important for firmer skin.- think of collagen like the glue between the cells.  Vitamin C is essential to neutralize toxins of all kinds When using a supplement choose a buffered Vitamin C which is more easily absorbed.

Zinc boosts immune function and is a key mineral for healthy skin. Zinc is found in oysters, ginger and pumpkin seeds. Zinc metabolism is interfered with by infections, allergies, and sugar intake. Taking too much Zinc supplements can cause mild nausea which goes away when we cut back on the dosage.

Probiotics are the live active healthy bacteria that live in our colon- large intestine. The future of nutritional medicine will include volumes about our “micro-biome.”

We have more bacterial cells in our body than human cells.  To a large degree, ingestion of nutrients to optimize function is key to health. Even more important than ingestion is absorption.  Taking a probiotic supplement away from food to replenish the healthy bacteria that live in our colon is one of the most important ingredients for healthy skin and to prevent or eliminate acne.  People with chronic infections, allergies, or who use antibiotics can get good results for better skin health by knowing the dose and quality of probiotics for their body. Ingest a probiotic supplement away from food on an empty stomach.

Vitamin E is excellent to prevent and treat scarring from Acne by promoting tissue repair and healing. Vitamin E is found in fresh almond, olive and coconut oils as well as pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. Vitamin E can go rancid, ie oxidize. Make sure the food you eat is fresh and as organic as possible. Most Acne conditions will improve with a  Vitamin E supplement that contains mixed tocopherols concentrating on d-alpha. Do not use synthetic Vitamin E.

Another strategy besides boosting insufficient nutrients to promote healthier skin and prevent or eliminate Acne is to detoxify the body.

For over 6000 years, in the Asian paradigm of Acupuncture, the skin is thought of as a 3rd lung.  The lungs are connected energetically to the large intestine. Acne can be treated as a toxic condition. It can be important to look at an imbalance of hormones, a reabsorption of chemicals from foods or pollutants, an over indulgence in fried foods, or a number of variables that stress the skin to over compensate for functions the lungs and large intestines are not doing well.  All sorts of chemicals, hormones in food, additives, and pesticides interfere with our natural production of hormones.

There are many ways to detox the body without fasting.

Simple suggestions like

  • better hydration ( pure good optimal water – soda, coffee, tea or alcohol do not count )
  • increasing bowel transit time- more fiber
  • sweating when we exercise

can be crucial as part of an whole body health program to support the skin to normalize and heal.

Taken internally, specific herbs like Burdock , Red Clover, and Barberry tinctures have positive effects on encouraging skin health.

This is always in a context of strengthening the body’s weaknesses with the above nutrients while exploring the appropriate detox protocols for drugs, heavy metals, allergens, hormone imbalances, and chronic infections.

All acne conditions need skin care that is targeted to improve the health of the skin and rebalance what the toxins, infectious agents or hormones might be doing to create blemishes.

The best formulas I have found are made by Environ – a South African skin care company that is meticulous in using ingredients that are the highest quality available.  They create remarkable formulas to allow the skin to be healthy and heal and not just improve symptomatically.

Feel free to contact me with any nutritional questions or to get information about getting all your nutrients, probiotics, toxins and heavy metals, drug residues, organ strengths and weaknesses, hormones, and infectious agents tested.

I look forward to support you to have the healthiest most radiant youthful skin you can imagine.

I invite you to read parts of my book on my website or sign up for my free nutritional blog.

Barry Taylor, ND  
www.drbarrytaylor.com 
drbarry@drabarrytaylor.com
781 237 8505

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