More people suffer from acne than any other condition of the skin, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Although not a serious health threat, acne can induce anxiety and scarring in certain people. Consuming a healthy diet may help you improve your acne symptoms. When it comes to acne, raisins are a double-edged sword.
A research review published in the September 2004 edition of the medical journal "Clinics in Dermatology" notes that diet is an under-appreciated aspect of acne development and management. The review warns that chief acne contributors--including skin oxidation, sugar diets and inflammation--are all modifiable by consuming a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Oxidation is a natural byproduct of your body's metabolism that can contribute to the formation of acne lesions. Stress, pollution and illness can exacerbate oxidation. Your body's only defense against oxidation is through the consumption of compounds known as antioxidants. Antioxidants are commonly found in plant foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and beans. According to research compiled by the California Raisin Marketing Board, raisins are an abundant source of antioxidants.
A food's glycemic load--a modified version of the glycemic index--is how much it increases your body's blood sugar and insulin levels after consumption. Research published in the April 2008 "Journal of Dermatological Science" discovered that adopting a diet rich in low glycemic load foods helps reduce symptoms of acne. Low glycemic load foods include dairy products, fresh vegetables, unprocessed fruits and legumes. According to the University of Wisconsin, raisins have a high glycemic load.
Because acne is a medical condition, it should be treated by a licensed dermatologist. As no studies have researched raisin's impact on acne, it's unclear what affect adding or removing raisins from your diet will have on your acne. You can get similar levels of antioxidants without the high glycemic load by opting for antioxidant-rich fresh fruits, such as blueberries, apples and oranges.
- "Clinics in Dermatology"; Acne and Diet; R Wolf et al.; September 2004
- National Institutes of Health: Acne
- "Journal of Dermatological Science"; The effect of a low glycemic load diet on acne vulgaris and the fatty acid composition of skin surface triglycerides; R Smith et al; April 2008
- University of Wisconsin: Glycemic Index