High Protein Diets and Acne

Woman squeezing spot
Although more evidence is needed, high-protein diets help fight acne. (Image: Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Your protein intake is one of many factors that might play a role in the potential link between your diet and risk of developing acne. However, following a high-protein diet is unlikely to lead to more acne. In fact, a small amount of preliminary evidence suggests that a high-protein and low-glycemic diet may make you less prone to acne.

Protein and Acne

In a 2007 trial published in the "Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology," young men following a high-protein diet with a low glycemic load for 12 weeks had significantly less acne than those following a standard diet. The researchers note that this might be because high-protein diets help to reduce your weight and increase the ratio of insulin-like growth factor to free testosterone in your body.[Ref 1] Although a 2011 review in "Dermato-Endocrinology" points out that these effects likely arise solely from the low glycemic load,[Ref 2] more research is needed to explore the possible links between protein, other dietary factors and acne.[Ref 1, 2]

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