Is there a connection between conventional meats and acne?
I've been mulling this over for a couple of months now, as I'm currently suffering from pretty severe acne, on my face especially.
I'm a teenager, currently 17 and started getting spots around the time I was 13 or so, which in terms of adolescence is a very common occurrence due to all the hormonal changes taking place, so I wasn't too worried.
However, those were regular spots, not actual acne. I can't remember exactly when I started having acne, but it's been persistent for about two years now and from what I've observed, it's not going to improve without medication. I tried Oxytetracycline tablets as my first medication years ago, and all my acne cleared up within weeks. Slowly, it started to reappear over the course of a few months, and after trying at least 6 months of Oxytetracycline and even 3 months of Limacycline, the acne just did not shift. I theorize that my body has adjusted to the antibiotics, and my dermatologist believes that that is the most likely explanation.
My acne started to get gradually worse once I made the full transition to being Primal. I believe that the reason for this may be because of the meats my parents purchase from a large, popular supermarket - Iceland. The meat has no distinct labels, and since the meat is the store's own brand, it's likely that the meat is very poor in quality.
Being conventional meat, and referencing to Mark's statement about toxins being stored within the fat cells (P120 in the book if you have it), do you believe that the toxins are perhaps causing inflammation and aggravating my acne, despite my diet being fine in all other areas? For the record, I have completely avoided dairy, which I've heard can be problematic.
I do visit the farmer's market every sunday possible to purchase as much 'clean' meats as I can (the difference in taste is unquestionable), yet there's no denying that my parents are against buying too much, as there's an Iceland store very close by that's open all week.
Thanks for the help!
I'm 20 and while I've never taken anything really insane for my acne, I was on some kind of medication in my mid-teens. Can't remember what I was taking, but it didn't help much.
While my acne has been decreasing in the last year or so, I look at pictures of when I graduated highschool and I can see it was pretty bad not so long ago. Only recently has my acne begun to clear up. I attribute this to several things: the switch to primal, to stop washing my face with gunk, and to putting olive oil on afterward (people say use coconut oil, but I can't find any here in France, plus it is expensive to be NOT cooking with!).
You might be right that conventionally raised meat could be affecting your acne. I don't really know. Since your parents don't seem to care what quality they eat, can you maybe just buy meat for yourself at the market? That'd make it stretch a little longer. You could also get more of your protein requirements through eggs--even organic eggs are cheaper than grass-fed meat. Or eat less/none of the conventionally raised meat your parents bring home and eat more veggies. I love meat, and am currently on a ZC experiment, but you don't HAVE to eat meat every day to be healthy (or however often you're eating it). Do you take fish oil? That seemed to help me, as well, but I eat mostly organic.
Other people might know more about potential problems with conventionally raised meat, but it seems to me that the only way to find out whether that meat is affecting your acne is to stop eating it and see what happens.
My moderate acne has pretty much cleared up on a primal diet, and I only eat conventional meat! I do supplement with 2-3g omega 3 from liquid fish oil, however. Sometimes I get small marks or bumps from shaving or when I eat non-primal foods (often high sugar high flour cakes at birthdays, or soda and alcohol when I go out) but I never get cysts anymore and the bumps arent really a big deal and fade quickly when I do get them. I'm also 17 years old.
Some things to consider: How long have you been primal? Mightve taken me upwards of 2 months to see real changes in my acne. Do you still use a lot of topicals/facial products? I personally went from large doses of benzoyl-peroxide, cleanser and moisturizer twice a day, to using NOTHING and only really washing my face with water when I shower. This has led to less sensitive skin, an overall improvement in skin tone, and no ill effects on my acne. If the underlying causes for acne have disappeared, topicals may unnecessarily be aggravating your skin. Just food for thought. Nutritional deficiencies could also be a culprit, so maybe you could try tracking your daily intakes and see if you're lacking in any macro nutrients. Unfortunately acne can have various causes, so its hard to give specific directions for action. Good luck!
It's possible, but I've got a few suggestions (being in a similar boat)
- fish / omega 3 oils
- high quality fats; can you get hold of organic butter? I know it's dairy but it's a reasonably cheap and available source of organic fat.
- washing - try not to scrub; what products do you use? Go as natural as possible, try the "oil cleansing method" with olive oil, or coconut oil, or I use african soap from Akamuti - it's blended soap and shea (or cocoa?) butter. Acne is all about inflammation, so you're looking to calm and soothe, not obliterate
- given your antibiotic use, it would be wise to look into proper probiotics (not that actimel rubbish ), have a look at the blog "Cooling Inflammation" and see what is said about gut flora and inflammation
My parents have pretty much forbidden me from eating eggs for a while; my dermatologist is putting me on Accutane for 4-5 months, and my blood tests showed high cholesterol levels. I tried to explain to them that there's no proven link between eggs and blood cholesterol, yet they won't listen. However, I took another test within the same week, and my cholesterol dropped 'a lot' since cutting out eggs (I've never had any prior knowledge on cholesterol readings, so I was unsure on how profound the effect was).
I need to buy some more fish oil soon as I ran out of some cod liver oil capsules lately.
I agree about eliminating the conventional meats and going for the old tried and true trial-and-error approach.
I've been primal for about...3 months, I think. I still use benzoyl-peroxide myself, as recommended by the dermatologist, yet as for when I wash my face, I only use water, no soap. I do actually believe that I'm nutritionally deficient, so I'm going to sort that out ASAP!
- I'll be buying more fish oil capsules soon, and I'll try to get some fresh fish from the farmers' market soon as well.
- I haven't actually seen any organic butter to be honest, but then again I haven't really looked properly either!
- I only use water, although I do have some olive oil so I'll look up the cleansing method you mentioned.
Has anyone taken Accutane? I've heard (and seen) the benefits of it clearing up the skin completely, although there's also a significant amount of people who believe that Accutane has caused side effects that have lasted - and even appeared - after their course was complete.
I'll stay positive, just wanting to see it for what it really is from both sides.
Last edited by KG; 05-02-2010 at 08:05 AM.
Is it normal to test a 17 year old for cholesterol? Seems a bit excessive. I hope they are not going to put you on statins. Over 16 years of age you have the right to say what medical treatment you wish to receive so no one can force you to do what you don't want. I'm glad you are looking at taking responsibility for your health, and researching a range of information. I don't have any particular advice for acne, although the teenagers I have worked with in the past tend to improve from about 18, so it may clear of its own accord.
I would recommend that you just be patient. Stick to primal 100% and it should be clearing up within a month or two. If you have been on PB for only a few weeks it will be worse, since you are releasing toxins and all the acne that was hiding underneath is emerging (part of the healing process). I doubt it is conventional meat that is a problem for you, rather it could be dairy if it is related to "primal" food at all.
I also second the coconut oil idea. Works better than any lotion for me.
buy leaner meats and pack in the fat from god sources....fat in conventional meat is here the "toxic" stuff gathers
Oooo just remembered - the layers of the skin take time to move up to the surface - so what you're seeing is probably "pre-primal" skin, and hopefully in a few weeks those cells will be gone and your shiny new "primally fed" skin cells will be at the surface
If you're going to try accutane, be sure to thoroughly research the side effects to make sure its a risk you're willing to take, especially considering there's a chance your acne will cure up naturally by being primal in the time it takes for accutane to have an effect. I've also read several cases (on acne.org, very helpful board btw ) of accutane not having an effect, or acne reappearing after seizing the use of medication. But I know the effects acne can have on your self-esteem, so I certainly don't suggest just "sucking it up"! If you decide to go through with it just be sure to be skeptical and get a 2nd opinion if possible regarding dosage so you don't do your body any unnecessary harm.
I wish you luck!
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