Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2011-08-27
Hey, Bagel Face
Anyone who has teenagers, or was once a teenager
herself, knows what a nuisance acne can be. Who hasn’t anticipated
going out on a date at age 17, only to have a red hot zit spring up
right on the tip of your nose?
It ain’t rare. Judging by the American
experience viewable by a trip to your friendly neighborhood McDonald’s,
acne is ubiquitous and inevitable, affecting 95% of 16- to 18-year
olds. Even adults are not spared, with 50% continuing to have
intermittent struggles. Then why do primitive cultures have zero
acne? The New Guinea Kitavans and northern Canadian Inuits, for instance,
had no acne–until the introduction of Western foods.
So what is it about the Western diet that makes for
postponed dates and Clearasil cover-ups?
Any food that increases insulin also triggers something
called insulin-like growth factor-1,
or IGF-1, in skin. This stimulates sebum production, as well as growth of hair
follicles and other cells in the dermis. The subterranean turmoil caused by
increased IGF-1 erupts to the surface as the familiar pimple.
Simple logic: Any food that increases blood sugar
also triggers insulin, thereby triggering IGF-1. So foods that trigger
blood sugar and/or insulin the most are the most likely to cause acne.
So what familiar food increases blood sugar
higher than table sugar, higher than a Milky Way bar, higher than a Snickers
bar? Yup, good old wheat–whole grain, white, multigrain; bagel,
muffin, wrap; donut, Twinkie, cupcake–makes no difference, it’s
all the same. (Interestingly, dairy products do not increase blood sugar much,
but they have a unique insulinotrophic effect, a tripling
of insulin output by the pancreas, thereby increasing IGF-1 by a different
route than wheat.)