Want to get rid of acne, kids? Scientists believe that the consumption of oily fish, rich in omega-3, can lead to a cleaner complexion
- Experts believe that omega-3 fatty acids in foods such as salmon can help prevent acne
- Dermatologists made the reference after studying the diets of 100 people over the age of 12 with acne
- They found that in 94 patients the levels of omega-3 fatty acids were below the recommended
Eating oily fish and hummus may not seem the most logical way to keep your complexion clean.
But scientists believe that eating salmon, mackerel and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids – such as chickpeas – can help prevent acne.
The revelation, presented at a medical conference this weekend, will give parents much-needed extra weapons in the eternal battle to get teen children to eat dinner.
German dermatologists made the reference after studying the diets of 100 people over the age of 12 with acne and studying the levels of certain food markers in their blood. They found that 94 of them had omega-3s below the recommended level.
A team from the Department of Dermatology and Allergy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich believes that these fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that help stop the formation of acne.
Dr Anne Gurtler, lead author of the study, said: “Nutrition plays a key role in the prevention, occurrence and course of many diseases, including dermatological diseases such as acne vulgaris.
“Clinicians should provide patients with information on how their diet choices may affect dermatological diagnosis – and potentially improve therapeutic outcomes.”
She added that omega-3s, which can also be taken as supplements in capsule form, “are the most promising” as a way to eliminate acne “because of their anti-inflammatory effect”.
Volunteers in the low-omega-3 study typically had higher levels of a hormone that causes acne called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1).
Those who have higher levels of fatty acids tend to eat a lot of legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, and legumes such as green beans and peas.
Experts believe that salmon, pictured, mackerel and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids – such as chickpeas and lentils – can provide pure complexion
Acne occurs when tiny pores of the skin, called hair follicles, become clogged. Beneath these pores are the “sebaceous” glands that secrete a fatty substance called sebum, which lubricates the hair.
These glands can begin to secrete too much sebum, which then mixes with dead skin cells, clogging pores, causing blemishes. Usually harmless bacteria that live on the skin can infect clogged pores, exacerbating the situation.
Acne is often exacerbated during puberty because elevated testosterone levels in both boys and girls can cause sebaceous gland overload.
But it also affects about every 20 adults, according to a study also presented at the Spring Symposium of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Associate Professor Asli Bilgic of Akdeniz University in Turkey said: “Acne vulgaris is a disease that greatly aggravates many patients, including negatively affecting their personal and professional lives.
“This is also one of the most common reasons for consultation in general practice as patients look for ways to alleviate their symptoms.
“This exciting study helps us get one step closer to providing effective treatments to the millions of people faced with embarrassment and stigma due to this skin condition, looking beyond local ointments and classic systemic treatments to a path that can bring additional benefits to health.
“It also reinforces the idea of healthy eating needed for long-term remission in acne vulgaris.”