Deficiencies In Vitamins A And E Linked To Acne
"Results. We found that plasma vitamin A concentrations in patients with acne were significantly lower than those of the control group (336.5 vs. 418.1 g/L, respectively) P = 0.007. We also found that plasma vitamin E concentrations in patients with acne were significantly lower than those of controls (5.4 vs. 5.9 mg/L) P = 0.05. In addition, we found that there is a strong relationship between decrease in plasma vitamin A levels and increase in the severity of acne condition. Patients with severe acne had significantly lower plasma concentrations of vitamins A and E than did those with lower acne grade and the age-matched healthy controls."
Yet again we see a link to nutrition but the mainstream still thinks that we have a deficiency of generally toxic drugs!
An incentive for your teen to eat right
Some acne might be linked to deficiencies in vitamins A and E
Acne is the bane of the teenage years. For most teenagers, it is merely bothersome, seeming to appear at the most inopportune times. For some, however, it can be severe, leaving both physical and emotional scars.
Traditional therapy for severe acne is successful, but what if a simple lifestyle change could change the severity of the disease? The answer might be vitamins or, more exactly, a deficiency of specific vitamins.
Acne is the result of the buildup of bacteria, skin cells and oils in blocked skin pores resulting in the typical pimples and deeper cysts or nodules. Acne can appear over the upper body, including face, neck, chest, back and shoulders and last for years.
The incidence of acne is surprisingly constant world wide, at about 6 to 8 percent of the population in any specific country. In the U.S., about 17 million people have acne, and 85 percent of them are between ages 12 and 24. It has been estimated that more than 40 percent of teens will seek professional medical treatment for their acne.
Although numerous medical studies have not found a strong link between specific foods, like chocolate and pizza, and acne, there might be a relationship between blood levels of the vitamins A and E and the severity of acne.
A recent medical study, published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, determined that severe acne was more common in those teenagers with lower blood levels of vitamins A and E. In this study, blood levels of both vitamins A and E were measured and compared to 100 age-matched teenagers without acne. Interestingly, those with the lowest levels of vitamins A and E had the most severe acne.
Vitamins A and E are very important for normal skin and tissue function and their absorption depends on both being present in sufficient quantity. In earlier studies, it was demonstrated that increased dietary vitamin E is needed for optimal absorption of vitamin A. With low levels of dietary vitamin E, even robust amounts of vitamins A were not absorbed.
Teenagers might be at greater risk of specific vitamin deficiency (and acne) for a variety of reasons. They simply might not eat three good meals a day and, as a result, do not get enough vitamins. In addition, the increased growth and metabolism seen in the teen years might use up vitamins faster than can be replaced by diet alone.
Although a vitamin deficiency seems to be related to severe acne, researchers do not know if severe acne can be improved with increased vitamin A and E consumption. It seems prudent, however, to have a diet that is rich in vitamins A and E.
Vitamin A is in fish, liver, egg yolks, butter and green and yellow vegetables. Vitamin E is found in wheat germ, liver, eggs, Brazil nuts, seeds, olive and canola oils and leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.
• Patrick B. Massey, M.D., Ph.D., is medical director for alternative and complementary medicine for Alexian Brothers Hospital Network.
Patrick Massey MD, PhD
Medical Director, Integrative Medicine, Alexian Brothers Hospital Network. President, ALT-MED Medical and Physical Therapy
posted by Chris Gupta on Thursday May 25 2006
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