- Omega-3 fatty acids, found in plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, and legumes, have been identified as potentially beneficial in alleviating acne.
- Findings reveal that approximately 94% of acne sufferers had lower than recommended omega-3 fatty acid levels and omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and lower acne-inducing hormone levels.
- Modern acne treatment may include advising patients about beneficial dietary choices such as foods high in omega-3 fatty acids while avoiding acne-aggravating foods such as sunflower oil.
- Further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of an omega-3 supplement in improving skin health, potential side effects, and optimal dosage.
- Incorporating an active lifestyle and reducing stress, in addition to a diet high in omega-3, provides a holistic approach to not only acne treatment but overall skin health.
Almost 50 million individuals in America battle with acne. This condition can cause physical discomfort and may be a source of embarrassment for some people. However, a breakthrough discovery might pave the way to a new acne treatment which is not associated with severe side effects.
A certain study identified omega-3 fatty acids, found in plant-based foods like nuts and seeds, wild salmon, and fish oil, as potentially beneficial in alleviating acne.
How Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help
Examination of blood samples from 100 acne sufferers revealed that approximately 94% of them had lower than recommended omega-3 fatty acid levels. A significant number also exhibited elevated levels of a hormone that stimulates the production of acne.
Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in non-farmed fish, algae, and plant-based foods, such as legumes, seeds, and nuts, potentially reduce inflammation by stimulating the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins E1 and E3. These fatty acids lower the levels of IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1), a hormone known to induce acne.
Modern Approach to Acne Treatment
Lead author Dr. Anne Gürtler suggests a modern acne treatment approach that includes advising patients about beneficial dietary choices, such as foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Gürtler is a member of the Department of Dermatology and Allergy at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.
The research team discovered that individuals who frequently consumed chickpeas and lentils, while avoiding sunflower oil, manifested higher omega-3 levels. Previous research offers evidence of the acne-aggravating effects of sunflower oil.
Observations and Further Research
Research into the effects of diet on acne is not a new trend. However, the body of research has often been questioned due to inferior quality and lack of funding.
There is speculation that certain foods such as high-glycemic-index items, hormone-influenced meats, foods high in iodine, dairy, and sugar can exacerbate acne.
Further research needs to be conducted to determine the effectiveness of an omega-3 supplement in improving skin health. Factors such as potential side effects and the optimal dosage of omega-3 fatty acids need to be considered.
Transitioning to a Healthier Diet
While comprehensive clinical trials are yet to endorse their use, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be considered a more natural approach to complementing acne treatment methods or even as an alternative.
Furthermore, incorporating an active lifestyle and reducing stress, alongside a nutritious diet, possibly provides a holistic approach to not only acne treatment but overall skin health as well.
For additional information, The U.S. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases offers more resources on acne.
Please note: This article does not constitute medical advice and should not be seen as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are aware of your specific situation.