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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Aug;57(2):247-56. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

The effect of a high-protein, low glycemic-load diet versus a conventional, high glycemic-load diet on biochemical parameters associated with acne vulgaris: a randomized, investigator-masked, controlled trial.

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  • 1School of Applied Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



No previous study has sought to examine the influence of dietary composition on acne vulgaris.


We sought to compare the effect of an experimental low glycemic-load diet with a conventional high glycemic-load diet on clinical and endocrine aspects of acne vulgaris.


A total of 43 male patients with acne completed a 12-week, parallel, dietary intervention study with investigator-masked dermatology assessments. Primary outcomes measures were changes in lesion counts, sex hormone binding globulin, free androgen index, insulin-like growth factor-I, and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins.


At 12 weeks, total lesion counts had decreased more in the experimental group (-21.9 [95% confidence interval, -26.8 to -19.0]) compared with the control group (-13.8 [-19.1 to -8.5], P = .01). The experimental diet also reduced weight (P = .001), reduced the free androgen index (P = .04), and increased insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (P = .001) when compared with a high glycemic-load diet.


We could not preclude the role of weight loss in the overall treatment effect.


This suggests nutrition-related lifestyle factors play a role in acne pathogenesis. However, these preliminary findings should be confirmed by similar studies.

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