The first thing to know about acne is an inflammatory disease , where the most significant is:
-Increased keratinization of the hair follicles, which causes the follicle to be plugged.
-Increased sebum formation.
Microbial colonization of the pilosebaceous unit.
Other factors, such as heredity and stress , can also aggravate acne.
In scientific terms and in a schematic way, it could be said that the initial element is the abnormal keratinization of keratinocytes, which creates the microcomedón. At the same time, the increase of circulating androgens in puberty stimulate the production of sebum. All these elements are combined in the pilosebaceous unit to create an environment favorable to colonization by Propionibacterium acnes, who finally initiates and maintains the inflammatory response.
What diet influences
In the increase of keratinization, ie in the plugging of the hair follicle, growth factors intervene, which in turn are favored by two hormones: insulin and growth hormone .
Let's focus on insulin. Its increase in blood causes proliferation to grow and decreases cell self-destruction (apoptosis), and vice versa a decrease in insulin decreases keratinization, and therefore, plugging of the pilosebaceous follicle. The more carbohydrates eat high glycemic load , with ability to increase insulin stimulated more rapidly form is the keratinization process. That is, carbohydrates with high glycemic load / high insulin index, influence the appearance and maintenance of acne.
The formation of sebum (stimulated by the action of androgens) if it is excessive also favors the appearance of acne. When insulin increases in blood, androgen levels are increased. So diets rich in fiber improve circulating androgens and, consequently, acne.
Foods rich in omega 3 and omega 6
The bacteria involved in the pathogenesis of acne cause a cascade of inflammatory reactions that we can modulate with food. One of the most relevant factors in the influence of diet on inflammation is the relationship between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
Since omega 6 acids have proinflammatory properties while omega 3 have anti-inflammatory activity. Therefore, a favorable diet to treat acne should have a high consumption of Omega3, as fish , for its anti-inflammatory action.
On the other hand, it is significant to see how the human being evolved with a diet where the omega 6 / omega 3 ratio was approximately 1, and in western diets it is now 15/1, originated by the predominance of omega 6 in the diet. Most vegetable oils and processed foods made with these oils.
However, we can conclude that the acne inflammation induced by the diet is due to:
-High consumption of saturated and trans fat
-Increased consumption of sugars and refined products (rice, pasta, bread)
-Decrease consumption of natural antioxidants (fruits and vegetables)
-Over consumption of omega 6 acids (sunflower oil, corn oil, directly or through industrialized products), without adequate compensation of foods rich in Omega 3 (fish, flax seeds)