All teens fear it, adults too: acne. Acne is caused by oily skin and the appearance of pimples on the face, upper back and chest. It’s more embarrassing than dangerous, yet it has major psychological repercussions for the people involved. The mechanisms for the appearance of acne are multiple, which is why it is often a combination of several factors that are interconnected. Some of them are already known (hypersecretion, folliculitis), not to mention the influence of risk factors such as genetic background, the use of oily cosmetics, the use of industrial chemicals. How about our plate? At the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Spring Symposium, dermatologists claim to have identified what may be a crucial link between acne and a lack of omega-3 fatty acids.
The team behind the research, based in the University of Munich’s Department of Dermatology and Allergy, studied 100 patients diagnosed with acne and, by measuring nutritional parameters in their blood, found that 94% of patients had levels below the recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids. What are we talking about? As ANSES* explains on this topic, omega-3 fatty acids form a family of essential fatty acids that include essential fatty acids that are essential for the proper growth and functioning of the human body, but are not known how to synthesize them. However, it can be synthesized from its precursors (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA if supplied through food. From this compound, the body synthesizes other omega-3 fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids.
A varied and balanced diet is key to good care
Foods rich in omega-3s come from terrestrial plants (walnuts, rapeseed, soybeans, flaxseed oil) that contain ALA, and marine animals (salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies) that contain EPA and DHA. Based on its findings, the scientific team recommends that physicians ask questions about the eating habits of acne patients during their consultations. “ Nutrition plays a major role in the prevention, emergence and development of many diseases, including skin disorders such as acne vulgaris. ‘,” explains Dr. Ann Gertler, lead author of the study. “Omega-3s look promising because of their anti-inflammatory effects. It has already been proven that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the growth and functioning of the retina, brain and nervous system.
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But more and more studies are showing that consuming it will have particularly interesting effects against inflammation. Here’s what the study shows: It’s likely to reduce inflammation by stimulating the production of anti-inflammatory molecules (the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins E1 and E3, and leukotriene B5) and by lowering levels of insulin-like growth (IGF-1), the central hormone that causes acne. In the study, patients with omega-3 levels less than 8% showed higher levels of IGF-1, compared to patients without this nutrient deficiency. And in patients with a deficit of less than 4%, levels of the acne-causing hormone increased even more. ” To determine any effect the supplement may have, baseline levels must first be studied to assess whether there is any real deficiency. ‘,” the team notes.
Although this is a preliminary study whose results need to be confirmed by further studies, the researchers concluded that their findings reinforce the idea that a healthy diet is essential to getting rid of acne in the long term. This observation is shared by the scientific journal Vidal, which confirms that it is among the rules of skin hygiene when suffering from acne, ” A balanced and varied diet is sure to contribute to the overall good health of the skin. So the organization recommends giving preference to fruits and vegetables and, again, foods rich in essential fatty acids (fish and rapeseed oil). The latter notes on the other hand that few studies have indicated a link between diet and acne exacerbation, although there is a controversial link about the fact that excessive intake of sweets or dairy products appears to influence acne outbreaks.