Leyla Weighs In: Getting to the root of acne

By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

Acne is not just the scourge of teenagers swimming in raging hormones, but in adults too who may have hormonal imbalances (i.e., perimenopause) or other health conditions that present as inflammation leading to a breakout.

Rather than resorting to antibiotics which will eventually cause imbalances in the ecosystem of the gut, or dangerous drugs such as Accutane which can cause ulcerative colitis, or skin creams which trade one problem for another: acne for dry, stinging skin, it’s important to identify the cause of breakouts.

Sugars and other refined carbohydrates feed the propionibacterium responsible for acne. Proinflammatory vegetable oils used in chips, fried food and other heavily processed foods only worsen the problem.

Bad bacteria in the gut can manifest as acne on the face, chest and back (‘bacne’). Testing for dysbiosis will help identify it so we can get rid of the bacteria. Then, implementing an appropriate probiotic treatment to reinoculate the gut with beneficial bacteria will help reduce if not completely eliminate breakouts due to bacterial overgrowth.

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Source: Integrative Health Network: Ronald Hoffman, MD

Is Fructose Really That Bad For You? (Ronald Hoffman, MD)

I remember a time in the 70s and 80s when I was just getting started in the field of nutrition when fructose was considered a harmless sweetener for diabetics. Marketed as “diabetic sugar,” fructose syrup was dispensed in clear plastic containers and consumed with impunity by persons with blood sugar problems.

The embrace of fructose as an alternative to glucose was fostered by the observation that it evoked a lower blood sugar response than other sweeteners. Fructose was found to have one of the lowest glycemic index (GI) values—20, as compared to glucose, and its disaccharide maltose—100 and 105 respectively.

One putative advantage of fructose was that it seemed to get “under the radar” of the body’s insulin responses. Fructose—unlike sucrose, glucose, malt sugars and starches—not requiring insulin for its metabolism, did not appear to stoke the insulin surges which could lead to insulin resistance, a pathway to metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes.

This led the American Diabetes Association to endorse fructose as a preferable alternative to other sugars from 1979 to 2001—albeit with a caution about high intakes.

All this changed in 2004 with the publication of a landmark review—one of the most frequently cited in nutrition literature—entitled “Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.”

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Source: Integrative Health Network: Ronald Hoffman, MD