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Are Almonds Good for Acne?



If your acne is caused by low vitamin E plasma levels, almonds could play an important role in raising those levels.

More Info:  To date, there are no specific studies linking almonds directly to acne, but at  8 mg per ounce, almonds are a good source of vitamin E, which has been shown to ameliorate acne conditions in those with low plasma levels of vitamin E. [1]

Low Vitamin E Plasma Levels Influence Acne

Experts have long argued against the popular notion that any single food item, such as chocolate or potato chips, causes acne, but many are now convinced that diet can play a role in helping or worsening the condition. [2]

One such study found that there is a relationship between plasma Vitamin A and E levels and acne.  The researchers compared one hundred newly diagnosed acne patients with one hundred participants without acne and discovered that patients with acne had lower blood serum levels of vitamins A and E than those that were acne-free. They also found that those with severe acne had substantially lower levels.  The researchers were convinced of the connection when the administration of both vitamins improved their conditions. [3]

How Vitamin E Helps to Improve Acne

To understand how vitamin E helps to improve acne, it is important to understand the relationship between antioxidants and free radicals.  Free radicals are atoms in the body with unpaired electrons making them highly reactive and unstable.  They cause damage when reacting with healthy cells causing them to function poorly or even die.  Antioxidants are the body’s defense to free radicals.  Antioxidants block the process and work to neutralize free radicals.  The primary antioxidants are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which are only available through diet.

In the case of acne, free radicals can cause inflammation, which in turn plays a role in acne.  As an antioxidant, vitamin E absorbs free radicals in the body, improving the inflammation that exacerbates acne. [4]

Why Almonds?

At 8 milligrams of vitamin E per ounce, almonds are an easy way to get the recommended daily allowance of 15 milligrams. Just a handful, or roughly 22 almonds, will provide you with more than half of your daily dietary needs.  Other dietary sources of vitamin E include fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, peanut butter, and broccoli. [5]

Don’t Overlook Almond Milk

One of the easiest ways to incorporate almonds into a daily diet is by replacing regular milk with almond milk. An eight ounce glass of almond milk provides half of the recommended daily value of vitamin E.

Research has also suggested that drinking cow’s milk may contribute to acne.  Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a prospective cohort study on the association between diet and acne in teenage boys and found a positive association between milk and acne. [%]  Experts speculate that there may be an association between insulin growth factor-1 and alpha reduced sex hormones that are used to foster development in young cows.  Almond milk and other milk substitutes are naturally hormone free. [6]



[1][5] University of Florida Cooperative Extension
Facts about Vitamin E

[2][7] Dermato Endocrinology; Pappas A.
The relationship of diet and acne: A review
2009; Volume: 1; No: 5; Pages 262-267

[3] Clinical Experimental Dermatology; EL-Akawi Z
Does the plasma level of vitamins A and E affect acne condition?

2006; Volume: 31; No: 3; Pages: 430-434

[4] Bellevue Acne Clinic
Role of Vitamin E in Acne Treatment

Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide – “They’re Good for Us, But Which Nut is Best?”, Retrieved September 8, 2011 from

[6] Journal of American Academy of Dermatology; Adebamowo, CA
Milk consumption and acne in teenaged boys
2008; Volume: 58; No: 5; Pages: 787-793

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