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Does Drinking Milk Cause Acne?


Drinking milk DOES cause acne in some.

More Info: Acne vulgaris is the most common disease of the western civilization affecting more than 85% of teenagers.  According to two studies, drinking milk could be partly to blame. [Melnik, 131]

Hormones in Milk Cause Acne

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health examined the possible association between dairy intake and physician-diagnosed severe acne in teenagers.  They studied more than 45,000 women and found that there was a positive association between acne prevalence and drinking milk or skim milk.  They also found an association between acne and additional milk products including cream cheese, cottage cheese, sherbet, and instant breakfast drink.  The researchers suggest that the presence of hormones and bioactive molecules in milk are the acne causing agents. [Adebamowo, 207]

Insulin in Milk Causes Acne

Researchers from the University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany suggest that drinking milk has a definite impact on the prevalence of acne.

Milk and whey protein contribute to elevated insulin, which can cause or aggravate acne, increase sebum production, and cause inflammation of the hair follicles.  The study authors suggest that the answer is to ultimately figure out how to generate less insulinotropic milk, or to simply restrict milk consumption.  They further suggest that doing so will have an impact on additional epidemic western diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and neurodegenerative diseases. [Melnik, 131]

Elimination Diet

Many professionals are beginning to subscribe to the idea that diet affects the condition of your skin including the presence of acne.  If you believe that a particular food is aggravating your acne condition, test the theory by eliminating it from your diet.  Be certain to only eliminate one food at a time and allow three to six months to measure full results.



Adebamowo, CA. “High School Dietary Intake and Teenage Acne.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 52.2 (2005): 207-214. Print.

Melnik, BC. “Evidence for acne-promoting effects of milk and other insulinotropic dairy products..” Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program 67.1 (2011): 131-45. Print.

“Acne Diet – More Than Skin Deep | Daily Perricone.” Daily Perricone | Make Dr. Perricone a part of your Daily Routine. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2012. <>.

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