The Milk and Acne Connection
But how exactly does drinking milk lead to acne? You might be surprised at the variety of ways this can happen. Keep in mind this applies to yogurt, cheese and other products made with milk.
Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone that naturally occurs in milk. Since the vast majority of cows that are milked are actually pregnant, and since DHT occurs naturally in pregnant cows, it makes sense that it gets into the final milk product. However, DHT has been proven to be a serious problem for those who suffer from acne. DHT can spur the skin glands to produce higher amounts of sebum, which then clog pores and cause acne. Keep in mind that this is not a product that is added to the milk, but rather is already present when the milk is produced in the cow.
Many growth hormones are found in milk. Some of these are naturally occurring – after all, milk got the “healthy bones” reputation for a reason – but some of them are also artificially inserted by giving cows growth hormones during their lifetime. This particular hormone, known as insulin like growth factor-1 or IGF-1, can lead to faster aging of the skin, more dead skin cells and more acne. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t killed off during digestion, but instead winds up in the bloodstream.
In most cases, higher levels of insulin lead to more problems with acne. When you drink milk, you can severely increase your insulin levels. In addition, insulin can increase the sebum production of your skin, as well as affect the production of various growth and sex hormones. These are all tied to problems with acne. The longer your insulin levels are out of whack, the more likely you are to have serious, ongoing acne problems.
When a part of your body is injured or when you become ill, your body’s response includes inflammation – the area around that injury becomes red and swollen. The same happens when bacteria invades your pores. Your body senses a foreign invader, and immediately begins to turn on the inflammation as a natural response. This is typically a good thing, but for someone who suffers from acne, it can be a difficult problem. Your body’s natural response is now becoming a serious issue! Unfortunately, modern milk products come to us with more than a few issues of their own, including pesticides, dioxins, antibiotics, added hormones and much more. Any of these added chemicals in milk can lead to inflammation in your body as it tries to fight off that foreign invader, and that can lead to even more acne.