Preventing Adolescent Acne

March 17, 2018

Two nutritionists share their personal struggles with adolescent acne and how they food can help overcome that chronic, miserable condition. Adolescent years doesn’t have to be synonymous with hating your skin, listen in to learn what can be done and please share with the teens in your life!

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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. This program is brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. If there are any new listeners out there this morning, and I hope there are, I want to let you know that we are a company that helps clients overcome chronic illnesses through eating real food. So do you have high blood sugar numbers? Maybe you've even been told you have pre-diabetes or that you're diabetic. If this is the case, we can help you get those numbers down with real food. Or maybe it's not your blood sugar numbers that you're concerned with, maybe it's the numbers on the scale. If you're trying to lose weight, we can help you with that too. With real food, we can help you reduce heartburn, get rid of constipation, get rid of bloating. All with real food. Or if you're a female and you're in that peri-menopausal stage or that menopausal stage, we can help you get your hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms under control, all with real food. The fact is real food matters when it comes to a chronic illness or condition and speaking of chronic conditions, you may have heard that today, three quarters of adults now battle with their weight and I would consider that a chronic condition or a chronic illness if you're overweight or obese. And if you've been told that losing weight is all about calories in, calories out, well, you've been told the wrong information. There's a lot more to it than that. There's a lot of science behind weight loss and honestly for most people today, losing weight and keeping it off takes ongoing education and support. And at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we tell you the science behind weight loss. We're not going to tell you the number of points in a slice of bread, but we will tell you the science behind weight loss and we'll help you develop your own personal commitment to your health through our classes and through counseling.  Not only that, but we'll help you keep that commitment to yourself, which usually is the hardest part. Keeping the weight off and keeping that commitment to yourself. If you haven't recognized my voice yet, I'm Cassie Weness. I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. I'm the co-host of today's Dishing Up Nutrition program and as you've probably guessed, I am passionate about educating people of the power of real food and because of that, I wanted to open the show this morning with just a sneak peek at some of the many conditions that we can help you overcome. But now I'm going to reign it in here a bit and get back to or get into our topic today. We have a great topic. Our topic is preventing adolescent acne. Marcy and I are going to share our own personal struggles with our own adolescent acne and we're going to talk about how we used real food and a couple of other tricks to overcome that chronic and often miserable condition.

MARCIE:  Good morning, Cassie. Yes. I'm Marcie Vaske. I'm a licensed nutritionist with a master's degree in nutrition. Now for all those moms and dads, I might be listening out there if your teen is struggling with acne, you know, how much pain, how much emotional pain that really brings. We know at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, and Cassie and I know that we can help. You know, I personally can understand some of that emotional pain that, you know, teenagers go through. I struggled with it myself as a young girl, about 15 years old I had acne. And as I kind of think back, you know, I was searching for answers, right? Please take me to the doctor. What is going on? I need something here. So what do they give me? They gave me a medication, but really at the end of the day it just ended up wreaking havoc on my digestive tract. So if you're a teen out there who's listening, I want you to think about your digestive tract, what you're eating, and we're going to talk a lot about that today and also you're not the only one. There's about 8 in 10 adolescents that have acne and that struggle with that. So you're not alone. We've been through it and hope and if you continue to listen today, even if you're a mom out there for your teen, you know you're going to be able to go walk away with a lot of information that can be so helpful.

CASSIE: Absolutely. And that's a lot, isn't it? Eight in 10 adolescents have acne. It's become so common. And I think that because it has become so common, I think a lot of parents think acne is just a normal part of puberty.

MARCIE: Yeah, it's supposed to happen. Right?

CASSIE:  Right. That's what they think. But you know what, just because something is common doesn't mean it's normal. And just because most teenagers have acne doesn't make it any easier for them to look in the mirror and see those pimples all over their face. Every time I walked down the halls of my son's middle school and see so many kids with acne, it just takes me right back. I remember very well how emotionally painful not having a nice clear complexion was. And you know, I don't know if you watched Marcie, but the state hockey tournament was on TV last weekend. So for any of the local Minnesota listeners, maybe you watched it on TV or maybe you were actually there, but when they did the starting line ups for these boys high school hockey teams, it was sad to see how many of them had pimples all over their face. Because they'd announce them and they'd come up and then do the full-on screenshot close-up of their face. And a lot of them had acne. And I am sure those boys were not loving that the camera man got such close up shots that clearly showed off their blemishes.

MARCIE:  Right? And that's just a snippet of one area or age or sports or whatever that has acne. It's not just hockey players, it's so many of us, you know. And when I was younger, I did go to the doctor, they did give me some medicine and what they gave me was an antibiotic called tetracycline and I'm pretty sure that they are still using that. I know I've had some clients come in and say that they've had that or use that too. I was on it for a couple years and what's interesting about it is that it actually just made my digestive tract and issues become more serious. So did it help? I mean everybody wants to know, did it help? Well, sure it did kind of take away some of those, the main stuff, but it never really cleared it up. But because of the medication and that antibiotic, they're always talking about, you know, be careful with antibiotics, it really decreased my gut health. And what did that feel like? What does that look like? You know, I had a lot more gas, bloating and the dreaded constipation. So, you know, as I reflect, I now know that my acne was partially because I had a dairy sensitivity. That's another piece of this. Even as a kid I would maybe sit down and eat cereal and milk for breakfast and by the time I got to school, my stomach would feel sick and you know, just not feeling well.

CASSIE:  But you didn't know it at the time, that dairy..

MARCIE:  No, so at the time I didn't know that as a kid. So I already had bad digestion, then I go on antibiotics with the tetracycline, which just amped it up even further, creating even more problems. And then you get stressed and that amps up stuff. So we're just in a heck of a mess. So what we want to talk about first is just this dairy and how it really can create more acne in young kids today.

CASSIE: Right? So I think one of our main messages this morning is going to be that for a lot of people cutting out dairy products will either clear up that acne all together or be a big piece of the puzzle. So yeah, getting dairy out is a great and most often very helpful recommendation. So what does that mean? No dairy, right? Let's talk about that a little bit. Well, it means no cow's milk, obviously. So then you can't have cheese because that's made from cow's milk. No yogurt, no cottage cheese, no more pizza, no ice cream, no grilled cheese sandwiches, no nachos with cheese, no cheeseburgers. You know, I'm glad that people listening are not in the room with me because they'd be throwing tomatoes at my face.

MARCIE:  I was just going to say don't turn the radio off.

CASSIE: Yeah, don't because both Marcie and I have given up dairy and wow, it was hard. Well maybe I'm speaking for myself, but it was hard. But the clear skin that comes as a result is so worth it. So I encourage any of you listening, adolescents or adults, because this will work for adults too, struggling with acne. So I challenge you, try no dairy products for the next two months, let's say two months is a good amount of time to see if it's working. So today is March 17. If you start today, no dairy and go through May 17, that will be two months.  You know what? Many of you listening, if you do this, we'll have beautiful, clear skin just in time for swimsuit season. And if any of you struggle with acne on your back and you could clear that up in time for swimsuit season boy, like I said, so worth it to give up that dairy. But I will say that if after two months of no milk, no cheese, no dairy products, if after two months your acne isn't better because there are always a few people who don't respond, then it's time to look deeper into your food choices.

MARCIE:  Right. That's a great point. And the other point that you made to that I think is that it's not just acne for the face, you know, it's acne on your back, on your chest maybe. We're talking about all of that. So just to keep that in mind. You know, I will say though, 28 years later, I am acne free. I really don't struggle with it. And why? Well, I changed my eating plan and we'll talk about that a little bit more after our first break. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness and we are discussing how to prevent acne with real food. If you grew up eating processed food or fat free food like I did and now are confused about what the heck to eat, I really do recommend taking our Weight and Wellness class series to help get your questions answered. Classes will start the week of March 29 and when we come back from break, Cassie will explain the class series in just a little bit more detail.

CASSIE: If you're just joining us, I'm Cassie Weness and I'm in studio this morning with Marcie Vaske and our topic is preventing adolescent acne. But before we jump back into that, Marcie had mentioned when we went to break that I would talk a little bit about the Nutritional Weight & Wellness series. So to do that, I want to back up a bit and let you know that honestly, before I started working at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, I was a bit confused about what to eat for my health, what was good food, what was not so good. So think about that because at that time I had been a registered dietitian for almost eight years at the point when I found Nutritional Weight & Wellness. But before I found them, I was confused about what to eat. So don't beat yourself up if you get confused about OK, are eggs good this week or are they bad?  Can I have a cup of coffee or not? Butter or no butter? It can be confusing but when you take the Weight & Wellness series, we give you the science and it takes the confusion out of it and you really leave being empowered to make the right choices because you have the knowledge. It's really a great class series. But you know, back before I found Nutritional Weight and Wellness, I will say I did have some bad habits that I didn't know were so bad. I drank diet pop because I thought, well, at least I'm not getting all that sugar and I ate a lot of low fat foods because when I went to college they said high carb, low fat was the way to go. Well, guess what? I still had a lot of acne at that point in my life too. And I was, you know, late twenties, early thirties when I found Nutritional Weight and Wellness and still struggling with acne. But I still remember the first time I took the Weight and Wellness series. And for those of you that aren't familiar, this is a class series that runs for six weeks and you meet for two hours each time. And that first night sitting there for two hours, I was blown away. I started making all these connections between what I was eating and how my body was responding and connections that I had never been taught before. It was amazing. I mean, for one I learned that butter would actually help my health and the margarine was almost just a tub of plastic, you know? And there's so much other information that I, that I learned that was so eye opening for me. The Weight and Wellness Series really has amazing information, but it's also taught in a very entertaining style and in, in an interesting style. Those two hours really just fly by.  Again, as Marcie mentioned, classes start March 19 and you can call 651-699-3438 if you want to sign up or if you have more questions about it, the front desk staff is great at answering your questions too. You can also learn more or sign up at our website at

MARCIE:  All right, so let's get back into our topic a little bit, you know, something you said about learning those connections about the food you ate and what was happening to your body is exactly what we're talking today about. You know, it couldn't be more obvious and so life-changing once you take some of these foods out or just change your diet and to understand what it's really doing. So, you know, what I did is really once I took that dairy out, my acne really cleared up. I felt so much better, I mean not only physically, but my stomach felt better, too. What's really interesting is that 70 percent of the world's population cannot digest dairy products. So I'm not alone and neither are you.

CASSIE: Isn't that amazing? You know, I was at a gathering last night I was telling you about. It was the end of the year basketball gathering. So it was families and I was talking with one of the moms and she was sharing with me, she's been having these awful, awful stomach aches. And so I reiterated this to her. If you're having chronic stomach aches, try giving up dairy.

MARCIE:  That's right. Exactly. And so what does that mean? You know, people, OK, well, give up dairy, but why? Typically people are sensitive to the protein in the dairy, casein. So that means they have trouble digesting that. And there's also some people out there with a dairy sensitivity who have a lactose intolerance. So what that means is they have trouble digesting the milk sugars in the dairy products.

CASSIE: So you could have one or the other or you could have both. In our family we are allergic to the casein and so it just made me think of that Marcie, because there are some kids at school who drink lactaid milk. But I don't know how they word it to my 12 year old son, these friends of his who can't have dairy, but then he sees them drinking this lactaid milk. So I've had to explain to him milk sugars versus the milk protein. So two different things. You know, Marcie, I know that your personal story of giving up dairy products to get your clear skin and to get rid of stomach aches will motivate a lot of our listeners and really wouldn't you say it's a pretty simple solution?

MARCIE:  Oh, it is so simple. It seems daunting for people, but really once they go for it and you feel better and you look better, well, what else can I say?

CASSIE: Yeah, exactly. It's overwhelming at first. I like how you stated that, but once you get those results, it's so worth it and that is motivation to stick with the plan. But we would be doing a disservice if we didn't tell the whole story this morning, so for many teenagers and adults for that matter, giving up the milk and the ice cream and all the other dairy products does the trick, but for some people, myself included, getting rid of acne is a little more complex, so I'd like to share a little of my acne story. My story starts even younger than yours, Marcie. I started getting black heads when I was about 10 or 11 years old and I still remember mom and I were driving home from somewhere, but I remember being in the Old Plymouth station wagon with her and driving home and being almost in tears and saying, "Mom, why does my skin look like this? Because none of my friends have blackheads. They all have perfect clear skin." So of course, as moms do, they want to help you in any way that they can. She took me to our family doctor. We lived very rural, we didn't have dermatologists around, so the family doctor did everything. So she took me to the family doctor. I know at the age of 10 or 11 when we first visited him for my skin, I know he did not put me on any medication right away. But if I'm remembering right, by the time I was probably 12 or 13, he prescribed something, I'm guessing it was some type of antibiotic and by that point at 12 or 13, I was starting to get the actual red, ugly pimples and I remember that the antibiotics seemed to take the inflammation down a little bit, but it certainly didn't take the acne away. And I remember being so embarrassed and so self-conscious about my face. And again, mom being a great mom wanted to do anything and everything she could and we kept going back to the family doctor, kept going back to the doctor and he would try some other type of medication here and there and nothing was working. So by the time I was 15 or 16, he prescribed a medication called Accutane. That's a harsh one. So if any of the listeners are on Accutane, you probably know how harsh it is. One of the awful side effects, the most awful is that if you were to have a baby when you're on Accutane, if you're female, it can cause life-threatening birth defects. So this is so vivid in my memory, this particular side effect because here I was, I was a very, very innocent 15-year-old and I had to sign off on a piece of paper saying that I would start birth control pills while on Accutane because of that potential side effect of those life-threatening birth defects. It was embarrassing, it was awkward.

MARCIE: Traumatizing as 15-year-old, right?

CASSIE: Yeah, but I really wanted to try anything and everything I could to clear up my skin and we'll talk more about Accutane when we come back. But I think we have to take another break.

MARCIE:  We sure do. Your listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are a first time listener, you may not realize that Nutritional Weight & Wellness has been sponsoring, preparing and presenting this radio show for the past 13 years. We have consistent, long-term local listeners and we have an amazing number of podcast listeners. We thank all of you for tuning in and listening every week. If you're a podcast listener, please rate this podcast and write a quick review on iTunes and share our podcast with a friend or a family member. In each show, we try to include information that will be life changing to you. If you are a local and listen live to Dishing Up Nutrition, send us an email and let us know what you like and how you think we could improve. You can send that email to Again, thank you for listening.

CASSIE:  Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before we jump back into our topic of preventing adolescent acne, I want to let you know about a special show that's coming up next Saturday, Dar and Lea, along with our local nutrition expert, Greg Peterson will be hosting Dishing Up Nutrition next Saturday, which is March 24, and they will be discussing the ins and outs of prostate problems and men's health. So if the man in your life struggles with prostate issues, be sure to tune in next week. I also know that we have quite a few male listeners, so if you're a male listening and this speaks to you, tune in next week, Greg Peterson and some of you might know this, but he's been teaching about this topic for almost 40 years now, so he really knows his stuff. Greg is a wealth of information and in addition, he has a great radio voice, so it's always a top notch program when we have Greg in studio. So when we went to break Marcie, I was talking about Accutane and I mentioned that very worst side effect of it, which is life threatening birth defects. If you were to get pregnant while you were taking this very harsh acne medicine, but there's a lot of other side effects too.

MARCIE:  There are a lot of other side effects. And we're going to get into that and one stat I have here is that in 2009, the brand name Accutane was actually discontinued due to lawsuits over side effects. Isn't that remarkable or disturbing rather. But actually, currently it is still available in a generic version from six different drug manufacturers.

CASSIE:  Have you ever had a client come in that has been on it? I was just curious how much it's being prescribed still.

MARCIE:  Yeah. It's still to young girls. I mean just the clients who have had their younger girls. So it just like, oh no. The American Academy of Dermatology actually acknowledged that the generic Accutane has also been linked to some more serious side effects. So what are those? It's things like depression, suicidal thoughts and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

CASSIE: So it can really mess up your gut, basically.

MARCIE:  For sure. So I hope if you're out there contemplating Accutane you'll first think about some of the things we're telling you today.

CASSIE:  First, see a nutritionist before you go on that Accutane because I am still paying the price for all of the havoc that drug wreaked on my intestinal tract.

MARCIE:  And how many years ago was that? You were 15, right?

CASSIE: Yeah. Should we do the math?  Almost 30 years ago.

MARCIE:  Just think of that, think about your future when we're talking about gut health. And what we actually had a client who was on Accutane as a teen and what happened is that he became highly sensitive to onions and garlic. He is an international salesman and he basically had to take his food with him everywhere he traveled because he'd react to foods he ate. And it just became such a challenge for him. So I know that seems really long term when you're a teen and we're talking about, you know, your life as a 40-year-old, but it's going to happen, you're going to make it to 40 and you want your gut to make it happily to 40.

CASSIE: Yes, wasn't it Hippocrates who said your gut is the mother of all health? If your gut is not healthy, so many different areas of your health just start to go down the tube. So you want to keep your gut healthy and taking Accutane is not going to keep it healthy. And some of the other more common side effects, so you listed some, some pretty harsh ones that have happened. Some of the more common, less critical I guess I could say, ones are dry skin. I remember thinking it was sucking every bit of moisture and oil out of my skin. And then I know for me, right at the corners of my mouth on each side had cracked and bleed. So every day I look like a vampire and bleed. I had chapped lips. So you always have to be putting that chapstick on and I know some people experience hair loss. Thankfully, I didn't experience that one, but that's another side effect. Nosebleeds, headaches, and also a problem with night vision. These are all listed in the product insert of Accutane. Not fun. And guess what? I didn't tell you this part yet, Marcie, but I ended up taking two full rounds of Accutane. So yeah, I don't remember how many weeks they allow you to be on it. I mean it's so harsh that it's very specific and then you come off and I, if I remember right, don't quote me, but if I remember right, you're only allowed to do it twice in your life. And so a year or two went by, but my skin was not getting better, and so our family doctor put me back on it again and like I was telling you during break, it worked while I was on it. My skin looked great other than the cracks at the corners of my mouth and I'm bleeding. But my skin cleared up. But as soon as I went off it, those pimples came back with a vengeance. So in the end, did it help? No. And it wreaked havoc on my intestinal health. You know, and just thinking about my long journey, I also was on a medication and this must've been a little bit later. I remember I was living on my own, so I was 19 or 20 and I made an appointment with some doctor where I was going to college for my acne, and they put me on something called spironolactone. Have you heard of that?

MARCIE:  Yes, I have.

CASSIE: So usually that's a medication that the doctor will prescribe for high blood pressure, but there's some side effect they figured out that for some people it helps clear up skin. Well for me it did nothing.

MARCIE:  Oh no. And it just messed with your hormones.

CASSIE: Yes, and so anyway, then the long story long, they took me off that and then they put me on a low dose antibiotic, not just for a couple months or a year. I was on a low dose antibiotic from the age of 19 until I was 30 years old straight.

MARCIE: I can't believe that. But you know what? I have clients who come in and they're just on these chronic low dose antibiotics and they've got diarrhea. 

CASSIE:  I wonder why. I mean, what left in your intestinal track.

MARCIE:  Nothing.

CASSIE: No, because antibiotics, our long time listeners know this, they kill bad bacteria but they kill good bacteria too, so you just get wiped out. So 11, 12 years straight of being on an antibiotic and honestly the only reason a doctor thought to take me off of that antibiotic is because I got married and I said, OK, we want to start a family now. And so the doctor said, OK, time to stop the antibiotic, but you know, my acne sadly never cleared up until I was in my early thirties and I found Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I learned a whole different way of eating when I found Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I learned I needed to get out all those processed carbs, so all the bread and the pastas I needed to eat more meat and more healthy fat. Something else, and perk up your ears here on this one listeners, something else that I learned at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is that a zinc supplement can be very helpful in clearing up skin.

MARCIE:  It can be.

CASSIE: So I gave up dairy. That was one of my things, which was the biggest piece of my puzzle, but I also started supplementing with 50 milligrams of zinc, which just took me to another level in terms of clear skin. And back at that time I started taking three Omega-3 fish oil soft gels as well, and that really helped too. So, you know, everybody's perfect puzzle to get their good skin is different.

MARCIE:  Oh, for sure. We all have a different path.

CASSIE: Absolutely. And some of us have more puzzle pieces than others, so for me dairy was a big one. I did give up gluten too, but dairy was definitely the big one.

MARCIE:  Was it hard to give it up for you? 

CASSIE:  You know it was, it was really hard. It was really hard for me and I didn't think it would be. I found out that I needed to give up dairy and that I was gluten sensitive at the same time, so I cried.

MARCIE:  Oh yeah. Well you have, I did to.

CASSIE:  It was a grieving process.

MARCIE:  For sure.

CASSIE: But you know, what I was crying about was no more bread, no more pasta, no more bagels. I wasn't crying about dairy and then I started to implement the gluten-free, dairy-free plan and I realized, oh my goodness. Gluten-free is pretty easy. This no dairy is really hard.

MARCIE:  Yeah, it is hard, but it's doable.

CASSIE: So worth it. It's just the beginning months that are hard and then once my skin cleared up, easy to go, to stay dairy free. I don't even miss it anymore. I only wish that my mom had known or that somebody had known to tell my mom back when I was 10 or 11 to stop drinking the milk, stop eating the cheese, stop the yogurt. I could've avoided all of those awful medications and I could've had a clear complex too.

MARCIE:  That's right.

CASSIE:  Right. It is already time for another break.

MARCIE:  Our third break. Here we go. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. As a nutritionist, I really, I often hear clients making the comment, why am I tired all the time or I am just so tired. So what did we do when we kept hearing that? We put a class together that's called, Why am I Tired All the Time? And as a special thank you to all of you, we are offering this class for only $10. We have a class on Friday, March 23, it'll be held at our Maple Grove office and we are repeating that class in North Oaks on Tuesday, March 27. Is it time to get your energy back? Are you asking yourself if it is and you feel like you don't want to be tired anymore? Call 651-699-3438 today to save a spot in this class because our North Oaks is almost full, so call right now.

CASSIE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you've been listening since the start of this show, you know that Marcie and I both understand from personal experience that whether you're a teen or an adult, acne is frustrating. It's embarrassing. It can even take away your self-esteem. On that note, if you or your adolescent are struggling with your skin health, I encourage you to consider making an individual appointment with Nutritional Weight and Wellness, nutritionist or dietitian. They can really help you to get on a plan to recovery because food matters when it comes to acne. Both Marcie and I are certainly living proof of that and probably within just a few appointments with a dietitian, you will change your life and change your skin. So if you want to make an appointment, you can call 651-699-3438. And keep in mind that if you live out of the area or out of state, we also do appointments by phone and by Skype. So we had a caller, didn't we Marcie, that didn't want to go on air.

MARCIE:  Yeah, we did. And her question was she has a 12-year-old son and they are already dairy-free and gluten-free. But he still continues to get those black heads.

CASSIE: OK. Well my first thought because we did this for a short period of time when we had to go gluten free was we bought a lot of gluten-free processed products. And then we felt like crap. And then I'm like, what am I doing? We need to get back to healthy eating. That would be one thought because I know the mom is listening who called in. If you're doing a lot of gluten-free pasta or gluten-free bread or gluten-free crackers, those turn to a lot of sugar. Which this question is really a great lead in to what we wanted to talk about next is that for most people, a piece of the puzzle with clearing up their acne is getting the sugar out.

MARCIE:  That's right. You know, we have a guest who has been on our show her name is Dr. Marion Nestle and she's actually the author of Food Politics and one of the sugar pieces for a lot of kids is soda and Dr. Marion Nestle calls that liquid candy.

CASSIE: So that's another thing for this call or maybe that 12-year-old is drinking pop.

MARCIE:  Yeah. Or those caffeine drinks, like the highballs or whatever they are now, sugar-filled things. So we know that a 12-ounce can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

CASSIE: And who drinks cans anymore? The kids are all walking around with bottles, so might even be getting more

MARCIE:  For sure. And that sugar is in the form of high fructose corn syrup. And that's not all. There are some pretty amazing facts here that drinking just one can of soda a day increases your child's risk of becoming obese by 60 percent. So not only may you get more acne, but now you're increasing your risk of obesity as an adult. Drinking one can of soda a day increases a woman's risk of type two diabetes by eighty percent. That is incredible.

CASSIE: There's a lot of diabetes in this country and we do as a country drink a lot of pop, so maybe that is the connection.

MARCIE:  And another surprising fact is that the people with the highest intake of sugar have a 275 percent increased risk of having a heart attack. 

CASSIE:  I was just going to say sugar is not our friend. You know, and I know that for years dermatologists told us that diet had absolutely nothing to do with acne, but we now know different and the current scientific evidence links insulin resistance to acne. So some of you are thinking, OK, so what are you, what's the deal? What causes insulin resistance? While our long-time listeners might remember us talking in the past about the fact that diets loaded with sugar and processed carbohydrates cause insulin.

MARCIE:  That's right, and if we look at a traditional cultures such as the Inuit natives of Alaska, we see that these natives had no problem with acne until they started eating a western diet. What does the western diet look like? Well, it's full refined carbohydrates and sugar. And what happened? Their acne breakouts began to appear.

CASSIE: See acne is not normal.

MARCIE:  Right. We shouldn't just expect to have this. Acne is a food problem. So you know, just think about that every time you're putting food in your mouth of what is this? Is this creating inflammation and what does my inflammation look like today? It could be that acne. You know, another one of the big causes of acne are diets loaded with sugar and processed carbohydrates. So if your teen is eating too many carbohydrates, too much sugar, maybe they start the day with a big bowl of cinnamon toast crunch cereal, which turns into 16 teaspoons of sugar in our body. You know, they're going to have more acne perhaps.

CASSIE:  Yeah. You know, you think of all the kids drinking these, what I call foo-foo coffee drinks. I had to go to a meeting that I'm on the board of directors for and we happened to meet at a Starbucks this particular night and I walked in and it was all these teenagers doing their homework with these huge mochas and frappuccinos. So I looked it up for the show and even just a medium milk chocolate mocha, just a medium gives you about 12 teaspoons of sugar. A lot of teenagers are drinking this stuff, so it's not just the food choices, it's what teenagers and adults are choosing to drink that can be causing the acne as well. That's right, and like we said, the scientific evidence is showing that insulin resistance is linked to acne and we know that eating and drinking too many high sugar foods day after day is what causes insulin resistance.

MARCIE:  That's right.

CASSIE: We have so much more great information.

MARCIE:  Let's do some tips here. We want to give you some useful tips that you can share with your teens, so tip number one would be switch from fruit juice and soda pop to drinking water. You know water is going to help eliminate those toxic waste from the body and it can also help regulate hormones. So what? How much does that mean? We want to drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. It's a good place to start.

CASSIE:  Perfect tip, I love it. And then tip number two, follow a low-sugar diet. So you know too many breads, too many granola bars, too many milk chocolate mocha that's high sugar. You want to follow a low-sugar diet and also get plenty of protein and plenty of healthy fats. If you can stay away from or at least really limit the processed carbohydrates, those high sugar foods and eat real food, your skin will thank you for it.

MARCIE:  It will, and it will also thank you when you take the dairy out, possibly. So watch out for dairy products. Be real mindful.

CASSIE:   Remember what Marcie said earlier in the show, 70 percent of us cannot digest dairy. Maybe your skin is telling you you're part of that 70 percent. And tip number four, there are some key supplements that can really get you to that perfect place when it comes to your skin health. One is Bifido Balance. That's a really great probiotic or good bacteria, and as I stated earlier, when I quoted Hippocrates, the gut is the mother of all health, so you have to keep your gut healthy. We would recommend the Bifido Balance two to four times a day. Also, make sure you're getting adequate vitamin A. You can do this with cod liver oil two teaspoons a day, and then consider zinc between 30 to 50 milligrams.

MARCIE:  Our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experienced better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a wonderful day.


Acne, Pimples, Skin, Teen

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