Acne and whey protein supplementation among bodybuilders

Dermatology. 2012;225(3):256-8. doi: 10.1159/000345102. Epub 2012 Dec 13.


Accumulative evidence supports the role of nutritional factors in acne. I report here 5 healthy male adult patients developing acne after the consumption of whey protein, a favorite supplement of those engaged in bodybuilding. These observations are in line with biochemical and epidemiological data supporting the effects of milk and dairy products as enhancers of insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 signaling and acne aggravation. Further prospective studies are required to determine the possible role of dietary supplements in the fitness and bodybuilding environment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / chemically induced*
  • Adult
  • Athletes*
  • Dietary Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Male
  • Milk Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Whey Proteins
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Milk Proteins
  • Whey Proteins
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I