Dietary Glycemic Factors, Insulin Resistance, and Adiponectin Levels in Acne Vulgaris

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 Jul;75(1):155-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.02.1220. Epub 2016 Apr 6.


Background: There is increasing evidence to support the relationship between acne vulgaris and diet.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate possible associations among dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, milk consumption, insulin resistance, and adiponectin levels in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris.

Methods: The dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, milk consumption, fasting glucose, insulin, insulin-like growth factor)-1, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, adiponectin, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance values of 50 patients with acne vulgaris and 36 healthy control subjects were measured.

Results: Glycemic index and glycemic load levels were significantly higher (P = .022 and P = .001, respectively) and serum adiponectin levels were significantly lower (P = .015) in patients with acne than in the control subjects. There was an inverse correlation between serum adiponectin concentration and glycemic index (P = .049, r = -0.212).

Limitations: This study used a cross-sectional design and the study population was limited to young, nonobese adults.

Conclusion: A high-glycemic-index/-load diet was positively associated with acne vulgaris. Adiponectin may be a pathogenetic cofactor contributing to the development of the disease. Further research on adiponectin levels in patients with acne in terms of development of insulin resistance might be important in this possible relationship.

Keywords: acne vulgaris; adiponectin; forkhead box class O1; glycemic index; glycemic load; insulin resistance; insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3; insulin-like growth factor-1; mammalian target of rapamycin complex-1; milk consumption.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / blood*
  • Adiponectin / blood*
  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glycemic Index*
  • Glycemic Load*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1
  • Milk
  • Multiprotein Complexes / blood
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Adiponectin
  • Blood Glucose
  • IGFBP3 protein, human
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1