Differences in Dietary Glycemic Load and Hormones in New York City Adults With No and Moderate/Severe Acne

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2017 Sep;117(9):1375-1383. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2017.03.024. Epub 2017 Jun 9.

Abstract

Background: Glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) may be implicated in acne pathogenesis.

Objective: This cross-sectional study examined differences between GI/GL and biological factors associated with acne among adults with and without moderate/severe acne. Secondary objectives included examining differences between food-aggravated acne beliefs and acne-specific quality of life among adults with and without moderate/severe acne.

Design: As part of a cross-sectional study, participants completed a 5-day food record; blood draw to measure biological factors associated with acne (ie, glucose, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3, and sex hormone-binding globulin concentrations); body composition assessment; and questionnaire to evaluate food-aggravated acne beliefs and acne-specific quality of life. Food records were analyzed using Nutrition Data Services for Research.

Participants: Sixty-four participants (no acne, n=32; moderate/severe acne, n=32) from New York City, NY, were included in this study.

Statistical analysis: Independent sample t tests and Mann-Whitney tests examined differences in anthropometric measurements, dietary intakes, biological factors associated with acne, insulin resistance, and acne-specific quality of life between acne groups. A χ2 test for independence assessed differences in food-aggravated acne beliefs between acne groups.

Results: Participants with moderate/severe acne consumed greater total carbohydrate (P=0.003), available carbohydrate (P<0.001), percent energy from carbohydrate (P<0.001), and GL (P<0.001) compared to participants without acne. Participants with moderate/severe acne had greater insulin (P=0.002) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (P=0.009) concentrations, greater insulin resistance (P=0.001), and lower sex hormone-binding globulin (P=0.015) concentrations compared to participants without acne. Although there were no differences between groups, 61% of participants reported food-influenced acne. Participants with moderate/severe acne reported a lower quality of life compared to participants without acne (P<0.001).

Conclusions: The results from this cross-sectional study suggest a relationship between dietary carbohydrate, including GL, and acne. Future research is necessary to determine the effect of medical nutrition therapy on biological factors associated with acne and acne severity.

Keywords: Acne vulgaris; Diet; Glycemic index; Glycemic load; Insulin-like growth factor-1.

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / blood*
  • Acne Vulgaris / etiology
  • Acne Vulgaris / psychology
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet Records
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Eating
  • Female
  • Glycemic Load*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1 / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / blood
  • Male
  • New York City
  • Quality of Life
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 1
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin