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Joe,
Absolutely! I've NEVER come across anything that says that acne is it's own disease. Acne, just like a cough or the chicken pox, is a [B]sign[/B] or symptom of something attacking, wrong, or imbalanced in our system. As such, it's always been linked to the wrong skin care, microorganisms, toxins, allergies, intolerances, health problems, hormonal imbalances, or turmors.

Now, I've heard that 90% of acne sufferers have an androgen receptor defect, thus boosting DHT production only in the skin, yet that defect may not always produce acne as eczema, psoriasis, seborrhea, androgenic alopecia, or hirsuitism can also be due to heightened androgen sensitivity. The other 10% have hyperandrogenism, but I wonder if that number is larger now (due to high Free Testoserone levels) and I wonder how many chronic acne sufferers on this board would fall into that category.

Either way, if the proper dietary changes for you alone doesn't work by reducing your overall steriod hormone production and inflammatory prostaglandins, then you can move onto supplements and even medication. If you noticed I mentioned two forms of Insulin Sensitizers up there Avandia/Rosiglitazone (better tolerated) and Metaformin/Glucophage and the studies show how those affect the very factors that our diet does. There's also insulin sensitizing supplements such as Green Tea, NAC, R-ALA, Chromium GTF that also happen to do the very thing and as such can be considered antiandrogenic and even DHT inhibiting!

However added sugar and certain other carbohydrates aren't the only factor, you have to watch your cholesterol as well. From the saturated fats (from animal protein) and especially the Trans Fats (from processed, refined,packaged foods) our bodies will convert that into LDL Cholesterol and inflammatory Prostaglandins plus raise our IGF-1. Not to mention, the more fats that competes with sugar in our blood stream for cell uptake, the more your Insulin Resistance increase. Plus, steriod hormones are synthesized from cholesterol, and while that's a neccessary thing, this [I]may[/I] explain why some of us are fully capable of having normal cholesterol levels and be underweight, yet have tons of acne =( Of course, this is probably why Niacin, R-ALA, NAC, Green Tea, Fish Oils, Neptune Kril Oil, Glucomannon Fiber, and B5 Therapy are quite popular.

If supplements aren't enough, then there's medications one can take. A study in 1984 stated that "Antiandrogens have been demonstrated to be beneficial in treating 5 clinical syndromes or diseases: acne, seborrhea, hirsutism with or without menstrual abnormalities; precocious puberty; benign prostatic hypertrophy; cancer of the prostate; and sexual deviates" [url]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=6205409[/url]

Since acne is usually due to androgen production and whether you are hyperandrogenic or have a skin recepter defect (which I rarely hear about) you will still respond to a decrease in your overall androgens, other antiandrogens, or by taking Type I DHT Inhibitors (oral or topically). Spironolactone is the most popular antiandrogen and most males, while they don't always like the side effects, find 25mg - 100mg enough to get them 100% clear. The other options are Estrogen primarily from BC or Progesterone (NPC Cream, Vitex). Supplements would be GLA (Omega 6), EPA (Omega 3), Green Tea (EGCG), Curcumin (Tumeric), NAC, Zinc, Zinc + B6 (Pyridoxal or Pyridoxamine ONLY), Saw Palmetto, or Beta Sitosterol (1000x more potent than saw palmetto). Ooops and I almost forgot the most popular of antiandrogens & DHT Inhibitors, the retinoids. Topical - RetinA, Azelex, Isotrex and Oral - Accutane!

Of course, most people do things backwords. I did the medications first and found that wasn't enough. Then I switched to the Insulin Sensitizers and that still wasn't sufficient enough. Yet when I altered my diet, based on my hormonal imbalance & diagnosis, that WAS enough. Most people that alter their diets don't know whether they are IR or not, but studies have shown that you can still respond to treatment even if you are not...so the test [I]may[/I] be a bit too exclusive. I avoid quite a bit of food, primarily refined, and am only 99% clear, but the medications wouldn't do even that much for me =( Others avoid the same amount or less, probably better at it than I, and as such are 100% clear! Oh and usually we end up avoiding some of the foods that fall under the top allergen or intolerant foods, along with the refined foods, but most of us aren't allergic or intolerant to these foods!





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