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Objective: To determine if a low glycemic diet can be used as an effective treatment for acne.
Methods: PubMed database and Scopus database were both searched using the terms “low glycemic”, “diet”, and “acne” and filtered to include only randomized control trials, cross sectional studies, and meta-analyses.
Results: Our search of the literature resulted in the selection of two randomized control trials and one cross sectional study. The cut off for statistical significance was p < 0.05. Smith et al. showed that total acne lesion counts decreased more in the low glycemic load group (p = 0.03)1. Reynolds et al. did not show a significant decrease in acne score with a low glycemic load diet (p=0.244)2. Cerman et al. found acne severity is positively correlated with glycemic load and glycemic index (p=0.022).3
Conclusion: In conclusion two out of the three studies reached significance. Further research must be conducted in order to isolate a low glycemic diet as the reason for improvement of acne versus confounding factors such as weight loss, insulin resistance, and other biochemical parameters.
Culbert, M. Huynh, K. Role of a Low Glycemic Index Diet in the Treatment of Acne Vulgaris. JMU Scholarly Commons Physician Assistant Capstones. http://commons.lib.jmu.edu/pacapstones/16. Published Mary 16, 2017.