Ian Marber, who founded The Food Doctor, is one of the leading nutrition consultants in the UK.
According to Ian Marber, diet has a significant impact on your skin. In fact, says the top nutritionist from the UK, changes to your diet are often required to improve a given skin condition over the long term. This is particularly true where acne is concerned. Read on for specific tips from the founder of The Food Doctor to improve acne and clogged pores from the inside out.
Ayla: What is the most common link between acne and diet that you’ve seen?
THE FOOD DOCTOR: Acne is most often associated with a hormonal imbalance: high levels of testosterone stimulate an excessive production of sebum, which can lead to clogged pores and pimples. This imbalance can be caused by:
• High stress
• Excessive caffeine intake
• Alcohol, sugar, and saturated fat consumption
• A deficiency of the minerals zinc and magnesium
Ayla: What steps can one take to bring those hormones back into balance?
THE FOOD DOCTOR:
• Manage stress levels (ideally through 2-3 sessions of cardiovascular exercise per week)
• Limit coffee and tea to one cup per day, and avoid caffeinated soft drinks
• Limit alcohol to 2-3 glasses per week for at least 3 months
• Avoid sugar and saturated fat as much as possible
• Increase foods rich in zinc and magnesium such as pumpkin seeds, fish, and leafy green vegetables
Ayla: Which nutrients can be most helpful for those suffering from acne?
THE FOOD DOCTOR:
• Vitamin A ensures that skin generation is healthy and has long been linked as one of the top vitamins for skin health. Found in oily fish, eggs and yogurt (while beta carotene, the vitamin A precursor, is found in orange or yellow fruits and vegetables).
• Vitamin C helps with the production of collagen and elastin, two components that generate good, firm skin. This nutrient also helps with skin healing. Found in citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and kiwi fruit.
• Glutamine, an amino acid, helps clear acne by balancing blood sugar levels and stabilizing the stress response, while also having a positive effect on intestinal health. It is found naturally in fish and meat or can be taken as a nutritional supplement.
• Vitamin E is well known for aiding skin recovery and preventing scarring, one of the main problems with acne. Found in soy, corn and olive oil plus nuts and seeds, and wheat germ.
• Saw Palmetto, a berry extract, can be taken as a capsule and helps both men and women maintain normal testosterone levels.
Ayla: Does it take a long time to see results from dietary changes?
THE FOOD DOCTOR:
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is responsible for the elimination of a variety of toxins. So, much of what is going on inside your body will actually be quickly reflected in the appearance of your skin. While the hair and nails reflect the health of the body two to six months previously, the skin reflects any biochemical imbalances much more immediately.
About Ian Marber: Ian founded The Food Doctor Clinic and now practices independently in London, where he conducts one-to-one consultations with clients, advising on all aspects of nutrition and the effect food choices can have on physical health and well-being. He has published 12 books about diet and nutrition. Ian conducts seminars for global companies and has worked with Goldman Sachs, Google and Barclays.
He regularly contributes to a number of Britain’s leading magazines and newspapers, including the Times, the Telegraph, Natural Health, and NetDoctor. Ian is also a columnist for the Spectator and Daily Telegraph.
Learn more about Ian’s impressive background here.
Any topic discussed in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please check with your doctor.