Thursday, February 21, 2013

Milk and sugary foods DO increase the risk of acne, say researchers who looked at 50 years of research

No search of the journal site brings up an article that resembles the story below but there appears to be  no new data here:  Just a conviction that the standard studies are wrong

It's been a subject of debate for decades, but it seems diet really does have an impact on a person's complexion.

A landmark overview of research carried out over the past 50 years has found that eating foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) and drinking milk not only aggravated acne but in some cases triggered it, too.

Millions of teens - and increasingly adults - are affected by the often painful skin condition which causes the skin to develop unsightly spots on the face, neck, chest and back.

Acne is caused by a combination of the skin producing too much sebum and a build-up of dead skin cells which clogs the pores and leads to a localised infection or spot.

It is thought that excess sebum production is caused by hormonal fluctuations, which explains why around 80 per cent of teenagers experience bouts of acne throughout adolescence.

While there is no danger from the spots themselves, severe acne can scar as well as lead to anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.

Since the late 19th century, research has linked diet to acne, with chocolate, sugar and fat singled out as the main culprits.

But studies carried out from the 1960s onwards have disassociated diet from the development of the condition.

Dr Jennifer Burris from the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University, said: 'This change (in attitude) occurred largely because of the  two important studies that are repeatedly cited in the literature and popular culture as evidence to refute the association between diet and acne.

'More recently, dermatologists and registered dieticians have revisited the diet-acne relationship and become increasingly interested in the role of medical nutritional therapy in acne treatment.'

Milk is thought to affect acne because of the hormones it contains. A 2007 study carried out by Harvard School of Public Health found that there was a clear link between those who drank milk regularly and suffered with acne.

Interestingly, those who drank skimmed milk suffered with the worst breakouts, with a 44 per cent  increase in the likelihood of developing blemishes. It is thought that processing the milk increases the levels of hormones in the drink.

The authors of the latest overview - published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - say that dermatologists and dieticians should work together to design and conduct quality research to help the millions of acne sufferers.

'This research is necessary to fully understand the underlying mechanisms linking diet and acne,' added Dr Burris.

'The medical community should not dismiss the possibility of diet therapy as an adjunct treatment for acne. At this time, the best approach is to address each acne patient individually, carefully considering the possibility of dietary counselling.'


Eating chips more than once a week raises the risk of prostate cancer by a third

Probably just a social class effect

Men who eat fried foods more than once a week may increase their risk of prostate cancer by a third.

New research suggests that junk food staples such as chips, fried chicken, battered fish and doughnuts may play a significant role in the formation of aggressive and life-threatening forms of the disease.

Although previous studies have suggested poor diet can affect a man's chances of getting prostate cancer, this is the first to indicate that deep-fried convenience foods in particular pose such a big danger.

Results published in the journal The Prostate found snacking on deep fried foods at least once a week appeared to increase the risk of cancer by between 30 and 37 per cent compared to men who claimed to eat them less than once a month.

Nearly 40,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK and 10,000 men die from it - the equivalent of more than one an hour.

The risks increase with age, with men over 50 more likely to develop a tumour, and there is a strong genetic element to it.

As with some other types of cancer, diet is thought to be a key factor in the development of the disease.

Last year, for example, a study found a diet rich in oily fish could slash a man's chances of dying from prostate cancer by up to 40 per cent, possibly because fish oil contains anti-cancer properties which slow the growth of malignant cells.

Previous studies have shown that eating foods cooked at a very high heat, such as grilled meats, could raise the risk of a tumour.

But given the level of consumption of deep fried take away foods in the UK, the latest findings suggest these are a much bigger threat to male health.

The market for fast-foods and takeaways in the UK is thought to be worth over £9 billion and is growing at an average of five per cent a year.

Experts at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle analysed data from two studies involving a total of 1,549 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and another 1,492 men of similar age and profile who were in good health.

All the participants, who were aged from 35 to 74, completed detailed questionnaires on their eating habits.

The researchers then made allowances for other factors that could influence the men's chances of getting prostate cancer, such as their weight, age, whether they had a family history of the disease and their racial background - as disease rates are higher among Afro-Caribbean communities.

They were then able to calculate the extent to which eating chips, chicken or doughnuts at least once a week affected cancer risk.

'This is the first study to look at the association between intake of deep-fried foods and risk of prostate cancer,' said Dr Janet Stanford, who led the research.

'The link appeared to be limited to the highest level of consumption - defined in our study as more than once a week.

'This suggests that regular consumption of deep-fried foods confers a particular risk for developing prostate cancer.'

The exact reason why favourites like chips and fried chicken might exacerbate cancer risk remains unclear.

One theory is that when cooking oil is heated to the kind of temperatures needed for deep frying, potentially carcinogenic compounds can form in the food.

One is called acrylamide, often found in chips or French fries. Others include two groups of chemicals called heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which can form in meat cooked at high temperatures.

Deep-fried foods are also very high in potentially harmful compounds called advanced glycation endproducts.

These have been linked with causing inflammation and cancer-like degradation of cells in the body.

A chicken breast deep fried for 20 minutes contains nine times the amount of these materials as a chicken breast boiled for an hour.

Cancer Research UK said it was too early to say for certain if there is a link between deep fried foods and prostate cancer.

Oliver Childs, senior science communication officer, said: 'It's clear that a healthy diet high in fruit, vegetables and fibre and low in red meat and salt is better for overall health than one packed full of greasy fast food.

'But from this study alone, we can't be certain if there's a link between fried food and prostate cancer.'

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK said: 'Although this study does indicate a small association between eating deep fried food regularly and increased prostate cancer risk, the results relied on asking men to recall how often they had eaten these foods in the previous three to five years.'


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