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The Dietary Cure for Acne will help you understand the scientific basis of why diet matters in keeping your skin acne free. It provides a simple plan that produces results quickly.


With 174 scientific references, The Dietary Cure for Acne thoroughly documents and clearly explains the ultimate causes of acne.

Put together by internationally recognized researcher Loren Cordain, Ph.D., this is the only scientifically documented program that directly addresses all four known causes of acne … and the only program shown to clear acne blemishes in a human clinical trial.

The Dietary Cure for Acne will help you understand the scientific basis of why diet matters in keeping your skin acne free. It provides a simple plan that produces results quickly.

Author’s Note

I wrote The Dietary Cure for Acne in 2006. The information contained in the book is based on the following four scientific articles I authored between 2002 and 2006 showing that diet represents the major environmental trigger of acne:

  • Cordain L, Lindeberg S, Hurtado M, Hill K, Eaton SB, Brand-Miller J. Acne vulgaris: A disease of western civilization. Arch Dermatol 2002; 138:1584-90.
  • Cordain L, Eades MR, Eades MD. Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2003 Sep;136(1):95-112.
  • Cordain L. Implications for the role of diet in acne. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2005 Jun;24(2):84-91.
  • Cordain L. Dietary implications for the development of acne: a shifting paradigm. In: U.S. Dermatology Review II 2006, (Ed.,Bedlow, J). Touch Briefings Publications, London , 2006.

Until the publication of my paper, “,” in 2002, the medical and dermatological communities generally discounted diet as a causative agent in the development of acne. Unfortunately this dogma had persisted for at least the past 30 years, despite little or no good scientific evidence supporting its conclusion. As I pointed out in my article, “Implications for the role of diet in acne,” the notion that diet didn’t cause acne was based solely upon two poorly controlled studies conducted more than 30 years ago.

The clue to unraveling the link between diet and acne first came from our study showing that acne was completely absent in non-westernized populations such as the Ache hunter gatherers of Paraguay and the Kitavan Islanders. In the U.S., between 79 % to 95 % of all teenagers between 16 and 18 years of age have acne. Acne is present in children as young as 4 and about half of young men and women over age 25 experience some form of acne. In contrast, we found no acne in the entire Kitavan population including about 300 adolescents. Similar results were demonstrated for the Ache hunter-gatherers.fu

These results led my research team and I to the conclusion that environmental factors absent in the Ache hunter gatherers and the Kitavan islanders, but present in the western world likely represented the underlying causes of acne. Diet seemed to be the most obvious element, as neither the Ache nor the Kitavans had access to western foods such as refined sugars, dairy products, cereal grains, vegetable oils or processed foods. Given this scenario, we examined the four proximate causes of acne:

  • The pores become blocked by skin cells that adhere to one another
  • Sebaceous glands in the skin produce excessive oil
  • Bacteria colonize and infect the oil filled, blocked pore
  • The oil filled, blocked pore and surrounding tissue become inflamed

We were then able to deduce how the typical western diet caused hormonal and physiological changes that elicited these four known causes of acne.

For me, one of the most gratifying aspects of the diet/acne story is to know that my pioneering work has been verified by other scientists from around the world. Dr. Mann’s group at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia has published a series of recent papers showing how high protein, low glycemic load diets (which in essence define both the Ache and Kitavan diets) cause remission of acne symptoms. Similarly, scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have linked acne to dairy consumption in large epidemiological studies. The tide has now turned, and many dermatologists now agree with the notion that diet represents the major factor underlying acne.

The Dietary Cure for Acne will help you understand the scientific basis of why diet matters in keeping your skin acne free. With 174 scientific references, I thoroughly document and clearly explain the ultimate causes of acne. The dietary program I suggest in this book works by preventing the four immediate causes of acne, and will quickly result in great improvements or complete remission of your acne symptoms.

After reading The Dietary Cure for Acne, you’ll understand how the right foods can prevent the pore blockage, excess oil production, inflammation, and bacterial infection that characterize acne. But most importantly, you’ll learn specifically which foods to eat and which foods to avoid so you can take action and get results.

Book Table of Contents Page
About the Author and the Book iv
Chapter 1: Overview of Acne and Diet 1
Chapter 2: Success Stories 13
Chapter 3: Acne Defined 25
Chapter 4: The Immediate Causes of Acne 31
Chapter 5: The Ultimate Causes of Acne 39
Chapter 6: The Dietary Cure for Acne – Foods to Avoid 59
Chapter 7: The Dietary Cure for Acne – The Good Foods 75
Reader Feedback 97
Scientific References 98
List of Tables 115
List of Figures 116
Index 117

About The Paleo Diet Team

The Paleo Diet TeamThe Paleo Diet, the world’s healthiest diet, is based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted. The therapeutic effect of The Paleo Diet is supported by both randomized controlled human trials and real-life success stories.

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