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Chocolate Gets Bad Acne Rap

August 08, 1985

The age-old claim that chocolate, greasy foods or dairy products cause acne is simply not founded in science, according to Dr. Alan Gaynor, a San Francisco dermatologist with the Dairy Council of California.

Chocolate's effect on acne has been tested in numerous research studies where patients were divided into two groups: one given chocolate and the other an imitation chocolate bar. None of the chocolate eaters experienced any change in their condition.

"Greasy foods, also implicated as acne promoters, clog the pores only when applied directly to the skin--not when consumed," Gaynor said.

Putting to rest another diet-acne myth, Gaynor says that there is no evidence supporting a causal relationship between milk and acne.

"Eliminating milk and dairy foods takes away the diet's best calcium source and can also throw a diet off balance, potentially aggravating the skin problem," Gaynor added.

And, although Vitamin A and zinc contribute to healthy skin, Gaynor says there is no evidence that dietary deficiencies of those nutrients cause acne, or that supplements of Vitamin A or zinc are helpful treatments.

"A person with acne should concentrate on getting a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to keep skin as healthy as possible," Gaynor said.

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