New study on acne and genetics- your thoughts please

“Genetics, not junk food, is the main cause of acne, according to a study by the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas’s Hospital, London. The findings, based on more than 1,500 pairs of identical and non-identical twins, showed that 80% of susceptability to acne is tied to genes. Factors such as the Pill, diet and smoking had no significant effect. Isolating the key genes responsible for spots should lead to better acne drugs.” (quoted from REAL magazine 15-28 July 2003)

I agree with the genetic bit- my acne seems to be strongly genetic but I have found not eating junk food, caffeine and sugar helps, plus taking Zinc. I want to have kids later and and hope that in 25 years time when they might be reaching adolescence that safe genetically-informed therapies will be available.

Does anyone have an idea about what is being done in this area?

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11 thoughts on “New study on acne and genetics- your thoughts please

  1. Personally i doubt this study cause they thought that junk food was the main cause of acne? b4 making the study on genetics.Anw if you manage to fight your acne back and your kids do the same maybe in 9-10 generations you’ll manage to change your familys dna 😛

  2. Well acne can be due to different reasons in different indivuals hence that is why is so complicated. Its a combination of envornmental, genetic, nutrional and emotional factors. So genetics its definetly one piece of the puzzle and might be the only reason for some but thats why we have to look for this other factors that contribute and fight back 8)

  3. personally i think my acne comes from genetics. my mom, my dad, my mom’s brother, all have acne when they were teenagers.
    so now i get acne.

    but maybe acne is passed on not as a disease, but a sign of somthing missing in our body. like an enzyme that is missing. so my mom is missing this enzyme, and i’m also missing this enzyme because it is genetics. so thats why i get acne..
    just a guess.

  4. I think its interesting. I believe acne and diet are related, as well as genetics play some part. My parents both have less than perfect skin, so its not a coincidence that I have acne too. But I think that maybe through genes we get something that makes some diets more harmful?

  5. I bet the people that conducted this study have never suffered from acne otherwise they wouldn’t be so niave as to attribute it to one factor.

    Literally NO ONE in my entire family history has suffered from acne and have only experienced the occasional mild blemish typical at adolescence…except me 😡 I make sure i eat a healthy diet, take care of myself physically and have had no environmental differences to the rest of my family so im still at a loss as to why i suffer acne. S**t happens! 🙂

  6. I don’t understand how they can catagorically state that the study proves that “diet has no effect”. Maybe they didn’t try the right diet. If they had a situation where one twin was raised in the U.S. in a big city on infant formula and processed foods and another was raised in an untouched, unpolluted jungle somewhere, breast fed and eating traditional, natural native foods, then maybe I would say that the study was valid. I doubt that’s the case, though.

    I have read many testimonials on acne boards from people who have found that diet plays a major role in their acne. Many people have discovered dietary regimes that keep their acne under control. They have tested it by going on and off the diet, and when they go off the diet, they start to break out again. That may not constitute a scientific study, but it works for them. Also, there are studies that show that taking zinc supplements works as well as antibiotics in helping acne. Isn’t it possible, then, that a lack of zinc in our diets could be a contributing factor with acne? Our vegetables have much lower mineral contents than they did in the ’40’s, at least here in the U.S., due to farming methods. Also, studies have shown that excess iodine in the diet can worsen acne.

    Certainly genetics is a big factor, but it may be genetics in combination with some environmental factor (diet, water, and air quality, mineral content of the soil that the food is grown on, etc.). Some people may genetically not be able to handle certain environmental factors. There are many studies showing that acne did not exist at all amongst peoples who lived in natural, clean environments, eating their traditional native diets. Then when they became industrialized, and ate processed foods, acne started to occur at similar rates as in Westernized societies.

    I wonder whether diet is more effective as a preventative factor. That is, if someone is breast fed and raised on a natural, whole foods type of diet, in an unpolluted and natural environment, then maybe they wouldn’t develop acne in the first place. Still, like I said above, many people do find that diet helps them control their acne, sometimes very dramatically.

  7. Anyone know of the Twin Research Unit at St Thomas’s Hospital, London? Do they dabble in alternative medicine at all or are they partially funded by drug companies?

  8. There were 4 children in my family with moi being the last and much younger than the others.

    Both parents had perfect, beautiful healthy skin but then both parents were raised in a foreigh country where hormones are not added to the meat or milk.

    One older brother got acne in his late teens after serving overseas in the military.

    I developed acne in early puberty.

    It has flared up and down all my life.

    Diet and suplementation have been my main weapons against this curse.

    The worse thing I could do is drink sugar soda tonight. Tomorrow I would have several zits if I did this. I know because I have tried it.

    As long as I maintain a careful diet and take certain supplements in certain proportations I can maintain an almost clear skin 100% of the time now but just one slip and I get some zits.

    My parents ate whatever they wanted including all the stuff I have to avoid. Both smoked. Father enjoyed a beer on the weekend but they did not really drink.

    I think that study is a crock of poo.

  9. I really don’t see why if its genetic then diet has no effect. Having an ‘acne’ gene doesn’t mean diet won’t help.
    Their keyword is suspetibility… a certain diet makes u more suspetible than others to acne.
    I know (100%) that my acne is genetic so to speak. Mom, dad, and everyone related had some form of it, some more severe than others. After 12 years of trying every worthless piece of garbage (my point of view of course) those derms have to offer, I can say that its diet thats working for me.. for one thing it doesn’t give me joint pains like accutane did.. I hate that medication so much, more than two years passed and I still feel things are wrong bec of it!
    I guess the significance of that study is that some new drug will be on the market to bring in more money for them and more misery for those of us who have a real problem with acne.

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