Does Dairy Cause Break Outs?

After years of research and debate, it is slowly becoming evident that dairy may be making you break out- consequently reducing its popularity.

Many of us have trouble digesting cow milk and with the recent decline in dairy’s popularity whilst nut- and seed-based alternatives skyrocket simultaneously it is becoming evident that dairy may be aiding our breakouts.

While many have been wondering why people often find it difficult to digest milk without breaking out, it now makes sense considering the amount of processing and chemical additives that are added to it. Moreover, the hormones the cow was given to how the milk is treated before we consume it plays an effective role in our acne breakouts.

This, however, does not mean that everyone cannot handle dairy. It all depends on our body’s lactose tolerance. Lactose is a type of sugar that naturally occurs in milk which is the main compound that a lot of us don’t have the ability to break down properly. Lactose intolerance has varying degrees which is why some people are able to handle certain dairy products such as yoghurt and hard cheese (lactose sugars are broken down during the process of fermentation by the enzymes in these products). Whereas, dairy goods such as milk and ice cream will have most people making errands to the loo over the night.

Whey and casein are two compounds found in milk which are the primary amino acids found in dairy products. These particular types of proteins (amino acids) are meant to stimulate hormones and subsequently growth and development in calves, however, they can also affect hormones in humans who consume cow milk. When these proteins are consumed, a hormone called IGF-1 is released into the human body which translates to an insulin-like growth factor and acts similarly to insulin. The discharge of this hormone causes acne breakouts.

Additionally, our body’s functions depend entirely on our hormonal system. When something disrupts the delicate balance of hormones, a series of repercussions can emerge- breakouts being the most common one.

Research suggests that there are people whose acne is triggered or worsened by dairy products however, everyone’s skin is different. Acne isn’t always going to have a connection to dairy, but it’s always worth experimenting with your diet to find out how dairy affects your skin or to substitute products such as heavy cream and cow milk with dairy that contain less lactose such as yoghurt and aged cheese.

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