Debate rages on over links between chocolate and acne
16 April 2013Anyone who still has a stash of Easter eggs stored away around their homes by their children might well use have used the argument that eating it will give them spots as a way of persuading them to go easy. But recent scientific research has implied that threatening that youngsters will suffer an outbreak of spots after tucking into chocolate is on dodgy scientific ground. It suggests that susceptibility to acne depends more on family history, age and possibly stress levels than on the amount of sugary food eaten, the BBC reports. The theoretical link between sugary sweets and acne dates back many years, but the first major doubts were cast on the suggestion in 1969, when a study compared the effects on the skin of acne sufferers of eating an ordinary chocolate bar, and one with extra-high levels of cocoa every day for a month. But several decades on, that research has itself been heavily criticised and little progress made in any direction, until, in 2011, Samantha Block of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine decided to instigate her own research project. Her research, just published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, involved men aged 18 to 35. Each one ate up to 340 grams (12oz) of chocolate daily for a week, and had their acne assessed on the fourth and seventh days. It found that the amount of acne suffered increased in proportion with the amount of chocolate eaten. However, the argument as to the role chocolate plays in the development of acne still rages, and another researcher, Jennifer Burris, has published findings of her work in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which examined all links between acne and diet, which suggests that the strength of the link between diet and acne is still unclear. "We're not really sure if diet can cause these acne flares or maybe they just make them more severe," she said. But whatever contributes to an outbreak of acne, it can be treated with the help of a skin peel, a Dermaroller, which is designed to encourage fresh skin growth, or PPX/Isolaz laser treatment, which is the only such method approved by the American Food and Drug Administration.