Healthy Eating

Food Misconceptions 2: Eating Peanut causes acne

There has been an age long belief that eating peanuts causes acne(pimples) breakout on the skin surface especially on the face.

Peanut is classified as a food and also as a snack, it mostly contains a high percentage of fat but it also contains protein and little carbohydrate.
Scientific studies do not demonstrate a clear connection between specific foods and acne outbreaks. Although some research indicates that a poor overall diet creates a hormonal imbalance that triggers acne.
This common skin disease is usually noticed in puberty due to the increased level of testosterone which triggers acne in teenagers/adolescents, but this can also persist or occur in adulthood. Acne does not only occur on the face but also on the chest and back region.The skin has an oil gland which secretes oil called “sebum” that spills from the hairs on the surface of the skin. When your body secretes too much sebum, the oil mixes with dead skin cells and clog the pores of the skin. Bacteria trapped in the pores digest the oil and secrete acids that cause irritation leading to inflammation and pimples.

Like we saw in our first episode, carbohydrate especially empty calories (not from natural sources or over- processed with sugar additives) increases insulin level and as such fluctuating levels of insulin can cause an increase in androgen production (a male hormone) present in the body. These group of male hormones are believed to be responsible for the increase in sebum production. So when we ingest peanut that contains sugar additives, this can trigger the increase in sebum production which clog the pores and cause pimples outbreak.

It could also be that you may have a peanut allergy. This is a malfunction of the immune system, which means your body does not recognize the protein present in peanuts and so produces antibodies that create a chemical to fight the perceived infection causing inflammation (skin outbreak) on the skin. Common allergic symptoms include vomiting, stomach pain, respiratory complications such as congestion, runny nose, coughing, difficulty in breathing e.t.c. Although acne is not considered as a common symptom of peanut allergy. All these symptoms typically vanish when the irritant(peanut) is removed or stopped. For proper assessment and diagnosis of peanut allergy, it is important to consult your doctor.

There you have it, so the next time you are experiencing acne outbreak, it could just be as a result of hormonal imbalance triggered by intake of sugar additives in your diet or you might be allergic to peanuts.


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Omafuvwe Erhemute
Omafuvwe Erhemute is a beautiful Nurse whose dream is to create a health standard focused on preventive measures rather than curative. she is passionate about Nutrition and Dietetics and hopes to influence healthy eating by her writings. She loves cooking and eating.

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