Acne and Wheat

Forget chocolate—I’ve heard that wheat can be an acne culprit. Is this true?

While no studies have specifically linked gluten-sensitivity (an adverse immune response to wheat, barley, rye, and some oats) with acne, many doctors say the connection is a no-brainer: Wheat can trigger an inflammation response in the body. “We know that acne is an inflammatory condition, so any time you are promoting inflammation in your body, you are promoting acne,” says Alan Logan, ND, coauthor of The Clear Skin Diet (Cumberland House, 2007). Even those without wheat sensitivities may want to eliminate processed baked goods since they increase production of the oily, pore-clogging substance called sebum. A small 2007 study found that acne patients who went on a diet low in processed grains for 12 weeks decreased their pimples by nearly twice as much as those who continued their regular wheat-eating habits. Logan recommends slowly weaning yourself off gluten products for three months to see how your complexion responds.