Milk and cookies are a classic combination, but how about milk and breakouts? Studies show that drinking milk (chocolate milk and 1% milk included) can make your acne worse. One culprit is testosterone. When testosterone in milk is consumed, it can undergo a series of chain reactions in the body creating dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT stimulates the sebaceous glands in your hair follicles producing oily, sticky sebum. This then mixes with debris and bacteria resulting in a pimple. For people who usually have clear skin, chances are drinking a glass of milk will not affect your complexion. However, for those with a hereditary predisposition to acne (for example, your mom had acne growing up), then you are probably more susceptible to the effects of DHT and milk (1) This is because your DNA is wired to produce more DHT receptors than the average person. If receptors are like tiny garages embedded in the walls of your cells, then DHT is the car. For those who are predisposed to having more receptors, DHT has more spaces to park and do its harmful work.
If you suffer from frequent breakouts consider eliminating milk from your diet and trying Raw Pumpkin Seed Milk. Pumpkin seeds are superstars when it comes to combating acne. With regular consumption, pumpkin seeds can curb excess DHT helping with hormonal acne. They are also a very important source of plant-based zinc. Zinc is a powerful antioxidant, immune booster and skin healer and has shown to have effects against moderate to severe acne (2). Just remember, when enjoying seeds and nuts, it is always best to soak them overnight. This removes the anti-nutrient, phytic acid which interferes with nutrient absorption. This pumpkin seed milk is best enjoyed cold and with a side of Grain-free Tahini Chocolate Chip cookies.
Raw Pumpkin Seed Milk
1 cup raw organic pumpkin seeds soaked overnight and rinsed well. 3 cups filtered water a couple of drops of pure vanilla extract pinch of salt Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender. This may take about 5 mins. Store in an air tight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. NO straining required. Shake well before enjoying cold. ________ 1. Lai, Jiann-Jyh et al. “The role of androgen and androgen receptor in skin-related disorders” Archives of dermatological research vol. 304,7 (2012): 499-510. 2. Gupta, Mrinal et al. “Zinc therapy in dermatology: a review” Dermatology research and practice vol. 2014 (2014): 709152.