Milk consumption and acne in adolescent girls

Clement A. Adebamowo, Donna Spiegelman, Catherine S. Berkey, F. William Danby, Helaine H. Rockett, Graham A. Colditz, Walter C. Willett, Michelle D. Holmes

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150 Scopus citations


There has been a remarkable paucity of evidence for an association between diet and acne. Our previous studies suggest that there is an association between milk intake and teenage acne. This is a prospective cohort study to evaluate that relationship. We studied 6,094 girls, aged 9-15 years in 1996, who reported dietary intake on up to three food frequency questionnaires from 1996 to 1998. Presence and severity of acne was assessed by questionnaire in 1999. We computed multivariate prevalence ratios (PR) and 95 percent confidence intervals for acne. After accounting for age at baseline, height and energy intake, the multivariate PRs (95 % CI; p-value for test of trend) for acne comparing highest (2 or more servings per day) to lowest (<1 per week) intake categories in 1996, were 1.20 (1.09, 1.31; <0.001) for total milk, 1.19 (1.06, 1.32; <0.001) for whole milk, 1.17 (1.04, 1.31; 0.002) for low fat milk and 1.19 (1.08, 1.31; <0.001) for skim milk. This result did not change appreciably when we excluded girls who reported use of contraceptives and when we restricted our analysis to those younger than 11 years of age at baseline. We found a positive association between intake of milk and acne. This finding supports earlier studies and suggests that the metabolic effects of milk are sufficient to elicit biological responses in consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalDermatology Online Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


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