Does Whey Protein Cause Acne? How To Prevent It

Deepanshu Bedi

If you regularly battle acne, it is only expected that you should look for what causes it. Several issues can cause acne, although only a few can be identified as staple causes. Additionally, anyone can suffer from acne, but it is more prevalent in teenagers and young adults than in older people.

Genes, hormonal imbalances, and stress are some of the primary causes of acne. However, some identify some foods, such as dairy and oily foods, as contributors to acne.

Although there is not much science to back up this claim, it remains to be seen whether or not they contribute to it. Considering that whey is a critical protein in dairy, you may want to know whether it and other nutrients in dairy cause acne.

This article is an in-depth look at how whey protein relates to acne and whether or not it causes a breakout.

How Dairy Affects Acne?

It is not strange to check what you eat if you have a sudden acne outbreak. The food you eat can contribute to how your skin looks and reacts. If you tend to eat a lot of oily foods or milk, you may notice an increase in your breakouts.

However, as mentioned before, there is nothing to prove that dairy or oily foods cause acne. In effect, science is yet to prove that whey causes acne. The only proof is the report from individuals who notice an increase in acne development and dairy consumption. This may be because dairy is reported to increase insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a hormone associated with the development of acne.

Dairy does not have an adverse effect on everyone; some people are more susceptible to it than others. You should reduce your intake if you notice increased sebum production and acne when taking certain dairy products.

This does not mean that your body reacts to whey or other proteins in dairy. It only means you must check what contributes to the increase in the oil from your pores and acne breakouts. You may need to check your milk intake, whether or not it is cow’s milk.

Although it is a low-glycemic dairy product, there is a chance it can contribute to a noticeable acne breakout. This applies to all types of cow milk, including skim and low-fat.

However, not all dairy products cause acne; you may not notice an increase in breakouts when you take cheese and yogurt. Nevertheless, your response to dairy products depends on your genes and how you typically respond to dairy.

Does Whey Contribute To Acne Breakouts?

Since many believe that excessive milk intake can cause acne, it is only fitting to assume one of the primary proteins in milk causes acne. Milk has two main proteins: casein and whey.

When making cheese, whey is that liquid part that separates from the rest. You can turn it into whey protein powder through a different, multi-level process. While there have been reports that whey is one of the primary causes of acne, it is only based on individuals.

There is no supporting study or scientific evidence to prove that whey protein causes acne. It may be due to little or no research in that area, but the fact remains that the reports on whey causing acne are based on a few individual reports.

You can learn more about the best acne scar treatment for if you suffer from severe acne and its scarring effects.

How Whey Maybe Related To Acne Breakouts?

Since whey may contribute to insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) hormone, it may trigger a noticeable increase in acne if your skin is prone to it. While the protein does not directly cause acne, your predisposition to the skin condition can make milk consumption increase your breakouts.

As mentioned, your genes and family history of acne are the leading cause, and whey protein only triggers it. The same is true if you are obese, sleep poorly, stay in a humid place, have frequent hormonal disruptions, or eat high-sugar and high-fat foods. If you are not predisposed to these factors, it is unlikely that whey protein alone can cause acne.

It is also important to note that whey protein may trigger your body to produce androgens. These hormones can stimulate your oil glands to make more sebum than is necessary. The sebum eventually clogs your skin pores and creates an excellent breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria.

In addition, whey can interfere with how your body processes blood sugar, leading to an inflammation of your best anti-aging skin. Still, there is no direct link between whey and acne breakout or increase unless you are already prone to it.

How Do You Benefit From Taking Whey Protein?

Whey protein is not all bad news; your body can benefit greatly from it under the right circumstances. It is one of the most studied and valued proteins because of its many health benefits.

Let’s discuss some of these benefits, as explained over years of research.

Encourages Muscle Growth

Your muscle mass weakens and declines as you grow older, causing a noticeable increase in weight. Weight gain is associated with many health issues but can be stopped or reversed with the proper diet and weight training.

Foods high in protein and strength training make all the difference in increasing muscle mass. Protein supplements also work if you need to add to what you get from foods. One of the best sources of high protein is milk; whey protein in milk encourages better muscle growth and increases strength.

It is best to stick to whey from foods instead of supplements. You will get enough for your body; supplements only help if your diet does not contain enough whey.

Possible Type-2 Diabetes Treatment

A high dose of whey protein can trigger hormones that affect how your body regulates blood sugar. However, a healthy amount of whey protein can help your body regulate blood sugar by increasing insulin levels and sensitivity to the hormone. Insulin is present in the body to stimulate the blood sugar that goes into your cells to prevent too much of it from invading them.

Since whey is effective in increasing your insulin level, better than other protein sources such as fish and egg white, it may be your best bet for managing the effects of type-2 diabetes. You will find it most effective when you take it with or before a high-carb meal.

Works For Inflammatory Bowel Disease

As another name for ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes painful inflammation in your digestive tract’s lining. A study shows some benefits of using whey protein for IBD, although more is needed to prove its efficacy.

Provides High Protein

Whey protein is complete in itself with all essential amino acids, needing no addition to make it better. One of the best parts of this protein is that your gut quickly and easily digests it, which is not common among proteins.

You will find whey protein in three types: isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate. Whey protein concentrate is common among users, making it the most affordable type. Athletes and bodybuilders like using it as a supplementary protein source, which is why whey protein powder always sells out fast.

Possible Blood Pressure Reduction

Hypertension, another term for high blood pressure, typically leads to heart issues. However, there may be links between whey protein and better blood pressure. Studies attribute this link to a bioactive peptide family commonly found in dairy. These peptides are called angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors or ACE inhibitors.

While these studies are inconclusive, a few showed a significant decrease in patients with high blood pressure. They were given a considerable amount of whey protein daily for several weeks before any results came. Therefore, it is best to approach it without trusting its ability to lower your blood pressure.

Reduces Inflammation

No conclusive evidence or study shows that whey protein positively affects inflammation. However, taking it daily in large doses may reduce the occurrence of C-reactive protein, which is evidence of inflammation. It is important to note the extent of the inflammation before using whey protein.

Some cases of inflammation do not last long and may be beneficial for healing certain wounds. Inflammation is part of how your body responds to injury or damage, but it may become chronic over time. If that is the case, it becomes a health condition requiring medical attention.

Curbs Hunger

You will notice you feel full after consuming some meals. The reason lies in the macronutrient composition of such meals, such as the protein, fat, or carb contained in them. Proteins typically fill you better than other macronutrients, meaning you reduce your food intake and lose weight over time.

Note that all proteins are not the same; some are more satiating than others. Whey protein is one of those that satisfy and stop hunger, better than soy or casein. That is why it is the preferred choice for those trying to lose weight.

Possible Reduction Of Blood Fats

If you have a cholesterol issue, taking whey protein may help to balance it. Having bad high cholesterol in your blood leads to other health conditions that may eventually affect your heart. Whey may cause a significant reduction when taken in specific doses for several weeks or months.

Builds Defense Against Oxidation

Antioxidants in your body help battle oxidation, reducing the risk of oxidative stress and chronic illnesses. There are different sources of antioxidants, but one of the most notable ones is glutathione. The human body produces this antioxidant as part of its natural defense.

For the body to produce glutathione, it must have a healthy supply of amino acids. Cysteine is one such amino acid, but it is hardly in supply. As a result, you must eat foods rich in cysteine, part of which is whey protein, to improve your body’s response to oxidation.

Note that there is no conclusive evidence to show how well the presence of cysteine in whey protein combats oxidation. So, there is a need for further research and studies.

Side Effects Of Taking Whey Protein In High Doses

While taking whey proteins has many health benefits, it is crucial to take the correct dosage. Otherwise, you may have some of the following possible side effects. The same is true if you have an allergy to cow’s milk.

    • Appetite loss due to overfilling
    • Gout
    • Aches and pain in the stomach
    • Facial swelling resulting from allergic reactions to milk
    • Nausea
    • Fat gain
    • Fatigue
    • Increase in your blood’s ketone bodies (Ketosis)
    • Problems with your kidney
    • Bone disease (Osteoporosis)

Whey Protein Supplements And Acne

Most of us do not consume whey protein as much as our bodies need from foods alone. As a result, we must take supplements like protein powders and protein shake to cover the deficit. However, getting the right whey protein supplement is crucial for overall health and preventing acne.

Whey protein is one of the best nutrients if you have substantial muscle loss due to aging or need to lose some fat. While it provides excellent benefits, whey protein supplements may contain acne-causing substances such as anabolic steroid precursors.

Therefore, you must check the contents of any dietary supplements, including whey protein and vegan proteins. These substances are illegal, but that has not stopped manufacturers from adding them to the supplements. Educate yourself on the best ones before buying.

As mentioned, whey protein supplementation comes in three types, but isolate and concentrate are the most popular. Whey protein isolate undergoes more detailed manufacturing and production processes. This results in less fat and lactose, lower calories, and higher protein content. That makes it more costly than whey protein concentrate.

You should stick to whey protein concentrate because it is also effective unless you have issues with lactose intolerance or calories. Ensure you buy supplements with proof of third-party lab tests, checked for purity and potency by trusted labs.

To Sum Up: What Do People Believe About Whey Protein And Acne?

Whey protein has many health benefits, although many consider it a contributor to acne. The question of whether or not it can trigger acne only applies if you are predisposed to acne or take too much of it daily. You must take a carefully-measured amount, especially if it is medically prescribed.

There is not much medical evidence or clinical studies proving whey protein causes acne. However, there may be individual responses that may indicate that it contributes to probiotics for acne. Adjusting your diet, working out, and reducing your intake of other foods that may cause it may help combat acne.

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