Adherence to Mediterranean Diet, Omega-3 Fatty Acids Beneficial in Acne

Reduction seen in inflammatory and noninflammatory lesions, improvement seen in overall quality of life with EPA/DHA
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, July 10, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to a Mediterranean diet incorporating eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) reduces skin lesions and improves quality of life in patients with acne, according to a study published online July 10 in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.

Anne Guertler, M.D., from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, and colleagues examined the clinical effects associated with increasing EPA/DHA levels in patients with acne. Sixty participants without prescription medication (23 with acne comedonica [AC] and 37 with acne papulopustulosa [AP]) adhered to a Mediterranean diet, incorporating omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Blood EPA/DHA levels were tracked at four visits (V1 to V4) using the HS-omega 3 index (EPA/DHA [percent] of total identified fatty acids in erythrocytes: target, 8 to 11 percent; deficit, <8 percent; severe deficit, <4 percent).

The researchers found that 98.3 percent of patients had an EPA/DHA deficit at baseline, with the mean HS-omega 3 index increasing from 4.9 to 8.3 percent at V1 to V4. At V4, significantly higher indices were seen for AC than AP. In both inflammatory and noninflammatory lesions, there were objective improvements observed. Four patients self-reported worsened appearance, but overall quality of life improved, especially in AP. Compared with beneficial foods, dietary triggers were more clearly defined. Cow's milk and dairy product intake was reduced. A high rate of compliance was observed, and there were no reports of adverse events.

"Lifestyle interventions, including dietary recommendations, should not be considered in opposition to prescription medications, but rather as a valuable adjunct to any modern acne treatment plan," Guertler said in a statement.

Omegametrix® GmbH performed the analysis of the HS-omega-3 Index® free of charge. Queisser Pharma GmbH & Co. KG offered omega-3 supplements free of charge.

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