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July 2003

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Acne—Reply

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Copyright 2003 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2003

Arch Dermatol. 2003;139(7):941-942. doi:10.1001/archderm.139.7.941-a

In reply

In his letter, Dr Logan proposes that a lower dietary omega-6–omega-3 ratio in the Kitavan and Aché people may play a synergistic role along with a lower glycemic load in preventing the development of acne via reductions of proinflammatory eicosanoids. This hypothesis is certainly reasonable given recent evidence showing that an LTB4 blocker led to a 70% reduction in inflammatory acne lesions after 3 months.1 We have previously reported that the Kitavans indeed maintain a significantly lower dietary omega-6–omega-3 ratio than do western populations2 and that a lower dietary omega-6–omega-3 ratio is characteristic of virtually all hunter-gatherer diets.3 Another feature that distinguishes Kitavan and Aché diets from western diets is the absence of milk, which exhibits a low glycemic index but paradoxically is highly insulinotropic.4 As with high-glycemic-load carbohydrates, dietary interventions will be required to assess the effectiveness of any nutritional treatment on the development of acne.