Does eating chocolate make acne worse?
Rumors and myths about the correlation of chocolate and acne have been around for ever. Although it might sound like a false claim, chocolate actually does increase increase the prevalence of acne. The reason why it does is still unknown but a recent and reputable study has confirmed these hypothesis through a double blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, and controlled trial.
Consumption of chocolate correlates to an increase in Acne
In order to validate previous claims of chocolate and it’s correlation to acne, scientists developed a double blind and placebo-controlled study that was approved by the Institutional Review Board (1). They took males between the age of 18 and 35 with a history of acne and either gave them capsules filled with unsweetened 100-percent cocoa, hydrolyzed gelatin powder, or a combination of both. Then in order to track the increase in acne they took photos of lesions caused by acne. In only 4 days subjects who consumed the chocolate powder showed an increase in acne lesions on their face. This was statistically higher than the subjects who did not receive the chocolate. After 7 days the correlation became even more strongly correlated with an assessment of medium strength (1).
Overall this study validates claims that chocolate does indeed increase acne in males with a history of acne. The exacerbation of acne is seen after ingesting unsweetened 100-percent cocoa powder. Subjects who received the chocolate capsules received doses of 6 oz of 100-percent cocoa powder. Although a significant correlation was established, the reason why chocolate makes acne worse has yet to be studied. Most chocolate sold in stores is no where near 100-percent, so there is a possibility that lower percentage chocolate may not have the same results.
Image Source (2): These are the results of a once a day ingestion of chocolate with the mean number of non-inflammatory lesions