Is Acne an Essential Fatty Acid deficiency?

When we look at the physiology of the skin, you will find the tiny glands of the hair follicles producing a mixture of wax and oil to protect our skin. One of the many roles of omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) is to prevent this mixture from “caking up”. 

By now, you may have heard one or two things about omega-3 EFA having an anti-inflammatory effect. In fact, there are hundreds of studies looking at omega-3 EFA in inflammatory diseases like  arthritis. Acne too, is an inflammatory condition. When the glands at the base of the hair follicle get blocked, bacteria can start to thrive, causing inflammation. 

There was recently a study showing positive results in the use of omega-3 EFA in the treatment of moderate to severe acne. The dose used was relatively high, about 3-4 capsules of concentrated omega-3 EFA. 

Burns-Whitmore, Bonny and Khayef, Golandam, et al. Effects of fish oil supplementation on inflammatory acne. Lipids in Health and Disease 2012,11:165

Leave a comment