Milk causes zits – tell your teen!

Dr. Weeks Comment:    My friend, Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z

is a wise man and an American health hero and, although we disagree about the benefits of soy (the only soy that I recommend is the fermented types: tempe, miso etc.),  I highly recommend his website.  Study it! (especially if you are Black, Asian or Hispanic)


Acne occurs when steroids (androgens) stimulate the sebaceous glands within the skin’s hair follicles. These glands then secrete an oily substance called sebum. When sebum, bacteria and dead skin cells build up on your skin, the pores become blocked, creating a zit. What do you expect? When teenagers combine their own surging hormones with dietary saturated animal fat, cholesterol, steroid hormones, dead white blood cells, and cow pus, they’re gonna get zits. The good news: The cure is an easy one: NOTMILK!

“As pointed out by Dr. Jerome Fisher, ‘About 80 percent of cows that are giving milk are pregnant and are throwing off hormones continuously.’ Progesterone breaks down into androgens, which have been implicated as a factor in the development of acne…Dr. Fisher observed that his teenage acne patients improved as soon as the milk drinking stopped.” Don’t Drink Your Milk, by Frank Oski, M.D. (Director, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

“Acne usually begins at puberty, when an increase in androgens causes an increase in the size and activity of pilosebaceous glands….if a food is suspected, it should be omitted for several weeks and then eaten in substantial quantities to determine if acne worsens.” MERCK Manual, Merck & Company, 2000

“Acne is an end-organ hyper-response to androgens…These data show that sebaceous glands are stimulated by androgens to varying degrees and support the theory of an end-organ response in acne.” British Journal of Dermatology, 1998 Jul, 139:1

“Acne vulgaris is a self-limiting skin disorder seen primarily in adolescents, whose etiology appears to be multifactorial. The immunologic response involves both humoral and cell-mediated pathways. Further research should clarify the role of complement, cytotoxins, and neutrophils in this acne-forming response.” Postgrad Med J, 1999 Jun, 75:884

“Hormones found in cow’s milk include: Estradiol, Estriol, Progesterone, Testosterone, 17-Ketosteroids, Corticosterone, Vitamin D, insulin-like growth factor, growth hormone, prolactin, oxytocin…” Journal of Endocrine Reviews, 14(6) 1992

“We studied the effects of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factors (IGFs), alone and with androgen, on sebaceous epithelial cell growth…IGF-I was the most potent stimulus of DNA synthesis. These data are consistent with the concept that increases in GH and IGF production contribute in complementary ways to the increase in sebum production during puberty.” Endocrinology, 1999 Sep, 140:9, 4089-94

“…serum IGF-I levels increased significantly in the milk drinking group…an increase of about 10% above baseline-but was unchanged in the control group.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, vol. 99, no. 10. October 1999

Robert Cohen author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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