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Fitness Investigates: Behind Milk Myths

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Can Milk Cause Acne?

Headline: Milk Can Give You Acne

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology analyzed responses from more than 47,000 women in Harvard's national Nurses' Health Study II. Those who said they drank more than three servings of milk per day during their teens were 22 percent more likely to have had severe acne than those who drank one (or fewer) servings per week. Those who had two or more glasses of skim milk daily were 44 percent more likely to have had severe acne as teenagers.

Expert Take: If you tend to break out, dairy may exacerbate it, but if you're not prone to acne, milk products are unlikely to cause it. "Whether you develop acne depends on your genes and environmental factors," says Boston-based dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, MD. Several components in milk may exacerbate an outbreak; the most significant is hormones.

What to Do: If you're worried about exacerbating breakouts, consider getting your calcium from other sources, and/or drink organic milk, which doesn't contain added hormones.

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