Confused if eating chocolate can improve or worsen your acne, go for this new iPhone app. Researchers at Illinois-based Northwestern University have developed an app called diet & acne that uses science to help people with acne make better food choices. The app uses data from a systematic analysis of peer-reviewed research studies to show people if there is or is not scientific evidence linking acne to foods such as chocolate, fat, sugar and whey protein.
"Users may be surprised to learn that there is no conclusive evidence from large randomised controlled trials that have linked chocolate and acne," said Diana Cohen from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and creator of the app. Although one small study found that eating 100 percent cocoa could worsen acne symptoms, she noted. Research displayed in the app shows that dairy (especially skim milk), whey protein, omega-6 fatty acids and foods high in sugar have been associated with the presence of acne.
It also explains that foods rich in antioxidants and fibre have been associated with a decreased presence of acne in some studies. "People all over the world are turning to mobile apps as a source of information regarding health issues, but most of the apps out there are not evidence-based, and some exist to just sell a product," Cohen explained.
This app is different because it uses evidence from a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature and puts it at a patient's fingertips. "Downloading such an app soon could be part of a doctor's toolkit of resources for patients," said Roopal Kundu from Northwestern University. This app is a tool I can offer patients to help them make better food choices based on scientific research, Kundu added.
The app can be downloaded from the iTunes app store for free.