I have severe acne and juice about 40 ounces of carrots a day. My hands have turned a yellowish tinge.

Greetings, I am a 22-year-old male and have a few questions I just can’t seem to get an answer for. I have severe ACNE and have had for a while. Besides using moisturizers for my face and mild exfoliants, I also combat this problem with my diet. I consume no alcohol, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, consume hardly any refined sugar (very skin sensitive) or any citric acid or iodine for the same reasons. This strips my diet down to mainly raw if not bland foods. I juice about 40 ounces of carrots a day, which brings me to my first question.

1) My hands have turned a faint yellowish tinge over a period of two months but don’t seem to be getting any worse. I would rather not stop juicing the carrots as they’re doing wonders for my skin. Is this an acceptable outcome and/or is this a bad thing. What causes this stain and what does it mean???

2) I use 6-7 cloves of garlic a day to flush bacteria from my skin, could this be killing the friendly bacteria in my colon, should I be replacing this with something???

3) I consume quite large quantities of zinc (from carrots etc). This helps the scarring and reduces inflammation of the skin. I supplement this with some copper perhaps not as much as I should. If this mineral enhances the male reproductive system, could I be making my skin worse by firing up my hormones???

4) I drink about 10-12 liters of water a day and use the bathroom accordingly. Could this much water flush out some of the nutrients I consume and should there be a limit to how much water somebody drinks?

I only weigh 160 pounds Well I know you’re a busy person and I admire what you do. I hope I haven’t annoyed you too much with the length. and sorry if I have. I have tried to write to other practitioners without response, which has annoyed me, as I am quite confused about these matters. I look forward to your reply.

Acne is caused by overactive oil glands according to my dermatologist and some people have it even into midlife. Research has disproved that chocolate increases acne. Refined sugars, citric acid, and iodine have no effect on the skin. (Unless you were to place any of these substances directly on the skin, but I believe that you were referring to eating foods with these ingredients.) Sugar would contribute calories, which could affect your weight, but not your skin other than if you gained weight, your skin would stretch.

Iodine is essential for the formation of thyroxin, the hormone that which is produced by your thyroid gland and regulates your metabolism. This gland is at the base of your neck, in the front above where the hollow depression is. Iodine is found in ocean fish and iodized salt. I would not recommend that you restrict iodine as you may develop a goiter. If there is insufficient iodine in a person’s diet, the thyroid gland increases in size which can result in a very unsightly large (grapefruit size) swelling at the base of your neck. Goiter was more prevalent in the center of the US where people were less likely to eat ocean fish before salt was fortified with iodine.

No reason to eat bland foods as spices and herbs don’t aggravate acne either.

As to juicing 40 ounces of carrots per day, you are drinking a lot of beta-carotene (318,983 IU or 31,899 RE = 3,987% of your RDA) which is coloring your skin yellow because you have saturated your body stores (liver) of Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is not toxic and the yellow tinge to your skin is not harmful or permanent. You may notice it more on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whites of your eyes were yellow too which would make your doctor think you were jaundiced and test you for liver disease. If you quit drinking carrot juice, the color will fade in a month or depend on how saturated your skin is. I would recommend that you decrease your intake of beta-carotene to no more than 1/2 to 1 carrot per day (7 1/2″ or 72 grams or 2 1/2 oz) as it isn’t going to help your acne.

Beta-carotene is not the form of Vitamin A that has been prescribed for acne and internal application of vitamin A doesn’t seem to affect acne. Retinol (available by prescription as RetinA) is a different form of Vitamin A that if taken internally can be toxic, even fatal at levels of 100,000 IU per day. In fact, 1 ounce of polar bear liver contains enough retinol vitamin A to kill you. (Probably more than you ever wanted to know about vitamin A, but…) RetinA is applied topically to the skin. I would suggest you see a dermatologist to evaluate your acne and I would recommend you follow their advice for treatment.

Garlic doesn’t flush bacteria from the skin. In fact, you have many “good bacteria” that is an integral part of your skin. Garlic does nothing to the normal flora of friendly bacteria in your colon including e-Coli. Unfortunately, garlic has been ascribed many therapeutic properties, most of which are untrue. Garlic will, however, linger on your breath, which may or may not be desirable to you.

Carrots are not a good source of zinc. The 40 ounces of carrots you eat only contain 2.27 mg of zinc, which is about 19% of your RDA. Zinc has not been found to improve acne but is necessary for male reproduction. Increasing zinc will not increase testosterone production above the normal level for your body. Be careful with supplementing zinc and copper as they can suppress absorption of each other.

As to water, 10 to 12 liters per day is a bit much and I would recommend reducing to 8, eight-ounce glasses per day (2 liters). Research has shown that up to 10 liters per day are not harmful unless a person has kidney disease. Excess water intake does not flush out nutrients, Your kidneys are pretty selective in what they keep and what they void as long as they are healthy. Anyway, excess nutrients are stored by the body, usually in the liver or bone, until needed. If body stores are saturated, absorption of vitamins and minerals decrease and the excess is excreted in urine. If body stores are depleted, absorption of vitamins and minerals increases.

BTW, can’t comment on your weight without your height. Considering all your interest in nutrition and getting an adequate nutrient intake, I would suggest you try the Healthy Body Calculator. It will tell you how much of each vitamin and mineral you need according to the Recommended Dietary Allowances so that you don’t overdose nutrients. It will also calculate whether or not your body weight is in a healthy range.

Best bet is to stick with 3 meals per day using the Food Guide Pyramid as a plan.

PS Next time why not call a Registered Dietitian? Try a local hospital or medical clinic. You seem to have a keen interest in your health and a dietitian could help you with a healthy meal plan! You asked some good questions that have not been asked before. Thanks.