Replacing pills with real food

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 06, 2012 at 6:35 PM


I suffer from Acne and over the years I have been taking lots of Vitamin and mineral pills to try combat the acne. Now that I have learned more about diet on here I would like to ditch the pills and replace it with some real food.

I want to include foods that won't break me out. I haven't tried dairy for a few years, it used to break me out I think but not sure now. Should I find the courage to try? Please help me fill in the rest of the list (plus other foods that I haven't typed in) as I'm gonna go to the store tomorrow and buy.

Vitamin A: Calf Liver, Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter oil

B-Vitamins: Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Grass Fed Beef

Vitamin C: Vegetables, Blueberries

Vitamin D: Fish

Vitamin E: ???

Vitamin K2 ???

Selenium: Brown Rice

Magnesium: Spinach

Calcium: Bone Broth

Potassium: Avocados

Chromium: ???

That's just out the top of my head. Might have forgot about some crucial ones. please add these ones in! Thanks

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3 Answers



on February 06, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Here are some ideas :

  • Vitamin A, vitamin k2, copper, B-complex from beef/calf liver (see chart below *)
  • Vitamin C citrus fruits (if tolerated), berries and vegetables (sauerkraut has some too).
  • Vitamin E from red palm oil
  • Niacin from tuna, calf's liver, ...
  • Chromium from a decent amount of vegetables and onions if tolerated (dulse is a good source too, but probably not tolerated). Brewer's yeast contains this too, though you probably consider that a supplement.
  • Potassium from a decent amount of vegetables (most vegetables are a good source, dulse is a great source but probably not tolerated)
  • Selenium from fish and beef liver.
  • Magnesium from mineral water, mustard greens, swiss chard, halibut, spinach (and supplementation)
  • Calcium from egg shells, bone meal, bone broth, ...
  • Gelatin from bone broth or supplementation
  • Zinc from red meat, oysters, ...
  • Iron from red meat, though excess iron should be avoided. Don't eat only muscle meat, eat gelatin and organs.
  • Phosphorus vegetables, beef liver, ... contain adequate amounts.
  • Manganese from vegetables (spinach!)
  • Iodine from wild salmon and other fish
  • Sulfur from broccoli, onions, garlic (only eat FODMAPS if tolerated), meats, ...
  • Probiotics from fermented foods.
  • Choline from beef liver and eggs (if tolerated)
  • CoQ10 from beef heart
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds from turmeric and lots of other paleo foods
  • Anti-oxidants from berries
  • Omega-3 from salmon (wild), mackerel, ...
  • Saturated Fats from coconut oil, butter, ...

I would still supplement fat-soluble vitamins and magnesium. Don't forget whole cod liver is a great source of those fat-soluble vitamins!

Most of these compounds are beneficial to the skin. Still, there is more to acne : don't wash your face with harsh stuff. Drink apple cider vinegar if it helps you. Use smart topicals. Don't be afraid of fruits and aloe vera. Experiment.

Mark's Daily Apple made a good article about acne too. He mentions that stress and sleep are very important. I hope you will agree. That's why I believe magnesium should still be supplemented, and vitamin D too (unless you're in the sun all the time). I believe some people on here had success with magnesium threonate taken before bed.

That being said, I hope you like liver ;)

*this is the nutritional composition of 100g raw beef liver. Needless to say it's a must!



on February 06, 2012
at 06:51 PM

From an acne sufferers perspective liver should be the mainstay, I believe ~750g/week really helped my skin. It's probably the vit A but just about everything else is in there to so who knows?

As for milk; take it slowly and try to get the best quality possible. I use raw organic milk and lots of it but if I get cheeses from less reliable sources I break out a little. the lesser quality milk is still grass fed in the UK so I'm unsure what component is causing the skin flare up.


on February 06, 2012
at 06:50 PM

So zinc did wonders for my acne -- apparently raw oysters are a good source. You can also get it from sunflower seeds, peanuts, and lamb. I take the tablets, m'self, but good luck with your quest.

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