For people looking for a natural alternative, there's now Accunatural, a product developed by Dr. Goodless, a skin health physician. Accunatural is a combination of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, zinc, selenium, chromium and barberry. These vitamins and minerals were chosen based on their performance in past clinical studies. The herb, Dr. Goodless said, was chosen because it has a traditional of use in treating acne in Chinese and Japanese medicine. Users take three caplets a day with meals and, according to Dr. Goodless, typically see results after a month. The three pills add up to about 66 cents a day.
For those curious about each ingredient, Dr. Goodless provides references and citations for the clinical trials he researched. The information is available on the Skin Nutrients website, www.accunatural.com. He also provides information on his own clinical trial on Accunatural, which he presented at the 2005 meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
"I've done about a dozen FDA clinical trials. I've done some of them in my own office, some in research centers. I just kind of put all this together and decided, 'I think I'll come up with something that will help my patients with acne, that they would be happier taking than taking antibiotics,'" he said. "The antibiotics were giving patients side effects like sun sensitivity, yeast infections, and GI upset. I like to take nutritional supplements myself for the benefits they give, so I did a little background research."
Dr. Goodless said that he is an allopathic physician. If patients of his "roll their eyes" when he suggests using supplements, he does give them the option of trying antibiotics, or another prescription medication. But he doesn't think this is always the right way to go. "It's really not good for the whole group, humanity, as a herd. It's just not good to be feeding antibiotics to everyone," he said. "If I can treat something with diet or nutrition, I would do that before I take a prescription." For patients who see problems with taking antibiotics and prescription drugs first, he thinks his supplement can be the perfect treatment. Dr. Goodless found those types of patients within his own practice.
"A lot of patients are keen to try natural things. They like that idea. I'd say for a lot of patients they had surprisingly good results. I was kind of pleasantly surprised that it worked, and intrigued and kind of excited about the idea of maybe stumbling onto something important," he said. "I was just giving it to them to see if it would work and they wanted to buy it."
This enthusiasm from his own patients made Dr. Goodless decide to find his own manufacturer and run a clinical trial. The trial actually improved upon the results he first saw when he was using other combinations of other manufacturers' supplements. He says this was probably because the manufacturer created the supplements with his exact formula in mind.
"When I got those tablets, I wanted to confirm that it still worked, because it was a totally different manufacturer, and a slightly different formula. We repeated the study and actually the results were better," he said. "Now it's like a 50 percent improvement in 30 days in both inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions. I think that part of the improvement there is that, with the tablets, you know, every tablet has all eight ingredients."
"The orders come in. I get an email and shoot out a label from the site. I have a room, and my kids box everything up in the back. When they want to earn some money they box Skin Nutrients. I have shelves and shelves of Skin Nutrients ready to go. I put a label on it, and it goes to the post office," he said. "It's pretty neat."
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