Evidence states that the answer is "YES"!
In the recent past, we knew little about psoriasis, except that it was a potentially debilitating skin problem. We never understood why some people had severe and life-changing psoriasis, but other people had mild psoriasis that they could hide, and this rarely got worse.
At the beginning of my 30-year dermatology career, the best lifestyle advice that we could offer psoriasis patients was to moisturize their skin. The rest were up to luck and prescription drugs such as cortisone creams, or oral medications that had huge side effects, such as methotrexate or retinoids.
We now know that psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, and lifestyle can intercede to help or damage a skin problem. We also know that psoriasis is often genetic, and that some genetically predisposed people have the worst cases of psoriasis, while others do not. Like other inflammatory diseases (such as heart disease, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease), diet and lifestyle are extremely important.
The exciting news is that patients with psoriasis can take some control over their skin with lifestyle choices such as diet.
In a new scientific study, the severity of psoriasis directly correlated with diet; people on the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet had less pronounced psoriasis compared to people on a more traditional, western diet.
A genuine anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet is a daily diet that emphasizes:
- Mostly fruits and vegetables;
- Followed by:
- whole grains;
- a fish;
- nuts; and
- extra virgin olive oil.
Meat, dairy products, eggs, sugar and alcohol are eaten rarely and economically, as treats, rather than dietary products. Of course, the modern Western diet is exactly the opposite.
The authors of the study further say:
"One of the possible explanations for the ability of the Mediterranean diet to reduce chronic systemic inflammation is associated with the anti-inflammatory properties of dietary fiber, antioxidants and polyphenols – all this is significantly present in the Mediterranean diet."
It has been proven that the Mediterranean diet helps other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.
Evidence is growing – we are what we eat, even in dermatology, who have long believed that diet and skin diseases are not related!
I have been searching for this doctrine for many years because of my observations. Diet and lifestyle mattered. The severity of psoriasis has been and is associated with obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, smoking, and alcohol use. My patients with psoriasis have always had a lifestyle and diet throughout my career. Now scientific evidence proves the connection.
When my psoriasis patients changed their lifestyle, the skin improved.
In addition to the following true Mediterranean diet – My recommendations for this are set out in my free e-book here. – Other, anti-inflammatory lifestyle options for inclusion include:
- Exercise (ideally, 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week in separate sessions);
- Enough sleep (the average adult needs to sleep for about 7-8 hours at night, but this varies);
- Modulate stress and avoid adrenaline or depressive life. For each of us, this means a unique and personal problem. The fact is, ask yourself if you are overly stressed and if so, what should you do to reduce and balance it?
What can make the Mediterranean diet so effective for combating psoriasis and other inflammatory health problems?
Some of them are speculative, based on growing evidence. Other, proven:
This is important not only to prevent constipation! Your digestion and the population of certain microorganisms living in your intestines (your intestinal microbiome) depends on the fiber on your diet. Health-promoting organisms need real plant-based fibers.
You need a healthy microbiome population to maintain a healthy gut. Your gut is the largest lymphoid organ in your body and contains the most immune cells. The health of your gut depends on the fiber, and a healthy gut is important for the health of your entire body, including your skin.
The authors of the study emphasized this point in their assumptions about the connection between psoriasis and the anti-inflammatory, Mediterranean diet. They say that the intestinal immune system "directly depends on the environment in general and food in particular." I know that bypassing real dietary fiber with fiber supplements is not the same thing.
You cannot deceive Mother Nature. Nope You need to eat your beans, greens, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, because you need your gut microbiome and your gut immune system.
Omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E and folates are anti-inflammatory:
Again, you can not play the system with add-ons. The Mediterranean diet provides these nutrients in sufficient quantities and in digestible and absorbable forms.
In addition, monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), found in extra-olive oil, "can act as an additional mechanism to reduce inflammation in patients with psoriasis," according to the study's authors.
Antioxidants, and especially polyphenols, are rich in the Mediterranean diet and are used again and again to reduce physiological inflammation.
Get my healthy diet guide, which includes recipes and an explanation of how to start using an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet by clicking here.,
Over the years, along with diet and lifestyle counseling, other self-care recommendations I gave to my patients for psoriasis include skin care recommendations.
To see a skin care tip, I give psoriasis patients and the products that we use in my practice, click here.
Top products include:
Celine Fan, MD; Mathilde Touvier, MD, PhD; Emmanuel Kesse-Guyot, MD, Mufidat Ajibade, MD; Serge Herzberg, MD, PhD ,; Pierre Wolkenstein, MD, PhD ,; Olivier Cosidou, MD; Khaled Ezzedin, MD; Emily Sbidian, MD, et al., Et al., An association between the Mediterranean anti-inflammatory dietary profile and the severity of psoriasis, results from the NutriNet-Santé group, JAMA Dermatol. 2018; 154 (9): 1017-1024. DOI: 10,1001 / jamadermatol.2018.2127 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2687981
about the author
Dr. Bailey Skin Care