Following a Mediterranean style diet with lots of vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, whole grains and fruit is good for your heart and your metabolism. Now a French study suggests this way of eating might even help your psoriasis (JAMA Dermatology, online July 25, 2018).
How Could Diet Help Your Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which skin cells turn over far more rapidly than usual. As a result, plaques of red, itchy skin with silvery scales may appear on elbows, knees, scalp, back and other regions of the skin. People with psoriasis may also notice thickening or pitting of their nails. Some people with psoriatic skin patches also develop the inflamed joints of psoriatic arthritis. They may be more susceptible to other inflammatory conditions, such as type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
Reducing Inflammation with Diet:
A Mediterranean-type diet seems to lower inflammation (Bonaccio et al, Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders Drug Targets, 2015). Consequently, the French scientists were curious whether it would help your psoriasis. The web-based survey (NutriNet-Santé) of more than 35,000 people identified 3,557 individuals with psoriasis. All of the volunteers filled out detailed questionnaires on eating habits and lifestyle factors such as smoking and exercise. They also answered questions about their symptoms.
The scientists rated the diets according to how closely they followed an ideal Mediterranean pattern. Participants who adhered most closely to the healthful high-veggie diet were 29 percent less likely to have severe psoriasis than those whose diets did not conform. An observational study of this type cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship between diet and skin inflammation. However, it is a low-risk recommendation to add a Mediterranean diet to other psoriasis treatments.
According to the scientists,
“The Mediterranean diet may slow the progression of psoriasis, so an optimized diet should be part of the multidisciplinary management of moderate to severe psoriasis.”
A Mediterranean diet is not just pasta and pizza. If you would like some details on how to follow this eating plan to help your psoriasis, you’ll find them in our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies.
You may also wish to listen to Dr. Barry Sears describe how the Zone Diet compares to a Mediterranean pattern. It is Show #989: The Mediterranean Zone Diet.