The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will a Mediterranean Diet Help Your Psoriasis?

French scientists found that psoriasis patients whose diets conformed least to a Mediterranean pattern had the worst skin problems. Perhaps a Mediterranean diet would help your psoriasis.

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.”

Learn More:

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.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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I have tried every diet, doctors perscription, and OTC product I could find. Of course the search never stopped, and there was always hope to find the silver bullet. In a frenzy of desperation this spring when psoriasis seemed to have aggressively taken over my life and sanity, I went on the search again, online.

Now I recognize that everyone has a different trigger that causes flare-ups, so this may not work for everyone. I ordered a product from Psmooth that has Indigo as the base active ingredient. After using it just a couple of times I had itch relief. Today, 4 months later, DRUM ROLL….. I only use the product as a spots appears. My elbows are 99.9% clear! I use the oil on my scalp, that I consider a miracle oil. And I also bought the salve. Yes, the salve is indigo in color, and I found it did stain my clothes. But in a LONG RUN it was 200% worth it. Disclaimer, I am not receiving free products. I have not been able to contact the company direct to tell them my story. But all I can say is, it is working for me. At the very least, read about studies that have been done with good results using indigo. I hope if you are reading this, you too find relief!

At age 66 I developed a small patch of psoriasis on my face. For about a month I applied several natural concoctions I either had or read about, but to no avail. I remembered a women I knew in the 70s who had large patches on several parts of her body and she found that when she went in the ocean it got better. I mixed kitchen salt and water, applied it a couple times a day, let it sting for awhile, then apply fresh aloe vera from my plant. The next day it looked better, so continued this process for about a week, and it’s gone.

I suffered severe psoriasis on torso, knees, elbows and scalp, for several years in my early 20s.

I attribute it to poor diet and extreme stress I was undergoing at the time. (A friend once said the best cure for psoriasis is “an application of peace of mind.”)

I’ve been mostly in remission for almost 40 years, but when a little spot crops up, it’s my little warning sign to eat more salmon and veggies, eliminate sugar for awhile, and re-engage in exercise, prayer, fun activities, incl. sleep, and other anti-stress measures. Works every time, so far!

Who knows, you might say this nasty disease forces us to keep on the straight and narrow, healthier than we’d otherwise be.

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