Is there a specialised diet for psoriasis?

August 22, 2022 ,

Psoriasis is one of the most common chronic inflammatory skin diseases, due to both familial factors and autoimmune mechanisms. Prevalence among the Asian and African population is low (2%), while it reaches 11% in the Caucasian population. Psoriasis can go through periods of remission and periods of relapse.
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Clinical classification

Dermatological manifestations are very varied. It can be the most common form, called psoriasis vulgaris, characterized by clearly delineated and itchy erythematous plaques, which are mainly distributed on the torso, scalp, and limb extension surfaces (elbow and knee), or reverse psoriasis, characterized by erythematous plaques and spots. Guttate psoriasis is common in childhood and adolescence and is often triggered by streptococcal infections of the tonsils. As for pustular psoriasis, it is characterized by the presence of coalescing pustules distributed throughout the body or in localized areas.

About 40% of psoriasis patients experience psoriatic arthritis, a form of seronegative arthritis that occurs in the articulations and certain appendages of the skin, such as the nails.

Comorbidities and risk factors

Psoriasis has several intrinsic risk factors and comorbidities, such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Dyslipidemia (increased triglycerides and/or cholesterol in the blood)
  • Stress

There are also a number of extrinsic risk factors, such as mechanical stress, air pollution, infections, smoking, and alcohol consumption. It is therefore obvious that psoriasis has a profound influence on the patient’s quality of life.

Treatments

There are several drug treatments that aim to reduce inflammation and help regulate the immune response that causes the psoriatic process. However, in combination with drug treatment, it has been found that a change in eating habits can lead to a marked improvement not only in psoriatic lesions but also in associated comorbidities.

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Author

Antonella Giordano
Antonella has 2 professional titles in nutrition because she graduated in Food Sciences (University of Genoa) and holds a master's degree in Nutrition (University of Bologna). She is also a biologist (University of Florence). She is a member of the Order of Biologists (ONB) since 2013 and a SINU member. Passionate about psycho-nutrition issues, her goal is to help her clients find a balance and a healthy and correct relationship with food and with their body.

2 comments to “Is there a specialised diet for psoriasis?”

September 2, 2022 Diane Brooks said:

Very interesting article. Thank you for addressing this subject. What are your recommendations with regard to selenium supplements? How does one use flaxseed oil? Thank you.

Cinzia Cuneo
September 7, 2022 Cinzia Cuneo said:

Hello Diane,

1. About selenium, Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) daily minimum requirement is 70 and 55 micrograms per day for men and women. However, some literature sets the minimum requirement at 90 mcg daily per adult. The selenium content of plant foods varies a lot since it depends on the amount in the soil. However your needs should be met through food if you eat a balanced plant-based diet. For example, 3 to 4 Brazil nuts provide about 420 μg of selenium, 90 g (3 oz) of canned tuna contains 70 μg, and a slice of whole wheat bread contains 10 μg.

2. About flaxseed oil, you should keep it in the fridge and use it only for seasoning (do not cook with it). You may be interested in following article: https://www.soscuisine.com/blog/flax-chia-hemp-seeds/

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