Diet and Psoriasis: Some Recommendations
Patients with psoriasis report that the condition affects many aspects of their overall health and often alter their diet to try to combat some psoriasis symptoms. A recent review study looked at the evidence base for dietary interventions for psoriasis to answer some key questions about the role of diet in psoriatic diseases.
The review looked at 55 studies that included a total of 4534 patients with psoriasis. Authors sought to determine which dietary interventions helped patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis reduce their disease severity. Specifically, the review examined the effects of a gluten-free diet, the effects of weight reduction through a low-calorie diet, and whether any dietary supplements were helpful in reducing disease severity. The authors also sought to determine whether the answers from the previous set of questions could also impact psoriatic arthritis. The outcome was evidence-based recommendations from the National Psoriasis Foundation for providers to offer on diet.
The authors were able to make some recommendations based on the data:
• Patients who are overweight or obese should reduce weight with a hypocaloric diet;
• Gluten-free diets should only be recommended for patients who test positive for serologic markers of gluten sensitivity, and even then the evidence is not strong;
• Based on low-quality data, select foods, nutrients, and dietary patterns may affect psoriasis. For example, some patients may see benefits from a Mediterranean diet, adding more olive oil to their diet, eating more fruits and vegetables, etc.;
• For patients with psoriatic arthritis, the authors weakly recommend vitamin D supplementation and dietary weight reduction with a hypocaloric diet in overweight and obese patients.
The authors note that it is extremely important that patients continue regular medical treatment for their psoriasis. They do not recommend dietary interventions as the sole source of treatment and emphasize that these interventions can be associated with adverse effects and contraindications, and may have impact on patients’ general health.
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