An expert view
Dr Roula Amer, a dermatologist at the American Hospital of Dubai, says, “Although there are many reports about people who believe diet affects their psoriasis, to date there is no study proving a link. This does not mean that there might not be one.
“Some clinics recommend an omega-3 diet for psoriasis – mainly fish and vegetarian. Others recommend limiting animal foods such as sausage, cream, butter and eggs, as they contain arachidonic acid, and are considered ‘acid bombs’ that promote inflammation. Some suggest psoriasis patients avoid foods that increase uric acid and blood lipids (such as offal, asparagus and fatty foods) and foods with an effect on the nervous and vascular system (such as coffee, preservatives, dyes, pepper, paprika, curry and chilli).
“Some doctors do see the liver’s role as highly important. If the natural intestinal flora are strongly colonised by yeast, for instance, it can lead to a build-up of toxins that keep the liver unnecessarily busy. If that happens the immune system will eventually get exhausted and not know anymore what it should defend first.
“However, there are no studies showing that intestinal colonisation with yeast can lead to a worsening of psoriasis or that reorganisation of the intestine (through foods or supplements) improves psoriasis. That does not mean such a correlation can be ruled out.
“In general it’s recommended that psoriasis patients should maintain a healthy weight and follow a healthy balanced diet – especially if in addition to psoriasis the patient also suffers from other conditions such as obesity, diabetes, gout, liver disease, biliary disorders or digestive disorders. Patients should also monitor their psoriasis and if their skin worsens after eating certain foods they can try to stop eating them and observe what happens. Extreme diets should be avoided though as they are sometimes timeconsuming, difficult to stick to and, in some cases, even harmful.”