Diet Psoriasis

In psoriasis, metabolism of essential fatty acids (EFAs) in the skin is abnormal. Production of EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids derived from dietary linolenic acid (see pp.89) is impaired (see Fig. 5.1 ).12 Skin synthesis of GLA from linoleic acid is also abnormal. To provide ample polyunsaturated fatty acids, regular consumption of high-quality, cold-pressed nut and seed oils is important. The diet should also be low in saturated fat and hydrogenated fat.13 Vegetarian diets can sometimes dramatically improve psoriasis. They tend to be low in protein, which can aggravate the condition, and high in EFAs. Food sensitivities should be determined as they may promote psoriasis - in some cases careful food-elimination diets can lead to dramatic improvement of the condition (see pp.205). Alcohol consumption can aggravate psoriasis in certain individuals.

Nutrient

Suggested daily dose

Comments

Vitamin A

2000-10,000 |ig

Can be effective in reducing severity and inflammation.

High doses of vitamin A should only be taken with the

advice of a physician

Vitamin E plus

200-400 mg vitamin E, 200 |ig

Especially effective in treating pustules (whiteheads)7

selenium

selenium

Zinc

50-80 mg

Reduces inflammation and severity of acne8-10

GLA

As 1-2 g evening primrose oil

Reduces inflammation in the sebaceous glands. Take

with 100 mg vitamin E

Vitamin B

Complete formula containing

May be effective for premenstrual acne flare-ups. Take

complex

25-50 mg pantothenic acid11

for 1 week priorto and during menstrual periods

and 50 mg vitamin B6

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