I was recently asked about the association between gluten and psoriasis. I hadn’t heard about this before so I thought that I would look into it a little bit more closely.
For those who don’t know, psoriasis is a condition in which the skin develops red patches covered by dry silvery scales. The severity of the condition can vary considerably between individuals. Also, the condition can wax and wane for an individual. The scaly patches are a result of a much more rapid than normal growth of skin cells. The cause of this proliferation of skin cell growth is still unknown. Treatments are generally topical creams.
According to the Psoriasis Society of Canada, “diet is thought to play only a small role in psoriasis”. According to the research papers I found, a few links between diet and psoriasis have been investigated. The most recent paper I could find was from 2005 and there were no strong links indicated between diet and psoriasis. Basically, there may be some benefit to consuming a low-calorie diet. Results of studies looking at the effects of polyunsaturated acid supplements on psoriasis have been mixed at best. There may be a link between gluten and psoriasis. Patients with psoriasis and elevated antigliadin antibodies (AGA), and psoriasis sufferers seem to have a higher incidence of elevated AGAs than the general population, may see improvement in their psoriasis symptoms on a gluten-free diet. Despite increased levels of oxidative stress seen in psoriasis patients, studies of supplementation with antioxidants have not shown any benefits to date.
Until further research is available, psoriasis sufferers may wish to try modifying their diets to see if they find any improvement as a result. However, there is not enough evidence to recommend any one diet to ameliorate psoriasis. Also, psoriasis patients should discuss supplement use with their doctor or pharmacist as there is a risk of drug-nutrient interaction.