Clinical Edge

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Dietary Changes: No Major Effect on Psoriasis

Dermatol Online J; 2019 Feb 15; Pona, et al

Dietary changes alone do not cause a large effect in psoriasis but may become an important adjunct to current first line treatments, according to a recent investigation. Terms "psoriasis and diet" were used to search literature databases and 63 articles describing dietary changes influencing psoriasis were selected. Researchers found:

  • Low calorie diet (LCD) improves Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) and Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) in conjunction with topical or systemic therapy.
  • A fish oil diet improved baseline PASI of 7.7 to 5.3 at 3 months and 2.6 at 6 months compared to control (PASI: 8.9, 7.8, and 7.8, respectively).
  • A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study investigating selenium supplementation in psoriasis provided no PASI improvement.
  • Gluten free diet and vitamin D supplementation were also efficacious dietary changes although results were mixed.

Pona A, Haidari W, Kolli SS, Feldman SR. Diet and psoriasis. Dermatol Online J. 2019;25(2).


There has always been great interest in the role of diet and how it affects psoriasis. This study showed that dietary changes by itself do not have a large impact in improving psoriasis. However, a low-calorie diet in conjunction with topical or systemic therapy improved the psoriasis somewhat. Previous studies with special types of diet have produced conflicting results. Future dietary trials with larger samples sizes are necessary to determine if a specific diet is beneficial for psoriasis. Genetic factors and lifestyle modifications such as weight loss are more crucial in predicting outcomes for improving psoriasis. —Paul S. Yamauchi, MD, PhD; Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Harbor-UCLA Medical Center Division of Dermatology; Adjunct Associate Professor John Wayne Cancer Institute.