Treatment of psoriasis with diet and natural substances


Psoriasis appears as red skin patches with silvery scales, most commonly on the elbows and knees. In severe cases it also affects the ears, scalp, and back. The patches are caused by rapid growth and proliferation of cells in the outer skin layers. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that waxes and wanes. Exacerbations can be triggered by many factors, including stress, illness, surgery, skin damage from abrasions or cuts, poison ivy, sunburn, food sensitivities, and certain drugs such as betablockers and lithium.

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 is impaired. 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.


Micronutrients – Psoriasis:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids As fish-oil capsules, 1.0–1.5 g EPA plus DHA Can reduce proliferation and inflammation.12 Skin salves containing EPA can also be applied to patches. Take with at least 100 mg vitamin E.
  • GLA As 1–4g evening primrose oil Can reduce skin cell proliferation and inflammation.
    Take with at least 100 mg vitamin E.
  • Selenium plus zinc 200 μg selenium, 50 mg zinc Psoriasis is often linked with low blood levels of selenium. Zinc and selenium supplements can reduce skin inflammation, itching, and redness. These nutrients can also be effective when used topically as selenium-sulfide or zinc-oxide salves.
  • Vitamins A and D14–16 8000 μg vitamin A plus 20 μg vitamin D Vitamins A and D play a central role in regulation and control of skin cell growth, and supplementation can help clear psoriasis. Calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D3, is effective in both oral and topical treatments. Skin salves containing vitamins A and D can be applied directly to psoriatic plaques. High doses of vitamin A should only be taken with the advice of a physician.

Recommended food supplements:


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