Psoriasis is an extremely common skin disorder characterized by the appearance of plaque-like, silvery scale lesions caused by a pileup of skin cells that have replicated too rapidly. In addition to affecting the skin, psoriasis can cause an inflammatory form of arthritis and affect the nails.
The lesions of psoriasis are usually sharply bordered reddened rash or plaques covered with overlapping silvery scales. Psoriasis usually affects the backside of the wrists, elbows, knees, buttocks, and ankles; and sites of repeated trauma. Nail involvement results in characteristic “oil drop” stippling (thimble-like appearance). Psoriasis can also affect the joints in producing psoriatic arthritis.
What causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is caused by a pileup of skin cells that have replicated too rapidly. The rate at which skin cells divide in psoriasis is roughly one thousand times greater than in normal skin. This high rate of replication is simply too fast for the cells to be shed, so they accumulate, resulting in the characteristic silvery scale of psoriasis. Psoriasis is the result of a basic defect that lies within the skin cells. The frequency of psoriasis is increased in people with certain genetic markers, reflecting a possible genetic error in the control over how skin cells divide. The genetic link is also confirmed by the observation that thirty-six percent of psoriasis patients have one or more family members with psoriasis. Although psoriasis may have a significant genetic component, a number of factors appear to cause or contribute to psoriasis, including: incomplete protein digestion, bowel toxemia, impaired liver function, alcohol consumption, excessive consumption of animal fats, various nutritional factors, and stress.
What dietary factors are important in Psoriasis?
Limit the consumption of sugar and increase the intake of high fiber foods like vegetables, legumes, fruit, and whole grains. Dietary fiber helps bind gut-derived toxins that can be absorbed and trigger psoriasis.
Limit the consumption of meat and animal fats while increasing the intake of cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut, etc.). In the skin of individuals who have psoriasis, the production of inflammatory compounds known as leukotrienes is many times greater than normal. These toxic compounds are produced from arachidonic acid. Since arachidonic acid is found only in animal tissues, it is necessary to limit intake of animal products, particularly meat, animal fats, and dairy products.
Eliminate alcohol consumption because alcohol is known to significantly worsen psoriasis. Alcohol has this effect in psoriasis since it increases the absorption of toxins from the gut that can stimulate psoriasis.
An allergy elimination diet can help psoriasis. Following the recommendations given in Food Allergies is usually very worthwhile in cases of psoriasis. In particular, I highly stress the importance of using RevitalX – a high potency multinutrient powdered drink mix from Natural Factors, This product was developed by Michael Lyon, M.D., and specifically engineered to be an excellent source of important nutrients to support the gastrointestinal lining and aid detoxification. Take two servings daily.
What nutritional supplements should I take for Psoriasis?
Foundation Supplements. There are three products from Natural Factors that I think are critical in supporting good health:
- MultiStart (age and gender specific multiple vitamin and mineral formulas). Follow label instructions.
- Enriching Greens – a great tasting “greens drink” containing highly concentrated “greens” like chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass juice, barley grass juice, etc., and herbal extracts. Take one serving (one tablespoon) in 8 ounces of water daily.
- RxOmega-3 Factors – A true pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplement. Take two or three capsules twice daily if you have psoriasis. Fish oils rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosohexanoic acid (DHA) have been shown to be extremely helpful in improving psoriasis. The dosage used in the double-blind clinical studies has typically provided 1.8 g EPA and 1.2 g DHA per day.
RevitalX should be continued as a medicinal food. Take one serving daily for maintenance.
Liver Health Formula – a formula I developed to provide special nutritional factors to support the liver is very important for people suffering from psoriasis. Take two capsules twice daily with the dosage depending upon your size and severity of viral load.
Celadrin® is an all-natural matrix of special cetylated, esterifed fatty acids that reduce inflammation. The unique features of Celadrin® as a natural product include an ability to reduce inflammation and pain quickly with no side effects as demonstrated in clinical trials published in the internationally acclaimed Journal of Rheumatology. Available in cream and capsule form, Celadrin® is clinically proven to produce results in patients with psoriasis. Celadrin® cream can be applied to affected areas twice daily. The dosage with oral preparations is three soft gelatin capsules daily.
How do I know if the recommendations are working?
Improvements should be apparent within the first two weeks on the protocol. In the double-blind study with Celadrin® cream most of the subjects experienced significant relief within the first two weeks of use. The nutritional therapies tend to take a little longer, hence the best approach is a combination of the internal and external treatment.