A new study shows that the imbalance of the gut microbiota (microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract) caused by a high-sugar and high-fat diet may exacerbate the symptoms of inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis.
Researchers say that eating a more balanced diet can help restore intestinal health and reduce skin inflammation.
“Earlier research has shown that a Western diet characterized by high sugar and high fat content can cause severe skin inflammation and psoriasis attacks,” Sam T. Hwang says, Professor of Health and Chair of Dermatology, University of California, Davis.
“Although there are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs for skin conditions, our research shows that simple changes in diet may also have a significant impact on psoriasis.”
Everyone’s microbiome is different and consists of beneficial and potentially harmful microorganisms. When you are healthy, both microorganisms are in balance. However, any disruption of this balance may make you more susceptible to disease. Harvard Health.
psoriasis It is a common skin disease that causes raised red scaly patches on the skin, which can make itchy or painful. But if inflammation cannot be controlled, it can affect a person’s entire body.
Psoriasis promotes the rapid reproduction of skin cells, leading to lesions on certain skin surfaces. Many cases are mild, but severe cases can cause permanent disfigurement and joint disease. Approximately 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints and tendons.
Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include morning stiffness and fatigue, swelling of fingers and toes, joint pain, and nail changes.
The pathology of the disease is unclear, but studies have shown that it is a systemic disease that can affect any part of the body where inflammation can spread.
Psoriasis increases the risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune diseases. It can also cause depression.
The treatment of psoriasis usually involves topical drugs, such as corticosteroids, retinoids, and vitamin D analogs, for oral and injectable drugs. In more severe cases, biological drugs, narrow ultraviolet B phototherapy and photochemotherapy are used. Photochemotherapy requires patients to take photosensitizing drugs before being exposed to UVB rays.
However, this new study suggests that dietary changes may also help. Scientists say that food is one of the main ways to regulate the intestinal microbiota. It is an imbalance of the types of microorganisms that cause intestinal inflammation, called dysbiosis.
The researchers used mouse models to explore whether the intestinal flora dysbiosis affects the skin and joint inflammation. They found that a high-fat and high-sugar diet was sufficient to increase psoriasis-like skin inflammation.
“There is a clear link between skin inflammation and changes in the gut microbiome caused by food intake,” Huang said. “Shortly after starting the Western diet, the balance of bacteria in the intestines was disrupted, and the psoriatic skin and joint inflammation worsened.”
The good news is that switching to a more balanced diet can reduce psoriasis symptoms. Researchers also found that antibiotics prevent a rich diet from reducing skin and joint inflammation.
“It is surprising that simple dietary adjustments to reduce sugar and fat may have a significant impact on psoriasis,” said Zhenrui Shi, the lead research author and visiting assistant researcher in the Department of Dermatology at the University of California, Davis.
“These findings suggest that patients with psoriatic skin and joint diseases should consider switching to a healthier diet.”
The research was published in Journal of Research Dermatology.