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Does the Mediterranean Diet Affect Psoriasis Severity?


The Mediterranean diet may help slow the progression of psoriasis, according to the findings of a recent study.

Using data from the NutriNet-Santé program, an ongoing, observational study in France, the researchers examined the effects of the Mediterranean diet on psoriasis severity. A total of 35,735 participants who replied to the psoriasis questionnaire in the NutriNet-Santé cohort were included in the analysis.


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Participants were classified based on disease severity. Dietary intake, including alcohol, was assessed during the first 2 years of participation and adherence was determined using MEDI-LITE scores, which ranging from 0 (no adherence) to 18 (maximum adherence). In addition, confounding variables, including sex, age, physical activity, body mass index, tobacco use, and history of cardiovascular disease, were collected.

Overall, 3357 (10%) participants reported having psoriasis. Severe cases were documented in 878 participants and 299 incident cases were recorded (those arising more than 2 years after participant inclusion in the cohort). 

After the researchers adjusted for confounders, they found a significant inverse relationship between MEDI-LITE scores and psoriasis severity. The odds ratio (OR) for a MEDI-LITE score in the second tertile (score of 8 to 9) was 0.71 (95% CI 0.55-0.92) and was 0.78 (95% CI 0.59-1.01) for the third tertile (10 to 18).

“Patients with severe psoriasis displayed low levels of adherence to the Mediterranean diet,” the researchers concluded. “This finding supports the hypothesis that the Mediterranean diet may slow the progression of psoriasis. If these findings are confirmed, adherence to a Mediterranean diet should be integrated into the routine management of moderate to severe psoriasis.”


Phan C, Touvier M, Kesse-Guyot E, et al. Association between Mediterranean anti-inflammatory dietary profile and severity of psoriasis: results from the NutriNet-Santé cohort [Published online July 25, 2018]. JAMA Dermatol. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.2127

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