The keto diet is one of the most popular diets for those trying to lose excess fat. It is also well known for its positive health benefits for conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. But how does the evidence stack up when it comes to the keto diet and psoriasis?
Given psoriasis is associated with increased rates of metabolic syndrome and obesity, one might assume that any successful weight loss regime is a good one. However, a recent study has shown this may not be the case when it comes to keto.
According to co-lead investigator, Barbara Kofler PhD, it’s all in the types of fats. A well balanced keto diet rich in long chain triglycerides such as olive oil, fish, nuts and avocado, did not worsen skin inflammation, however it also did not improve the skin. In addition to this, a keto diet rich in medium chain triglycerides such as coconut oil, increased skin inflammation.
The other concern over keto diets and psoriasis is when they are not followed consistently. High fat consumption combined with substantial carbohydrate consumption was also shown to promote the progression of psoriasis- like skin inflammation as well as spontaneous dermatitis in mice.
Several other studies on diet and psoriasis have also confirmed high fat intake to worsen psoriasis inflammation, such as the amounts associated with the typical Western Diet.
So what is the best diet for psoriasis? Our PEC nutritionist recommends those with psoriasis to follow a modified Mediterranean style diet with plenty of olive oil, fresh fish and plant foods and less processed foods and animal proteins such as eggs and meat. Read more about the benefits of fresh fish and psoriasis here
Felix Locker, Julia Leitner, Sepideh Aminzadeh-Gohari, Daniela D. Weber, Philippe Sanio, Andreas Koller, René Günther Feichtinger, Richard Weiss, Barbara Kofler, Roland Lang. The Influence of Ketogenic Diets on Psoriasiform-Like Skin Inflammation. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.07.718
Since checking in with you last the clinic has been open, closed and open again! No matter what comes our way in 2021, we are pleased to offer our patients consistency of care via our Telehealth and postal services. This has provided convenience and flexibility during lockdowns but also helps us to care for our distance patients around Australia and the globe, from Ireland all the way to Qatar.
For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, we hope you have all had a restful summer, with some time to recuperate from 2020, For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, we hope you are keeping safe and warm as this cold snap passes through.
At the PEC, we now look towards Autumn, a transition season which allows us to prepare for the more extreme changes of weather to come. The theme of this months newsletter is therefore PREPARATION. If your skin typically flares in the winter or summer, now is the time to take preventative steps to build and strengthen your immunity and skin barrier function. A combination of self care, a great topical therapy routine (we have you covered) and functional foods (see below tips) should see you fully prepared for a healthy and happy Autumn/winter season.
Jessica Simonis – PEC Practitioner/Manager
Functional Foods for Stronger Immunity
If you have skin disease, then you also have immune imbalance. Your immune system, when in good health, is your defense against injury (think scratching), toxins and infection. In chronic inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and eczema, your immune system is chronically activated against a perceived or actual threat. This constant state of activation increases the demand for energy and nutrients, making it even more important to consume a balanced, nutrient-rich diet in order to support optimal immune cell function.
Functional foods are foods that have demonstrated positive health effects, beyond basic nutrition. They can promote enhancement of well-being, improve quality of life and/or reduce risk of disease. Best of all they are foods which can (and should) be consumed as part of your everyday diet.
Here are our top 3 functional food suggestions to get your immune system in top shape this Autumn.
1) Dietary fibre –Found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains, dietary fibre supports the immune system by helping to regulate intestinal bacterial balance and gut barrier function. This has shown to reduce allergic inflammation (great for eczema)
2) Home grown fruit and veg – Nothing tastes quite as good as your own home-grown food. Not only is it rewarding to spend time in nature, but home grown food is also free of herbicides and pesticides. It also hasn’t been frozen, cooked or radiated. In other words, it is in its natural state with all the beneficial nutrients and microbes to help encourage a diverse microbiome and healthy immune system. Eat a mix of raw and cooked plant foods for full benefits.
3) Eat ‘Mediterranean style’ – There is a reason why the Mediterranean Diet is one of the most researched diets for inflammatory conditions. With a focus on plant oils, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fish, this diet is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds including essential fatty acids and polyphenols. NB Skip the red wine and tomatoes if your skin is itchy!
Make it your goal to eat more immune building, functional foods this Autumn
Meet our newest team member – Susan!
We feel very lucky to have Susan join us as part of the PEC Team. She brings with her a great deal of warmth and empathy, as well as a wealth of knowledge from her many years of experience as a qualified natural health practitioner and educator. Susan will be working in reception and dispensary.
Product Special- 5 + 1 FREE
Our Moisturising Bar has been one of our most popular clinic products for decades and has more recently become a top seller through our Soratinex OTC range – no surprises there. If you haven’t tried it, you are seriously missing out.
Soratinex Moisturizing Bar is a gentle soap and shampoo alternative, perfect for those with sensitive skin of the body and scalp. Rich in natural oils and antioxidants, this luxurious Bar gently cleanses whilst nourishing the hair and skin. Contains Vitamin E, Lavender oil, Sweet almond oil, Evening Primrose oil, Avocado oil and Chamomile Oil. Clinical trials have shown these ingredients help promote the healing of dry, rough and flaky skin.
We have a 5+ 1 Free offer on this product, only available through clinic purchases. Replace your current body wash/soap with the Moisturising bar and you will help improve your skins lipid profile and reduce dryness as you prepare for weather changes ahead.
Purchase in clinic or place your order by phone – 03) 9770 5337 or email – email@example.com.
Key Dates to Remember
Monday 8th March – Clinic Closed for Labour Day
Friday 2nd April – Clinic closed for Good Friday
Monday 5th April – Clinic closed for Easter Monday
Written by Jessica Simonis – Nutritionist, Western Herbalist, Holistic Skin Practitioner
Immune health plays a key role in multiple skin diseases,
including psoriasis and eczema, but what does gut health have to do with your
The health of our gut plays a significant role in
determining the health of our immune system.
Gut associated lymph tissue (GALT) is the largest immune organ in the
body, and the primary route of exposure to pathogens. Essentially GALT acts as the gate keeper, keeping
the balance between health promoting microbes (eg.probiotics) and disease
promoting microbes (eg. pathogenic bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses). When we are healthy, the gate keeper is
fairly tolerant, ignoring a certain amount of nasty microbes as long as the balance
is in favour of probiotics.
When we experience an imbalance in the gut microbes, the
gate keeper becomes intolerant and hyper responsive leading to imbalances in
the immune system, including chronic inflammation, allergy, autoimmunity and
vulnerability to infection.
How will I know if my
gut is out of balance?
Research has shown that those with chronic skin conditions
such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, demonstrate alterations in their gut
bacteria. Symptoms of an imbalanced gut
microbiome are not always expressed in digestive symptoms and therefore further
investigations via stool testing may be required.
So, how can you keep
your gut in balance?
Frequent exposure to a diverse range of probiotics is
important in order to keep the nasty microbes in check but also to help
maintain the health of the gate itself (aka the gut barrier). Ways to increase your microbial diversity
Increase consumption of plant based, fibrous
foods (fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds)
Include fermented foods, such as yoghurt and
kefir (these are best kept to small amounts for those with inflammatory skin
conditions due to histamine content)
Spend plenty of times outdoors immersed in
nature (get your hands dirty!)
Avoid unnecessary antibiotics and opt for
antibiotic-free/organic meat and dairy
products where possible
Avoid high sugar and high fat diets, which
promote inflammation and growth of pathogenic microbes
If you would like to know more about how your gut health could be affecting your immune system, contact the Psoriasis Eczema Clinic today.