Psoriasis and dairy products
Do you suffer from psoriasis and want to know if you should avoid dairy products? This topic is quite controversial. If you talk to a nutritionist or an alternative healthcare doctor, you will likely hear the recommendation to cut down on milk and other dairy products. If you check the internet, you will also find countless testimonials about how people cured psoriasis by adopting a dairy free plan and other dietary changes. Yet, you may consult your conventional trained physician and find out that the researched studies don’t support a connection between psoriasis and dairy products. What should you do?
Why dairy products may not be good for you
Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition and therefore anti-inflammatory foods can help you manage the symptoms better. High fat dairy products such as milk and cheese had been linked with inflammation, plus they increase your risk for cardio vascular conditions (Keep in mind that psoriasis also makes you more likely to develop heart diseases). From this point of view, choosing low fat (2%) dairy foods would be a great alternative.
Psoriasis sufferers may also be more likely than healthy population to have certain food sensitivities and intolerances, and dairy products are common offenders. If we look from this perspective, eliminating completely milk products (not just the high fat ones) would be a wiser choice.
Finally, not all dairy foods are equally healthy or promote inflammation. A recent study featured in the journal “Plos One” assessed the nutritional components of almost 400 organic and non-organic milk samples sold in US. Non-organic milk had lower levels of good fats and higher levels of omega 6 fatty acids (which) promote inflammation. The explanation is simple: cows that eat healthy diet (a more natural diet based on grass and legumes), and don’t receive hormones or antibiotics. This study also shows that organic whole milk is more beneficial than skim milk, because contains more healthy fatty acids.
On the other hand…
There is limited research suggesting that dairy products are aggravating the symptoms of psoriasis. Regarding inflammation, some studies suggest milk can trigger inflammation, while other studies show the opposite.
A couple of years ago, Kim Kardashian surprised many health experts with her new recipe for treating psoriasis: by applying breast milk on the skin lesions. Top Dr V. Reese explained that this concept was unheard before; the reason why breast milk would help is because anything that can improve dryness of the skin can reduce the itch and inflammation and there are moisturizes in the pharmacy that had been designed for this purpose.
Diet does play a role in the inflammation, and therefore choosing anti-inflammatory foods like fresh fruits and vegetables (rich in anti-oxidants and other healthy nutrients), fish and olive oil (rich in omega 3 fatty acids) ,whole grains (try gluten free grains) , legumes, and lean meats and eggs are beneficial. You may want to try a dairy free diet and see if your symptoms improve. There is anecdotal evidence that many psoriasis patients do very well when they remove dairy products from the diet, although there is very little research supporting this connection.