Weight loss greatly improves psoriasis, study finds

| Melissa Leavitt

A recent study offers more evidence that eating right and exercising don't just improve your overall health — they could improve your psoriasis too.

Previous studies identified an association between weight loss and a reduction in psoriasis severity. Now a team of researchers has taken these findings a step further, using a randomized controlled trial to analyze whether a dietary intervention, combined with systemic treatment, can improve psoriasis in overweight people.

Their results indicate that diet and exercise can reduce psoriasis severity beyond the effects of treatment alone. These findings emphasize the importance of pursuing weight reduction as part of a holistic treatment approach in patients who are overweight, said Dr. Luigi Naldi, the study's lead author.

Researchers divided the 303 study participants into two groups. The dietary intervention group ate three low-calorie meals a day and exercised three times a week, while the control group simply attended one informational session on weight loss and psoriasis at the start of the study.

Every study participant had previously tried a systemic therapy, but failed to achieve clearance after four weeks. They maintained this therapy, including traditional systemics as well as biologics, during the 20-week trial.

Patients on the diet experienced a significant improvement in their psoriasis, measured by changes in their Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score. Their median PASI score was reduced by 48 percent. In comparison, the median PASI score of the control group was only reduced by 25.5 percent.

"There was a clear correlation between the amount of weight loss and the improvement of psoriasis," said Naldi. "Patients who lost more weight experienced a larger improvement in psoriasis."

Even a small amount of weight loss can have a big impact on disease severity, he added.

The study was published in the March 2014 issue of the British Journal of Dermatology.

 


Driving Discovery, Creating Community

This year, we’re celebrating 50 years of driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. See how far we’ve come with this timeline of NPF’s history. But there’s still plenty to do, and we can’t do it without you! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funding to promote research into better treatments and a cure by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or even create your own DIY event. Contact our Patient Navigation Center for free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today! Together, we will find a cure.

Popular Advance Online