Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Patients with psoriasis were generally found to be very deficient in omega 3 fatty acids.
EPA competes for binding sites with arachidonic acid, a fatty acid derived from omega
6 oils that is converted into pro-inflammatory compounds, a process that is many times
greater in the skin of psoriasis patients than in normal skin. Omega 3 fatty acids
therefore help to control the inflammatory processes associated with psoriasis, with
experimental studies using fish oil concentrates resulting in a noticeable improvement
in psoriasis symptoms. Pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid can be limited in the diet by
reducing intake of animal products (meat, dairy, eggs).
Celadrin is a complex consisting of various fatty acids and is easily able to penetrate
cell membranes, which enhances skin cell membrane health and integrity. Celadrin also
appears to inhibit the production of inflammatory compounds such as prostaglandins,
a factor that may be of particular benefit to those with psoriasis.
Zinc and Vitamin A
Zinc is essential for proper integrity and healing of skin, and deficiencies are common
in psoriasis sufferers. Zinc is also important for transport and storage of vitamin A in
the body. Vitamin A is also necessary for skin health and repair, and supplementation
lowers levels of polyamines (toxic compounds known to trigger psoriasis).
Please note: Do NOT use vitamin A supplements if pregnant unless on the advice of a
qualified medical practitioner or ante-natal clinic. If higher levels of vitamin A are
required, mixed carotenoid supplements may be used to substantially increase vitamin
A activity without concern of toxicity.
Milk Thistle (silybum marianum)
Silymarin, the primary active component in the herb milk thistle, reduces excessive
proliferation of skin cells, improves liver function (a major priority in psoriasis) and
possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Not surprisingly a number of studies have
supported the use of milk thistle by individuals with psoriasis.
Psyllium Seed Husks
Bowel toxaemia is a major causal factor in psoriasis. The combination of insoluble and
soluble fibre in psyllium seed husks reduces the transit time of intestinal waste (a major
priority in inhibiting production of intestinal toxins), and may bind to gut-derived
toxins, thus reducing the amount that gets absorbed.
Goldenseal (hydrastis canadensis)
The active components in the herb goldenseal inhibit the formation of polyamines,
which are toxic compounds formed when poorly absorbed amino acids (typically due
to incomplete protein digestion) are metabolised by certain gut bacteria. Polyamines,
which are typically elevated in psoriasis, increase the rate of skin cell proliferation.
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil)1 700 – 1400mg EPA/DHA per day
Zinc2 15 – 30mg per day
Vitamin A (as retinol)3 5000 – 10,000IU per day
Milk Thistle (80% Silimarin)4 175 – 700mg per day
Psyllium Husk Fibre 2000 – 5000mg per day
Goldenseal (10% alkaloids)5 250 – 1500mg per day
Celadrin6 500 – 2000mg per day
Trans fats/fried foods
Nuts and seeds
Identify and address potential food allergens.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet – as detailed above
Avoid stress – utilise stress management techniques
1. Do not take in conjunction with anticoagulant medication
2. May cause nausea on an empty stomach. High doses (>100mg per day) may suppress the immune
system. Ensure sufficient copper and iron intake with zinc supplementation.
3. Do not use more than 2500IU during pregnancy. Long term high doses may result in toxicity.
High levels not suitable for those with kidney disorders.
4. Do not use in pregnancy or lactation. May reduce effectiveness of oral contraceptives. Drugs
metabolised by the P450 enzyme system may interact with Milk thistle. Check medication with
GP before concurrent use.
5. Do not take during pregnancy or lactation. Use in cardiovascular conditions under medical
supervision only. May increase the effects of alcohol. Do not use concurrently with antiarrhythmia,
anti-coagulant, beta-blockers or anti-hypertensive medications. May inhibit
absorption of B-complex vitamins – consider supplementation of B-complex with concurrent use.
6. Possible interaction with Warfarin – concurrent use with medical supervision only.