Psoriasis suffers who are also obese can reduce their inflammatory symptoms by losing weight, a Danish study suggests.
According to researchers at the University of Copenhagen, obese or overweight people with psoriasis can reduce the severity of their symptoms and improve their quality of life by losing weight.
The scientists studied 60 obese psoriasis patients who each lost an average of 15 kilos over 16 weeks. At the end of that period, researchers found that the severity of their psoriasis had reduced.
What's more, the results remained encouraging one year later. Participants had regained an average of five kilos, thus weighing 10 kilos less than their initial weights. But the beneficial effects of weight loss on the severity of their symptoms and general health were maintained, according to Dr. Peter Jensen.
A previous study, published in the journal Jama Dermatology, also observed clear improvements in the symptoms of obese patients with psoriasis after they lost between 10 and 15 percent of their starting weights.
The researchers consider that obesity is a stress factor for the body that exacerbates inflammation, and, in turn, the symptoms of psoriasis. It may lead to immune responses very similar to those triggered by psoriasis.
Excess weight also increases friction on the skin, which can aggravate psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that notably leads to skin lesions (red scaly patches on the skin's surface). It is caused by a malfunction of the immune system. As well as skin lesions, affecting body to varying extents, psoriasis can cause itching and even debilitating rheumatism in 30 percent of cases.
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.