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Plant-Based Diets for Psoriasis

Plant-based diets appear to decrease inflammation via a variety of mechanisms, including boosting our adrenal gland function. Glucocorticoids are circulating steroid hormones in our bodies that suppress inflammation and also help our kidneys excrete potassium. When we eat a lot of potassium-rich foods our adrenal glands secrete more glucocorticoids to keep our potassium levels in check, which may have the side effect of decreasing the level of inflammation in the body. See today’s video pick above to see what effect this may have on autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis.

Where is potassium found? See my post last week, 98% of American Diets Potassium Deficient. Hint: bananas don’t even make the top 50 sources!

What about autoimmune arthritis? See my Care2 post Plant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis and my videos Preventing Arthritis and†Diet & Rheumatoid Arthritis. Eating healthier doesn’t improve everyone’s joint pain, but as with all nontoxic treatment modalities, they should always be tried first.

Plant-based diets may help with other pain syndromes (see Fibromyalgia vs. Vegetarian & Raw Vegan Diets and Fibromyalgia vs. Mostly Raw & Mostly Vegetarian Diets) as well as other hypersensitivity diseases. See Preventing Childhood Allergies, Preventing Allergies in Adulthood, and my Ask the Doctor column Q&A What are the best foods to decrease seasonal nasal allergies (rhinitis)?

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 year-in-review presentation†Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: HoskingIndustries / Flickr

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Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at


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4:39PM PDT on Sep 7, 2013

I am 36 male. Psoriasis since August 2011. 70% body coverage by October 2012. Tried creams and did uv to no effect. Prescribed metotraxate in June 2013, decided not to take it and started a Paleo diet instead. During, Paleo, I stopped using creams cause I didn't feel the need.

By Sept 2013, my derm nurse reevaluated my psoriasis saying that I had gone from 26 rating pre-diet to a rating ​of 9. Derm nurse was speechless.

I did not take any supplements, did not get extra sun, did not do extra exercise and still smoke 15 a day.


My height is 5ft 6, I have gone from 215lbs pre-diet to 186lbs currently.

Forehead, face, scalp are clear of p, got post-scarring everywhere else which will fade in time. My skin looks and feels fantastic compared to pre-diet.

Finally, I am wearing t-shirts again !

1:44AM PST on Feb 15, 2013

thanks for sharing

11:35PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Thank you :)

3:40PM PST on Feb 11, 2013

Excellent info for those with psoriasis and RA. Thank you so much.

12:07AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

This is not surprising at all, the only thing that's changed now is that evidence is available through scientific means that proves that this is a much healthier diet! I've been vegetarian for 14 years now, and haven't looked back since - drop the meat people, it's the truly compassionate, healthy way to live life!

9:08PM PST on Jan 31, 2013

For more information about the *many* benefits of vegetarianism, and the many problems with eating meat, please visit Eco-Eating at

4:57AM PST on Jan 23, 2013


3:50AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

Thank you

7:26PM PST on Jan 18, 2013

thanks for the great info

7:05AM PST on Jan 18, 2013


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