Theresa Vavra, PharmD, BCPS, provides studies for some of the most commonly used supplements by patients with psoriasis.
“The following supplements are what I hear about from patients most commonly. Further studies are needed to better understand any role for these supplements, and patients are encouraged to engage in conversation with their dermatology providers,” says Theresa Vavra, PharmD, BCPS, a clinical pharmacy specialist in dermatology at the University of Iowa Health Care.
According to Vavra:
1. Fish oil may be helpful in psoriasis as an adjunctive therapy due to its anti-inflammatory effects, with little concern for patient harm. However, additional studies are needed to confirm this before specific treatment recommendations can be made regarding its use.
2. Patients acknowledge vitamin D from sunlight as being beneficial for psoriasis. Although topical vitamin D and sunlight have been beneficial for improving psoriasis, oral supplementation has not been helpful. Patient harm may be associated with excess vitamin D supplementation, including higher calcium levels and bone demineralization.
3. Patients explain that they take curcumin or turmeric because they believe it to be good for decreasing inflammation. It may be beneficial for patients with psoriasis as adjunctive therapy, but it is poorly absorbed. Insufficient scientific evidence exists to support its use and further studies are needed.