In the study, the team collected blood samples from patients who were undergoing treatment for psoriasis at a local hospital in Iraq. The blood samples were then compared with those extracted from healthy individuals. The team found that vitamin D levels in those with psoriasis were at least 60 percent lower than healthy individuals. Similarly, zinc levels of people with psoriasis were lower by a third, compared to those who do not have the condition. The researchers believe that this is caused by the shedding of the skin cells, which effectively reduces that ability of the skin to convert sunlight into vitamin D.
"Decreased level of vitamin D has great effects in the pathogenesis of psoriasis," they added in their report.
In addition, the dip in vitamin D means that the body is at risk for other dermatological diseases, as the vitamin acts an important immune regulator in the skin. That, combined with the zinc deficiency could mean a vicious cycle: The lack of these nutrients could aggravate their condition and cause further complications. (Related: Light treatment clears psoriasis as it boosts vitamin D levels.)
Studies have looked at the connection between vitamin D and psoriasis. Earlier studies have found that vitamin D helps strengthen the immune system, which is beneficial for keeping autoimmune diseases like psoriasis at bay. Experts have also suggested using topical vitamin D to help in thinning out the plaque.
There are different forms of vitamin D available for treating psoriasis. Oral supplements are one of the most common forms of treatment -- most healthcare professionals usually suggest a daily dose of 400 to 1,000 IU of the vitamin per day. For those looking to add more vitamin D in their diet, fatty fish like tuna are one of the highest dietary sources of vitamin D, apart from fortified food and egg yolks.
Moreover, a case study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology established that oral zinc treatments can be used to treat pustular psoriasis, one of the most severe forms of the condition. In the paper, a woman admitted to the Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences following a psoriasis diagnosis was given zinc supplements twice a day to manage the symptoms. On the fifth day, researchers found that old lesions had begun healing and that no new pustules formed. The lesions cleared after 15 days of zinc therapy, with no relapse noted after a six-month follow-up.
Learn more about natural ways to treat psoriasis at NaturalCures.news.