Previous studies have found an association between alcohol and psoriasis, although the reasons for this link were not clear.
"There is evidence that alcohol consumption can affect immune responses and psoriasis is an autoimmune disease," Bebo said. "There's also some evidence that it can affect the biology of [the skin cells known as] keratinocytes. But ... then why would it be nonlight beer, why not wine or other alcohol? Maybe there's something in wine that ... might reverse the effect."
"When we looked up the components of different alcoholic beverages, one thing that stood out for nonlight beer was the amount of protein, gluten in particular," said Qureshi, who is an assistant professor of dermatology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. "When we stumbled on this, we realized that there have been reports in the past that ingested gluten was associated not just with psoriasis worsening but other autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease."
Another study in the same issue of journal found that psoriasis carries a heavy mental health burden, with people who have the disease suffering higher rates of depression, anxiety and even suicidality.
The link was more pronounced in men, according to the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
A third study in the journal reported that treating psoriasis with narrow-band UV-B light rays may increase vitamin D levels in patients and help reduce the burden of the disease.
But the Irish authors, who reported various financial ties with pharmaceutical companies, don't believe that the higher vitamin D levels actually were responsible for the psoriasis clearing.
The National Psoriasis Foundation has more on this condition.
SOURCES: Abrar A. Qureshi, M.D., assistant professor, der
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