There’s no known cure for the autoimmune disease called psoriasis, but there are potential lifestyle changes that may help reduce its severity. Diet may be one of those factors, with a new study from Ghent University detailing a modified intermittent fasting diet that reduced psoriasis severity after a few weeks.
Intermittent fasting is an easier form of fasting that requires abstaining from food for a specific, typically short duration while limiting food intake to the non-fasting days. There are various intermittent fasting protocols, some that, for example, involve eating only once a day or only within a six-hour window.
According to the new study, adhering to a 5:2 intermittent fasting protocol in which one eats only five days a week may reduce the severity of psoriasis symptoms. The protocol involved not eating for two non-consecutive days per week, then eating one’s usual diet the other five days.
The research involved 24 participants split into two groups; one group followed the 5:2 intermittent fasting diet while the other group ate their regular diets. The dieting duration of the study lasted for 12 weeks, with 22 of the 24 participants remaining for the full duration.
The researchers evaluated two aspects of psoriasis symptoms: PASI, which measured the extent and severity of psoriasis, and BSA, meaning the body surface area covered with psoriasis. According to the study, the fasting participants reported notable improvements in their psoriasis symptoms between six and 12 weeks during the study, including less itching, reduced patch thickness, and reduced scaling.