Does coffee make psoriasis worse?
Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world, aside from water. Around the world, people drink coffee for its aroma, flavor, and stimulating properties. Caffeine is the chemical compound found in coffee, tea, and other food and is classified as a CNS stimulant. The caffeine in coffee helps to prevent sleepiness, and improve mood, alertness, and is even claimed to relieve headaches. Black coffee also contains antioxidants, which helps protect the body’s cells from damage from free radicals. However, some studies have shown that coffee might increase the levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pro-inflammatory.
The relationship between coffee consumption and psoriasis is complicated. There is no direct correlation between coffee consumption and the onset of psoriasis, however some people with psoriasis have claimed that their symptoms improved when they reduced or stopped drinking coffee. The antioxidant properties of coffee can help offset the inflammation due to autoimmune response, but the increase in omega-6 fatty acids also contribute to an increase in inflammation. Because coffee has both a pro- and anti-inflammatory effect, it is hard to decipher whether or not it actually helps to improve or to worsen psoriasis symptoms. It is up to the person with psoriasis and their doctor to decide whether coffee should be excluded from their diet or not. If coffee is excluded from the diet and symptoms improve, but then worsen after being reintroduced, then it is likely that coffee or caffeine is a trigger for that person’s psoriasis.