A 'Western diet' causes skin inflammation, say scientists

Published: 19-Feb-2020

Researchers have linked bile acids causes by cholesterol and skin conditions

Skin inflammation and psoriasis may be caused by an unhealthy Western diet, researchers have found.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, in the US, claim that a Western diet rich in saturated fats and sucrose, and low in fibre can cause skin inflammation.

The team gave mice a high fat and sugar diet to ‘mimic’ those found in Western countries.

In four weeks the rodents experienced ear swelling and dermatitis, compared to the controlled group and mice on a high fat diet alone.

"Eating an unhealthy diet does not affect your waistline alone, but your skin immunity too," said Zhenrui Shi, lead author on the study.

The National Psoriasis Foundation-funded study found that bile acids produced in the liver from cholesterol and metabolised in the intestine played a vital role in skin inflammation.

Cholestyramine, a drug used to lower cholesterol levels by binding to bile acids in the intestine to be released through stools, are said to help reduce the risk of skin inflammation.

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