Skin disorders and inflammatory conditions related to nutritional deficiencies in vegan diets were examined in a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.
The study on Vegan Diet in Dermatology: A Review. Image courtesy of RONEDYA/Shutterstock.com.
What is the background?
Skin disorders such as psoriasis, acne vulgaris (CCD), atopic dermatitis (AD), and hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) may be linked to either an overconsumption or insufficient utilization of nutrients.
The gut microbiome is influenced by diet, which contributes to diversity, and dysbiosis is linked to altered immune responses that promote skin disorders.
Vegans consume plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, and seeds, rather than animal products. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, but ensuring adequate intake of nutrients and vitamins through supplementation can prevent these deficiencies.
The vegan diet was the only risk factor for vitamin A and B2 (riboflavin) deficiency along with reduced protein intake, according to a recent review on skin disease and nutritional deprivation.
The present study by the authors outlined the nutritional deficiencies that can cause dermatological symptoms, with the vegan diet being a risk factor.
Riboflavin has been found to be lower in vegan diets compared to non-vegan diet, but there is no evidence of clinical deficiency among adults.
Nevertheless, according to a case report, the newborn was diagnosed with hypoglycemia and lactic acidosis due to maternal riboflavin deficiency. The mother adhered to strict vegan diets and occasionally took supplements of folic acid, omega-3, and vitamins B12 and D.
One study revealed that veganism may increase the risk of anemia, protein or zinc deficiency, and osteopenia in children with this condition.
The term kwashiorkor is used to describe true protein deficiency. A vegan diet can easily provide the recommended daily amount of protein, and a study found that there was no evidence of individuals lacking protein who consumed plant-based foods.
Skin disease that causes inflammation.
The relationship between diet and acne has been a topic of debate throughout history. The consumption of certain dairy products, such as cow’s milk, is associated with acne.
Additionally, there is a correlation between increased skim milk consumption and acne development in males, while females are more likely to consume low-fat, whole, and skimpy milk.
Additionally, GI foods can lead to an increase in acne. A study discovered that low gastrointestinal diet individuals had a more significant decrease in skin inflammation than those with high digestive tract disease.
Other studies have shown a positive association between high-GI foods and acne. Evidence suggests that high–GI food and some dairy products promote the development of acne by increasing the pro-acnegenic effect.
A low-GI diet or dairy intake can benefit acne sufferers, and veganism may enhance its anti-acnegenic properties. Soy-based products have been shown to reduce acne lesions while fruits and vegetables with low GI may help prevent infection. Additionally, a balanced vegan diet may aid in the prevention or reduction of acne lesion.
The consumption of plant-based diets may be beneficial for psoriasis, as it can improve the skin’s condition and prevent related illnesses.
They contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, but arachidonic acid, trans-fat, and saturated fat are scarce. Additionally, omega 3 fatty acids plus soy isoflavones may be anti-inflammatory and aid in the prevention of psoriasis.
While it is not clear whether diets can reduce severity, studies indicate that weight loss dietary interventions, bariatric surgery and brewer’s yeast exclusion diet changes may improve HS; carbohydrates, sweets, high fat foods and dairy products exacerbate HC.
However, the relationship between HS and veganism is still not known. How diet does affect AD is less clear, but it seems that factors like the gut microbiome and dietary exposure contribute to pathogenesis.
The consumption of fruits and vegetables in a balanced diet can boost the levels of flavonoids, which are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may be beneficial for fighting AD.
By focusing on the gut microbiome, it can regulate immune responses and improve AD lesions. As such, plant-based diets can promote gut microbial diversity and support skin and gut health.
The data on the connection between vegan diets and skin diseases is insufficient. However, it has been observed that vegan meals provide adequate daily protein intake and vitamin D intake, which can be advantageous in preventing skin disease and related complications.
In summary, it is necessary to conduct more extensive research on the effects of vegan diets on skin disorders.