News Release

5:2 diet helps reduce skin symptoms in Psoriasis patients

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Say Communications

LUGANO, 6 May, 2021- New research investigating for the first time the effects of modified intermittent fasting (MIF) on the skin of people with psoriasis has yielded promising results. Preliminary study findings presented today at the EADV Spring Symposium, show a significant reduction in scaling and thickness in patients with mild psoriasis after following a MIF 5:2 diet (eating normally for 5 days and restricting calorie intake on 2 non-consecutive days).

Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic immune-mediated inflammatory disease that causes raised plaques and scales on the skin's surface. The disease affects between 2-3% of the worlds' adult population, and <1% of children. Until now, the effect of dietary interventions on psoriasis severity has rarely been investigated, and although it is known that there is a link between obesity and psoriasis severity1, the mechanism of action of this link is still unclear. This study sought to provide mechanistic evidence to inform whether there is a link between gut health and psoriatic lesions, as well as uncover any benefits of MIF in psoriasis management.

"We had observed positive results in mice with gut inflammation and psoriasis, with inflammation in the gut driving cutaneous symptoms," shares Dr Lynda Grine, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Dermatology, Ghent University, Belgium "Through scientific curiosity and my own experience with fasting as a Muslim, I wanted to find out whether dietary intervention would have the same effects on human patients with psoriasis."

MIF is a form of intermittent fasting which requires participants to restrict calorie intake for a certain amount of time. It is often viewed as a more manageable form of fasting, allowing participants to adjust the rules to accommodate with their personal lives. Popular MIF diets include the 16:8 (fast for 16 hours and eat for 8) and 5:2 diet, with the latter being used as the dietary intervention for this study.

A total of 24 subjects were enrolled in the study, with one group of 12 participants instructed to modify their diet with MIF for 12 weeks, and the other 12 participants continuing on their regular diet. Replicating the 5:2 diet, the fasting group were asked to consume a total of 500 kcal twice per week on 2 non-consecutive days, but were free to consume their usual daily calorie intake for the remaining 5 days of the week. During the trial, 2 patients were excluded: 1 due to start of antibiotic use and 1 due to loss to follow-up.

Objectively, PASI (a tool used to measure the severity and extent of psoriasis) and Body Surface Area (BSA) did not differ significantly between fasting and regular diet, although PASI reduced in the fasting group (p<0.05). Waist circumference and weight were comparable at 6 weeks but reduced significantly in the fasting group at week 12 compared to the control group (p<0.05 and <0.001, respectively). Fasting subjects reported significant improvement more frequently at weeks 6 and 12 (p<0.0001), mentioning less scaling and thickening, with 30% of patients also reporting a decrease in itching. The study will be completed at the end of June.

"The effect of dietary interventions on skin health is a stimulating field of research in dermatology. The results of this study add to the growing body of evidence being undertaken to understand the relationship between the gut and skin, with some promising results for patients and the disease management of psoriasis." Says Prof. Marie-Aleth Richard, EADV Board Member and Professor at the University Hospital of La Timone, Marseille.


Notes to Editors

A reference to the EADV Spring Symposium or EADV Spring Symposium 2021 must be included when communicating any information within this press release.


For further information or to arrange an expert interview, please contact:

Lewis Picton - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6419

Sophie Graham - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6413

Catriona Martin - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6412

About Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic immune-mediated inflammatory disease that causes raised plaques and scales on the skin's surface.2 It can range in severity from a few scattered red, scaly plaques, to the involvement of almost the entire body surface - it may also wax and wane in its severity over time.3 There are many different kinds of psoriasis, but the most common is plaque psoriasis which is found in 80% of people with the condition.4 Psoriasis affects between 2-3% of the worlds' adult population, and <1% of children.5,6,7

About EADV

Founded in 1987, EADV is a leading European Dermato-Venereology Society with the important aims of improving the quality of patient care, furthering knowledge and education of dermatologists and venereologists globally through innovation, and advocating on behalf of the speciality and patients. EADV collaborates with other organisations to provide a strong and clear voice to influence the European health agenda. It is a non-profit organisation with over 7,000 members across 113 different countries in the world, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologist professional. To find out more visit

About EADV Spring Symposium 2021:

EADV Spring Symposium - A New Season for Dermatology and Venereology, is one of the most important, CME-CPD accredited all-virtual events in the Dermato-Venereology calendar. The 2-day Scientific Programme is bursting with new findings and scientific breakthroughs, providing a unique opportunity to both hear the latest in Dermato-Venereology and connect with leading experts. To find out more visit


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2. About Psoriasis. Available from: Accessed April 2021

3. Paris R, et al. (2013) Global Epidemiology of Psoriasis: A Systematic Review of Incidence and Prevalence. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 133(2):377-385

4. About Psoriasis. Available from: Accessed April 2021

5. EADV. Information leaflet for patients. Psoriasis, a closer look. Available from: Accessed April 2021

6. Psoriasis statistics. Available from:,125%20million%20people%20worldwide%E2%80%942%20to%203%20percent%20of%20the,the%20World%20Psoriasis%20Day%20consortium Accessed April 2021

7. Global psoriasis atlas. Available from: Accessed April 2021

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