How does alcohol affect psoriasis?

** Originally posted by DottieD **

I have often wondered why many people with psoriasis get worse when they drink alcoholic beverages.
I just read an article in “Vitamin Research News” that may shed light on this question. Although this publication is put out by a company that sells supplements, the article seems to be scientifically accurate and it lists references so anyone can check out the points made. Here’s what it says:

When we drink alcohol, it is metabolized in the body in 3 steps:
1. The alcohol (ethanol) is converted to a compound called acetaldehyde.
2. Acetaldehyde is converted to acetic acid.
3. The acetic acid is converted to Acetyl Coenzyme A - the main molecule our cells use as a source of energy.
Each of these steps requires certain enzymes and nutrients to react.

According to the article, ideally all the alcohol we drink would be quickly and efficiently converted to acetyl-Co A. However, in real life these chemical steps are sometimes slow and may not be very efficient. This could be due to genetic differences, a shortage of some nutrients required for the chemical reactions, or just that we give our bodies too big of a load of alcohol to deal with, as with heavy drinking.

The first step – the formation of acetaldehyde - is a particular problem. Acetaldehyde is a toxic compound in the same family of chemicals as formaldehyde. In addition to being a breakdown product of alcohol, it is also found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, many plastics, insulating foam, new carpets, and some adhesives. It is also produced by that infamous yeast found in the gut, Candida albicans, which (if not kept in check) seems to make p worse in some people. We can’t help being exposed to some amount of this chemical, but people who drink alcohol are exposed to a lot more of it.

Acetaldehyde is classified as a probable carcinogen and it is partly responsible for chemical dependency to alcohol and cigarettes. It is thought to be what causes a hangover. It damages red cell membranes, making them less flexible when passing through tiny blood vessels. It damages a protein (tubulin) that our brain cells need to connect to each other, and thus can cause brain damage in chronic heavy drinkers. It can cause birth defects in a fetus (neurological, respiratory, and immune), which is why pregnant women are told to avoid alcohol.

For people with inflammatory disorders, another problem occurs that I was not aware of:

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is a fatty acid – an omega-6 which behaves like the good omega-3’s. It is a potent anti-inflammatory. Small amounts are present in a few foods, but the body makes most of its own GLA.

(My note: The reason this is important is that the white cells that reside in our skin manufacture chemicals that cause our skin cells to multiply too fast. GLA has been found to inhibit the production of some these chemicals. That is why supplements like borage oil, black currant oil, or evening primrose oil, which contain GLA, help some people with psoriasis.)

Acetaldehyde inhibits our bodies’ ability to make its own GLA. It does this by deactivating an enzyme that is needed for the manufacture of GLA. (The enzyme is called Delta-6-Desaturase, for those who want to check it out.) With less of this enzyme we can’t make as much of our own GLA, and so the level of inflammation in our bodies will be higher. Thus, a person who drinks or smokes a lot - and who therefore carries around more acetaldehyde - may find their psoriasis getting worse.

The article goes on to say that certain nutrients have been found to help metabolize acetaldehyde in the body: vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin C, and a sulfur-containing amino acid called cysteine. I can only assume that the effects of drinking alcohol on psoriasis might be lessened if the person took a supplement with GLA to make up for the deficiency caused by drinking. The oils listed above are good sources of GLA, or it is possible to purchase the pure compound.

DottieD

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** Originally posted by arabic **

I have often wondered why many people with psoriasis get worse when they drink alcoholic beverages.
I just read an article in “Vitamin Research News” that may shed light on this question. Although this publication is put out by a company that sells supplements, the article seems to be scientifically accurate and it lists references so anyone can check out the points made. Here’s what it says:

When we drink alcohol, it is metabolized in the body in 3 steps:
1. The alcohol (ethanol) is converted to a compound called acetaldehyde.
2. Acetaldehyde is converted to acetic acid.
3. The acetic acid is converted to Acetyl Coenzyme A - the main molecule our cells use as a source of energy.
Each of these steps requires certain enzymes and nutrients to react.

According to the article, ideally all the alcohol we drink would be quickly and efficiently converted to acetyl-Co A. However, in real life these chemical steps are sometimes slow and may not be very efficient. This could be due to genetic differences, a shortage of some nutrients required for the chemical reactions, or just that we give our bodies too big of a load of alcohol to deal with, as with heavy drinking.

The first step – the formation of acetaldehyde - is a particular problem. Acetaldehyde is a toxic compound in the same family of chemicals as formaldehyde. In addition to being a breakdown product of alcohol, it is also found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, many plastics, insulating foam, new carpets, and some adhesives. It is also produced by that infamous yeast found in the gut, Candida albicans, which (if not kept in check) seems to make p worse in some people. We can’t help being exposed to some amount of this chemical, but people who drink alcohol are exposed to a lot more of it.

Acetaldehyde is classified as a probable carcinogen and it is partly responsible for chemical dependency to alcohol and cigarettes. It is thought to be what causes a hangover. It damages red cell membranes, making them less flexible when passing through tiny blood vessels. It damages a protein (tubulin) that our brain cells need to connect to each other, and thus can cause brain damage in chronic heavy drinkers. It can cause birth defects in a fetus (neurological, respiratory, and immune), which is why pregnant women are told to avoid alcohol.

For people with inflammatory disorders, another problem occurs that I was not aware of:

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is a fatty acid – an omega-6 which behaves like the good omega-3’s. It is a potent anti-inflammatory. Small amounts are present in a few foods, but the body makes most of its own GLA.

(My note: The reason this is important is that the white cells that reside in our skin manufacture chemicals that cause our skin cells to multiply too fast. GLA has been found to inhibit the production of some these chemicals. That is why supplements like borage oil, black currant oil, or evening primrose oil, which contain GLA, help some people with psoriasis.)

Acetaldehyde inhibits our bodies’ ability to make its own GLA. It does this by deactivating an enzyme that is needed for the manufacture of GLA. (The enzyme is called Delta-6-Desaturase, for those who want to check it out.) With less of this enzyme we can’t make as much of our own GLA, and so the level of inflammation in our bodies will be higher. Thus, a person who drinks or smokes a lot - and who therefore carries around more acetaldehyde - may find their psoriasis getting worse.

The article goes on to say that certain nutrients have been found to help metabolize acetaldehyde in the body: vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin C, and a sulfur-containing amino acid called cysteine. I can only assume that the effects of drinking alcohol on psoriasis might be lessened if the person took a supplement with GLA to make up for the deficiency caused by drinking. The oils listed above are good sources of GLA, or it is possible to purchase the pure compound.

DottieD

i copied this paragraph from medscape
Although streptococcal infection is the commonest and best delineated infective trigger for psoriasis, other infections have been noted on occasion to cause an exacerbation of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.[101] These include Candida,[101] human immunodeficiency virus,[101] Staphylococcus aureus (localized in the skin),[102] Helicobacter pylori,[103] Coxsackie adenovirus,[104] and psoriatic arthritis agents such as Yersinia.[105] These organisms are united in, at the very least, having been identified as interacting, in various ways, with α5β1 integrin.[106-111] Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increase in severity of psoriasis activity.[112] It is of interest to note that alcohol consumption is associated with increase in TGF-β[113] and that in vitro incubation of keratinocytes with ethanol leads to increase in α5β1 mRNA levels and keratinocyte proliferation.[114] The induction of skin lesions by trauma to the skin (the Koebner phenomenon) is a key element of psoriasis. Cutaneous cytokine response to skin trauma is characterized by a transient rise in TGF-β.[115] Therefore a common mechanism to explain psoriasis exacerbation by different agents could be the stimulation of parts of the TGF-β/fibronectin/α5β1 integrin/(IL-1β) Th17 network.

this is the link
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/703335_8

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** Originally posted by RichJ **

hi dottied,
thank you for sharing that my friend. i think i under stood some of it:). to big of words:). i need polly to tranlate it for me:)

have a good day all

richard

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** Originally posted by FlyingPig **

I have never found alcohol to have any effect on the P.
However, the combination of dehyration and hotel AC can create a very dry environment that aggrevates the P.
If I don't get too drunk, and property hydrate and moisturize instead of dropping dead on the bed, I don't find it to have any issue. In fact, a good night sleep with reduced stress goes a long way in improving P. (yes, wishful thinking)

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** Originally posted by DottieD **

Hey Rich - Good to hear from you, and glad you're still welcoming the newbies.
You don't actually have to understand the chemistry in my post. All you have to know is this:

Some people who have psoriasis would like to drink alcoholic beverages, but it makes their skin worse. (Not everyone) The article I read explains why alcohol can be a problem. If drinking causes someone's p to get worse, I thought they might be interested in knowing why.

Also, if the article is correct (and I think it is) then we have another alternative - Drink in moderation, but take some supplements that will counteract the damage that the alcohol does to our psoriasis. The ones listed in the article are vitamin B1, vitamin C, and/or cysteine. Another one that might be even more effective is borage oil.

I read this article and wrote the post yesterday, then went out for dinner with some friends. I don't usually drink wine with a meal because I get a splitting headache the next morning. I decided to put this article to the test: I drank two glasses of wine with the meal. When I got home, I did not take an aspirin or tylenol or drink a big glass of water, which sometimes helps. All I did was take a borage oil capsule. This morning I felt fine!!!

DottieD

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** Originally posted by RichJ **

hi dottie,
thank you my friend. i need to get back on vitamin b1. i haven't been on it in years. but it's worth a shot. vitamin c never has done any thing for me:(. i drink alot of milk.:). i have never heard of cysteine or a borage oil.

have a good day my friend and thank you

Hey Rich - Good to hear from you, and glad you're still welcoming the newbies.
You don't actually have to understand the chemistry in my post. All you have to know is this:

Some people who have psoriasis would like to drink alcoholic beverages, but it makes their skin worse. (Not everyone) The article I read explains why alcohol can be a problem. If drinking causes someone's p to get worse, I thought they might be interested in knowing why.

Also, if the article is correct (and I think it is) then we have another alternative - Drink in moderation, but take some supplements that will counteract the damage that the alcohol does to our psoriasis. The ones listed in the article are vitamin B1, vitamin C, and/or cysteine. Another one that might be even more effective is borage oil.

I read this article and wrote the post yesterday, then went out for dinner with some friends. I don't usually drink wine with a meal because I get a splitting headache the next morning. I decided to put this article to the test: I drank two glasses of wine with the meal. When I got home, I did not take an aspirin or tylenol or drink a big glass of water, which sometimes helps. All I did was take a borage oil capsule. This morning I felt fine!!!

DottieD

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** Originally posted by DottieD **

I already had some borage oil capsules around, so that's why I chose this way of countering the alcohol. Borage oil helps to reduce inflammation in our bodies, so I was already using it occasionally. You can buy it at health food stores or find it on the internet. (I get mine from vitacost.com.) But now I see that by taking borage oil after drinking alcohol, I can reduce the inflammation caused by alcohol in my body. When we have psoriasis, there are so many little things we can't do (or have to do) to keep it under control. So it's a pleasure to have one of thos little problems solved!

DottieD

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** Originally posted by ICANTAKEIT **

Im mostly a social drinker .. Not one to come home after a long days work and pop a brewski or down a fifth of anything but when i go out be it bars,clubs,weddings,what not .. usually my drinks are redbull and grey goose or hennessy str8 on the rocks <shakin not stirred> haha j/k..

Anyhow .. for me I notice the next morning after a hang over or not that im dried out like a sun dried tomatoe and after a night of drinking im the last to come home late night and Lube up on the P .. And alot of times the night that im going out i might not put too much ointment if any at all due to the fact it stains the clothes .. So for me I'd have to say it had ill effects ..

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** Originally posted by OtherThoughts **

Interesting write up DottieD, thank you!

I hope you don't mind me posting these links as a courtesy for any others that may have an interest in reading the newsletter you spoke of in your initial post on this thread?

[INDENT]A printer friendly link to the July 2010 newsletter
<a href="http://"http://www.vrp.com/newsletterPrinter.aspx?newsdate=7/1/2010"" >http://www.vrp.com/newsletterPrinter.aspx?newsdate=7/1/2010</a>
A link to the main Newsletter page
<a href="http://"http://www.vrp.com/newsletter.aspx"">http://www.vrp.com/newsletter.aspx</a>[/INDENT]

The Article Title of the July 2010 Newsletter is, [INDENT]"A Health-Destroying Toxin No One Can Avoid"[/INDENT]

A graphic from the article


Best Regards
OtherThoughts

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** Originally posted by DottieD **

Thanks! I believe your post will help anyone who is interested in this topic.

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** Originally posted by coolp **

I posted my reply in this thread http://talkpsoriasis.org/showthread.php?43365-I-LOVE-SMOKING-DRINKING-AND-P ARTYING...DO-I-LET-PSORIASIS-AFFECT-WHAT-I-LOVE

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** Originally posted by TriP **

i am a very heavy drinker and i can confirm that alcohol DOES trigger psoriasis. it gives me dandruff and makes the skin on my back and arms come loose. not flaky, but the kind that gets grimey under your fingernails. i can bathe and shower all i want, it doesn't make a difference. it's nasty. you should be alright if you just drink socially, but if you're a proper alcoholic you may have problems.

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** Originally posted by MadCat **

Also, if the article is correct (and I think it is) then we have another alternative - Drink in moderation, but take some supplements that will counteract the damage that the alcohol does to our psoriasis.

What you say is very true, at least from my experience.

Here is my experience.

I have always been a big drinker, although I have dramatically reduced my intake in the last ten years.

When I had visible P patches, my P would always be red raw and sore the next day or over the next few days after drinking.

Last year I was totally 100% clear of P, when I started to drink heavily due to grieving over a sudden death. I think I was either permanently drunk or hungover for the entire last six months of 2009! :(

In previous years if I had done that, I would have had a very bad P flare.

However, during this period I was also consuming a lot of nutrients every day in the form of fresh raw vegetable juices.

So the alkaline juices were my form of supplement and they counteracted the damage that the acidic alcohol was doing, and I did not have a flare.

I am sure the drinking did worse damage to me anyway in some shape or form, but I will worry about that later.

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** Originally posted by RichJ **

hi trip,
welcome to the p family. you have meet some of the wonderful people on here and will find alot of great info. welcome and nice to meet you.

have a good weekend all

richard

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** Originally posted by s_campos **

The information on this thread is super helpful. Thanks to everyone for contributing. Can't believe I waited this long to join a forum!! Anyways...thought I'd share the below post which I originally posted on the Young Adults message board.

____________

As a 22 year old young professional fresh out of college, I tend to drink about 4-5 times a week. 2-3 times a week socially, 1-2 time a week I go out rather hard.

My p is had gotten progressively worse as of late and I've definitely seen more flare ups recently after heavy weekends of drinking.

I'm going to try to cut down my drinking to 1-2 times a week and see if that has any effect on my skin/flare ups!

P.S. Anyone have any thoughts on what types of alcohol have the worst effect? Beer/Wine/Liquor?

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** Originally posted by RichJ **

hi s_campos,
im sorry that i can't help much but welcome to the p family. you have meet some of the wonderful people on here and will find alot of great info. welcome and nice to meet you.

try and have a good weekend all

richard

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** Originally posted by MadCat **

P.S. Anyone have any thoughts on what types of alcohol have the worst effect? Beer/Wine/Liquor?

I am not sure it really matters that much in the scheme of things, as it is the alcohol that puts strain on your liver.

However, it has pretty much been established that sugar is bad for your health, including things like P & PA.

Commercially manufactured beers, spirits, coke, mix, (as in scotch and coke) all contain added sugar, preservatives and are made with cheap ingredients. Wheat and gluten are also well-known to be inflammatory for P.

If you want to drink, you could try gluten-free beer. Or stick to certified organic beers or handcrafted boutique preservative-free beers. These handcrafted beers are more expensive but they tend to be less harsh for your body.

Apart from the supplements in the form of juice, maybe another reason I can get away with drinking thesedays without flares is:

I use to drink any old cheap crap (i.e.) commercial beer like Miller, Budweiser, Victoria Bitter, cheap wine, spirits etc...and during this time I had bad P.

Now days I only drink boutique beers, certified organic wine or preservative-free wine or low preservative French wine.

The French still use preservatives in their wine, but they are not so heavy handed as the Americans, Australians or English.

I no longer drink spirits, ports, sherry or premix soft drinks.

I can’t drink American, Australian or English wine as I react badly to the 220 preservative. But I have absolutely no problems with the 220 that the French use.

If you can’t get French wine, then drink older wine (from 2007 or before) because as the wine ages so the preservatives lessen.

Although the handcrafted boutique beers are more expensive, the alcohol content is normally higher, so you will find yourself drinking a lot less anyway.

I use to drink four 375ml bottles of commercial beer @ $3.00 each

Now I drink one 500ml bottle of boutique beer at $7.50 each and because of the higher alcohol content, I can’t drink anymore than that.

Of course the best thing is to avoid booze totally - but you are only young once after all :D

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** Originally posted by daytonaflyer **

Isn't borage oil is fairly high in Omega 6's and those are supposed to be bad for P, right? It's the Omega 3's that reduce inflammation.

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** Originally posted by s_campos **

@MadCat, thanks so much for the insight! : )

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** Originally posted by DottieD **

Daytona flyer - the majority of omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory, but GLA is an exception. It has been found to reduce inflammation in the body like the omega-3's.
DottieD

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** Originally posted by Jamie **

Dottie thanks for the reply, i too was under the assumption Omega 6 was not the best for you.

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