Globalisation and increasing exposure to western culture has made us adopt international cuisines with open arms. We have adjusted our appetite and palates to accommodate different western dishes. It may have brought a variety to our diet and pleased our taste buds, but it may not be good for our skin health. Western diet is rich in fat and sugar content, which may be harmful for our skin besides leading to weight gain. A research conducted by UC Davis Health suggests that western diet, which is rich in fat and sugar may lead to inflammatory skin diseases.
The study results that were published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology, claimed that the dietary components of western diets, more than causing obesity, may lead to skin inflammation and the development of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common and chronic skin disease that causes skin cells to form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful.
It is known that obesity is one of the causal factors of psoriasis. The Western foods have a high amount of saturated fats and sucrose and low content of fibre, which propels obesity in people consuming it.
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Western diet is rich in fat and sugar.
Sam T. Hwang, professor and chair of dermatology at UC Davis and senior author on the study said, "In our study, we found that short-term exposure to Western diet is able to induce psoriasis before significant body weight gain."
Hwang and his colleagues carried out the research on mice. They fed one group of mice with high-fat and high-sugar diet, imitating the western diet. The team discovered that in four weeks only, mice on the western-like diet had significantly increased ear swelling and visible dermatitis compared to mice fed a controlled diet and those on high fat diet alone.
Zhenrui Shi, visiting assistant researcher in UC Davis Department of Dermatology and lead author on the study added, "Eating an unhealthy diet does not affect your waistline alone, but your skin immunity too."