Half of patients with psoriasis take dietary supplements, yet few patients stated a desire for better skin health as a reason for taking supplements, according to study findings.

“Additional clinical trials are needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of specific dietary supplements on psoriasis severity and its related co-morbidities,” Patrick J. Wilson, a doctoral student from the University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology, and colleagues reported in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.

Using a cross-sectional data analysis from the 2009 to 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers analyzed dietary supplementation use during the previous 30 days. The population-weighted prevalence of self-reported psoriasis was 3.2%.

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Participants with psoriasis were more likely to be non-Hispanic white, current smokers and cancer survivors, according to the study data.

The study consisted of 6,211 individuals aged 20 years and older (representing 219 million Americans). Of the 184 individuals who reported having psoriasis (representing 6.9 million Americans), 53% reported use of at least one dietary supplement.

This was not significantly different from those without psoriasis (49.5%, P=0.416). Those with psoriasis did not have higher odds of supplement use after adjustment for covariates.

Multivitamins and mineral supplements were the most common dietary supplements used by individuals with psoriasis (30%), with only 12 supplements taken with the intention of improving skin health. Maintenance of overall health and improvement of health were the most common reasons reported for taking supplements.

More women than men reported taking dietary supplements (P<0.001), along with individuals with education higher than high school (P<0.001) and older age (P<0.001). Nearly 70% of individuals age 60 years and older reported use of dietary supplements.


  1. Wilson PB. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2014; 22:159-165.

Disclosure: Wilson reports no relevant financial disclosures.