Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Want to Increase Psoriasis Risk? Let's Have Some Beer

Women who are fond of drinking at least 30 grams (two drinks) of beer per week are likely to increase the risk of developing psoriasis according to a study presented during the annual Society for Investigative Dermatology meeting.

Consumption of red wine, white wine, and other forms of spirits were also included in the study for comparison. It was, however, the consumption of at least two drinks of beer every week which showed significant indication of higher psoriasis risk. It is believed that gluten, an active ingredient of beer, seems to be the trigger in the women who developed psoriasis.

Gluten — What Is It?
Do you ever wonder what holds the pasta and baked goods made from wheat, rye and barley together? Yep, the answer is gluten. Gluten provides the elasticity to the bread dough, which then helps the dough to rise when you mix it with yeast. The function of gluten is akin to glue; in fact, their Latin root is the same.

Majority of processed foods we have in the market contain gluten. And beer is not an exemption to these foods. While it is not common to see labels of packaged foods mentioning any gluten content, be aware that there are many disguises for gluten. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, natural flavors and modified food starch are just some of these disguises.

Gluten-Free Diet
In one study, it was found that getting rid of gluten from the diet significantly improved the condition of some psoriatic patients. Do you think you can live with a gluten-free diet? Sure, it would be a sacrifice to follow a gluten-free diet especially when we consider the available foods we have here in the Philippines. And how about eliminating beer? Hmmm… The mere thought of quitting beer has already given me stress.

Photo credit: ooOJasonOoo (flickr.com)

Ahern, S. (2009). Gluten-Free Girl. (New York: John Wiley and Sons.


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