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Are Eggs a Good Food To Eat for Psoriasis?

Medically reviewed by Kathryn Shohara, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC
Written by Emily Brown
Posted on March 12, 2024

Wondering whether eggs are safe to eat if you’re living with psoriasis? You’re not alone. Eggs have been highly debated within the context of a psoriasis diet, with some claims about eggs containing inflammatory nutrients and other sources saying that eggs aren’t related to psoriasis symptoms.

Learn about the research on eggs and inflammation, the nutritional benefits of eggs — including insight into the yolk or no yolk question — and how egg preparation can make a difference in getting the most benefit from eggs.

The Impact of Diet on Psoriasis

Although what you eat doesn’t directly cause psoriasis, some foods cause inflammation in the body, which can make your psoriasis symptoms worse. Foods that trigger psoriasis symptoms aren’t the same for everyone, but the following inflammatory foods and drinks are often on the “foods-to-avoid” list for people with psoriasis:

  • Foods with refined carbohydrates (not whole grains), such as white bread, white pasta, and many cereals
  • Foods high in added sugar
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Dairy products
  • Fatty foods, especially those with saturated and trans fats, like red meat and processed foods
  • Food or drinks with gluten (due to gluten sensitivity or celiac disease)

On the other hand, diet can play a positive role in psoriasis. An anti-inflammatory diet or Mediterranean diet may help reduce symptoms and prevent future psoriasis flare-ups.

Eggs and Inflammation

There’s been a lot of discussion about whether eggs can cause inflammation in the body. Some researchers suggest that a certain fatty acid found in egg yolks, arachidonic acid, may cause inflammation, whereas some doctors have stated that there is no scientific proof that eggs cause psoriasis flares. In fact, research has shown that omega-6 fatty acids (including arachidonic acid) from fatty fish may have a protective effect on psoriatic arthritis. More studies are needed to figure out if eggs can make inflammation worse for people with psoriasis and whether certain nutrients in eggs are responsible for this.

Some MyPsoriasisTeam members report that eggs don’t change anything for them, good or bad. “I don’t have any problems with eggs,” one member shared. “I eat eggs and it never has done anything,” said another.

Other members have shared that they’ve cut eggs out of their diets. “I went to a naturopath, and she said no gluten, eggs, etc. after doing some testing,” wrote one member. Another said, “I grew up eating eggs, but for the past 10-plus years, I become violently ill when I do.”

Keep in mind that eggs, like any food debated for its health benefits or drawbacks for people with autoimmune conditions, may affect people differently, and sometimes for reasons other than psoriasis. Given the limited research on eggs and psoriasis and mixed experiences, it’s best to talk to your doctor about eggs before deciding whether to eat or avoid them.

Potential Benefits of Eating Eggs

Eggs contain several nutrients that are generally good for your health. When it comes to health claims of any food, it’s important to note that there are specific scientific definitions for labeling foods as “high in” or a “good source” of a certain nutrient. That being said, eggs are high in or a good source of the following nutrients:

  • Phosphorus
  • B vitamins: pantothenic acid (B5), cyanocobalamin (B12), biotin (B7), folate (B9), riboflavin (B2)
  • Vitamin D
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Protein
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids

Some nutrients in eggs may be beneficial for people with psoriasis specifically. For example, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, vitamin D slows skin growth, which can then reduce the number of skin cells that pile up on the skin, leading to psoriasis plaques. We need more studies to find out if the vitamin D in eggs can help skin or if supplements are needed to get enough vitamin D.

Eggs are good for people with psoriasis because they’re low in calories and high in protein, which is often recommended for managing the condition. Egg whites, especially, are great because they have very little fat and cholesterol but lots of high-quality protein. The protein in an egg is a complete protein, meaning it has all nine essential amino acids.

In addition, research has shown that people with psoriasis have lower levels of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 in topical ointments has been shown to reduce Psoriasis Area Severity Index scores and has an anti-inflammatory effect in people with psoriasis. However, more research is needed on the role that vitamin B12 from dietary sources, such as eggs, has in psoriasis.

Are Egg Yolks Bad for Psoriasis?

The yolk has oftentimes been seen as the unhealthy part of the egg because of its cholesterol content, yet recent research has shown that the cholesterol in eggs has only a small effect on blood cholesterol. So, yolks don’t significantly increase someone’s total cholesterol or “bad” (LDL) cholesterol as originally thought.

A benefit of eating egg yolks is that they are one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D. As noted above, vitamin D has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties and role in psoriasis treatment, but we need more studies to find out how eating foods rich in vitamin D might help with psoriasis.

Egg Preparation Matters

How eggs are cooked can affect the bioavailability of the nutrients in the eggs, meaning that certain cooking methods may be better than others for making sure you get the most nutritional value from the eggs. For example, studies have shown that boiled eggs have minimally lower concentrations of vitamin D than raw eggs, suggesting that boiling eggs doesn’t significantly lower the amount of vitamin D your body will get from the egg.

In addition, boiling rather than frying an egg cuts down on the amount of fat (e.g., oil, butter) used to prepare an egg, which may be the safer option for people whose psoriasis triggers include fried foods.

How Many Eggs To Eat Per Day or Week

Doctors don’t all agree on how many eggs you should eat each week, but some say it’s safe for most people to eat up to seven eggs per week. But it’s essential to pay attention to how your body reacts and any symptoms you experience after eating them.

The bottom line is that there’s no concrete answer to whether eggs are good for psoriasis, and more research is needed to determine the health benefits and drawbacks of eggs for people with this condition. Ask your doctor or dermatologist if they have recommendations on adding or limiting eggs in your diet, and be sure to track any symptoms that come about from eating eggs or other foods.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 126,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.

Do you eat eggs with psoriasis? Do eggs affect your psoriasis symptoms? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

    Posted on March 12, 2024
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    Kathryn Shohara, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC is a clinical dietitian for adults at Baylor Scott & White Hospitals. Learn more about her here.
    Emily Brown is a freelance writer and editor, specializing in health communication and public health. Learn more about her here.

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