Vitiligo Diet

  • Best Results5-12 months
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure TimeNA
  • Skin SpecialistDermatologist, dietitian
  • Duration of ResultsLong term
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Vitiligo Diet

Dietary changes can make a huge difference in some skin conditions including acne, dermatitis (herpetiformis), psoriasis & more. Simple dietary modifications & supplementation can be considered as adjunctive therapy if you have vitiligo. Read more to understand.

FactsFacts on the Vitiligo Diet

  • Diet can make a difference in many skin conditions
  • Though the evidence is divided, dietary restrictions & supplementation is sensible
  • Vitiligo patients should eat foods high in antioxidants
  • Antioxidant food groups include seeds, legumes, green vegetables & grains
  • Pro-inflammatory foods should be avoided
  • Supplements can be considered

Does diet make a difference?

Whilst there is no scientific evidence that specific dietary modifications can cure vitiligo, diet & lifestyle choices can improve skin & nutritional health. This statement is based upon scientific data & controlled trials. I do encourage the vitiligo diet because-

  1. It is banal.
  2. It lowers blood pressure.
  3. You will lose weight.
  4. It reduces the chances of cardiovascular events like stroke & heart attacks.
  5. It may psychologically help you with vitiligo treatment.

What foods to eat & avoid?

Read more to understand. I have divided the diet into 3 simple steps. Namely;

  1. Foods rich in antioxidants (what to eat)
  2. Foods that may cause inflammation (what not to eat)
  3. Supplements that may help.

Why are antioxidants important & how to supplement?

Oxidative stress is thought to be one of the key causes of vitiligo, hence in theory, a diet rich in antioxidants may be helpful.

Vegetables, fruits, nuts, & fish are high in antioxidants. A good rule of thumb for eating enough antioxidants is to eat as many different coloured fruit and vegetables as possible. Foods high in omega-3 could also help improve your symptoms. These include oily fish, nuts, & seeds. A plant-based diet has been shown to be very high in antioxidants. Another favourite is green tea. 

Antioxidant supplements include vitamin C, E, ginkgo, Coenzyme Q 10, & resveratrol. 

Topical antioxidants include tocopherol & ferulic acid. Though vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants, do not put it on vitiligo areas as it also suppresses the formation of pigment. Oral ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is fine.

What food groups are pro-inflammatory?

It is thought that by suppressing inflammatory food groups, the progression of vitiligo can be reduced. Whilst there is no direct clinical evidence, the diet itself is banal. As a guide.

Inflammatory foods include:

  • processed meats
  • Carbonated drinks
  • saturated fats, found in fried foods
  • white bread
  • gluten
  • soybean oil & vegetable oil, use olive oil instead
  • processed & refined foods
  • alcohol
  • excessive carbohydrates

Davin’s Viewpoint on Diet & Vitiligo

Given the dearth of information on the internet with diet & vitiligo, I do think we need to address this topic. My viewpoint? Go ahead and start. In the absolute worst case scenario, a vitiligo diet will reduce your body fat percentage, reduce cholesterol & blood pressure & reduce the chances of cardiovascular events such as stroke & heart attacks.

Ideally patients should try dietary modification before medical therapy for the simple fact of understanding what works & what does not. If I were to place patients on medical therapy, diet,& supplementation then review in 4 to 5 months, I really do not know what works & what does not. I do understand that patients want to re-pigment ASAP, & hence in many cases, I combine medical, dietary & supplementary therapy concurrently. 

One of the most important aspects of dietary modification is alcohol intake. We know that alcohol is one of the most pro-inflammatory molecules. It can create a significant inflammatory response. Hence my advice is to limit this as much as possible, possibly 2-3 drinks a week. Yes, I do know that red wine & grapes are high in antioxidants including resveratrol, however the pro-inflammatory nature of ETOH needs to be considered.

In the context of gluten intolerance & vitiligo, you can give it go. The chances of cutting out gluten making an impact on the course of vitiligo is low. This is based upon probability not possibility. As a dermatologist we know that gluten plays a major role in some skin conditions, for example dermatitis herpetiformis, a variant of coeliac disease in the skin. In the context of vitiligo, this association is loose, however if you really want to give it a go, see a dietician.

Disclaimer: I am a dermatologist, my role is to prescribe medications & phototherapy to patients. Acknowledging diet & the role it has in vitiligo, you may want to seek dietary advice. In some cases I will refer you to a dietician (esp. If you are after a really strict gluten free diet).

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