Coffee is one of the most consumed liquids, regardless of geographical region. According to the evidence, only water and tea are more frequently consumed. Importantly, coffee is a pharmacologically active fluid.
There are many biologically active substances in its composition, the most studied of which is caffeine. Among other properties, it has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which may suggest that it could be of benefit in psoriasis. However, the evidence is somewhat contradictory. Some studies have shown that increasing coffee consumption is associated with a worsening of psoriasis, whilst others have shown that coffee may increase the efficacy of some drugs (methotrexate and sulfasalasine) used in the treatment of psoriasis1.
A recent study showed that the effect of coffee on psoriasis is dose dependent. Regular moderate consumption (up to 3 cups per day) alleviates symptoms and has an anti-inflammatory effect, whereas higher coffee consumption (more than 4 cups of coffee per day) makes symptoms worse2.
The observation that moderate coffee intake improves psoriasis symptoms, whilst higher levels of consumption make symptoms worse, is difficult to explain. However, if these finding were replicated in other studies, this could be of considerable importance from a public health perspective. In the meantime, it seems safe to say that moderate coffee consumption is not likely to be of any harm to people with psoriasis.
- Garbicz J, Calyniuk et al. Nutritional Therapy in Persons Suffering from Psoriasis. Nutrients, 2022;14: 119
- Barrea L, Muscogiuri et al. Coffee consumption, metabolic syndrome and clinical severity of psoriasis: good or bad stuff? Arch Toxicol 2018; 92:1831-1845