Is a tall cold beer your idea of a good time? And does craft beer, local breweries, or homebrew cause you to squeal with glee? If so, I have some news that might be hard to hear: women who regularly drink beer may be more likely to develop psoriasis. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University looked at data from 82,869 women, and recently published their findings in the Archives of Dermatology.
The participants — aged 27 to 44 at the beginning of the study — were followed for 14 years. Researchers found that as the women's beer consumption increased, so did their risk to the skin condition. During the course of the study, 1,150 cases of psoriasis developed, and the risk was 72 percent greater among women who had an average of 2.3 nonlight beers per week or more. Women who drank wine, liquor, or light beer seemed to be unaffected, leading researchers to believe that barley — or more specifically, the gluten in barley — is the culprit.
Researchers have believed for some time now that alcohol was linked to the onset of psoriasis, but weren't clear on the details. These findings suggest that the once suspected hypothesis holds some truth. If you have psoriasis, or have a family history of the skin disease, it may be a good idea to monitor your beer consumption, or switch to light beer instead.