Why wholesome meals might be unhealthy for eczema (Th2 defined)

This data is the alternative of what many bloggers suggest for eczema. And it is a frequent mistake practitioners have been making for years when treating eczema and different kinds of pores and skin irritation. 

In actual fact, I made a few of these errors after I first turned a well being practitioner a few years in the past, primarily as a result of the analysis I’m discussing is new. Like all scientists, I am keen to be incorrect in an effort to get to the reality. However usually we get caught ‘defending our natural prescriptions’ slightly than altering them when the brand new analysis calls for it. 

As I am a nutritionist specialising in eczema, I obtain a whole bunch of emails from eczema victims and I’ve observed this: eczema victims are confused and extra itchy than ever as a result of there may be a lot conflicting data accessible.

So I am hoping to get the phrase out about eczema. Here’s a pattern of the knowledge I can be educating at my eczema workshops all through the 12 months, and it is a good begin to understanding your eczema…

Eczema and your immune system: why teas and spices might be making you loopy itchy

Whereas some elements equivalent to turmeric and inexperienced tea are wholesome, if in case you have a Th2 dominant situation equivalent to eczema, they’ll truly worsen your pores and skin. Let me clarify…

What’s Th2?

(A fast lesson on the immune system… it will likely be temporary!)

In a wholesome immune system, the 2 kinds of T-helper Cells (abbreviated to ‘Th’) are referred to as Th1 and Th2.

Th1 and Th2 do a number of jobs:

  1. They recognise international nasties generally known as ‘pathogens’
  2. They make hormonal ‘messenger’ proteins (referred to as cytokines) which journey to the supply of your irritation
  3. They work collectively to create a balanced immune system.

Now this ‘steadiness’ might be likened to a seesaw, you need each Th1 and Th2 to work synergistically, and never have one sort of T-helper cells take over and dominate on a long-term foundation.

Th1 and Th2 balance and eczema

Eczema and Th2 analysis:

  • Eczema victims are generally born with a major Th2 dominant immune system (Abrahamsson, 2011).
  • Researchers have firmly established that folks with eczema have a Th2 dominant immune system and suppressed Th1 responses, which contributes to growing meals sensitivities and allergic reactions (consult with the seesaw diagram, under). (Eyerich, 2013) 


Th2 and eczema

 Eczema is Th2 dominant: T cells down, B cells elevated


Are you Th2 or Th1 dominant?

Ailments are often both Th1 dominant or Th2 dominant however some autoimmune ailments, equivalent to Hashimoto’s, can swap from one to the opposite. Psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis are often Th1 dominant ailments. Complicated I do know! However if in case you have eczema this data is vital.

In your physique, Th2 cells cope with:

  • micro organism
  • toxins
  • and allergens

So they’re the great guys if they’re stored in steadiness. Th2 dominance means they’ll overreact to meals and your atmosphere and that worsens your eczema (however it’s not the entire story, as my e-book, The Eczema Food regimen, explains).

Th2 dominant well being issues and ailments:


atopic dermatitis

bronchial asthma


inflammatory bowel illness


allergic reactions

most cancers

ulcerative colitis



Candida albicans infestation


12 elements/drinks that elevate Th2: keep away from these!

When you have a Th2-dominant situations equivalent to eczema, bronchial asthma, Lupus or dermatitis, the next meals can worsen irritation as they stimulate Th2.

  1. Espresso
  2. Black tea
  3. Inexperienced tea and Matcha tea (inhibits Th1)
  4. Cocoa/cacao/chocolate
  5. Iced tea
  6. Turmeric
  7. Pycnogenol (present in pine bark natural extracts and apples) 
  8. Lycopene (from tomato, guava, watermelon and grapefruit)
  9. Resveratrol (from grapes, pink wine, peanuts, cocoa and cacao)
  10. Willow bark (comprises salicylates, much like aspirin)
  11. Olive leaf natural extract (ref)
  12. Hemp seeds [and marijuana] (comprises TCH which suppresses Th1) (ref)

Hot chocolate drinks worsen eczema

Whereas a few of the above elements are perceived as wholesome and might be high quality for people who find themselves not Th2 dominant, if in case you have a Th2 dominant situation equivalent to eczema, keep away from these elements as a a part of your restoration. 

Individuals usually suggest normal well being recommendation to eczema victims however eczema is a particular situation and also you want fastidiously formulated prescriptions. This sums it up completely:

One man’s drugs is one other man’s sleepless night time itching!

Why can inexperienced tea make you itch like loopy?

Whereas the well being advantages of inexperienced tea is nicely documented, it could actually mess along with your immune system if in case you have eczema, because it stimulates your Th2 immune system, which is already over-stimulated.

Turmeric (keep away from this) 

Analysis on turmeric extract (HSS-888) revealed it could actually enhance Th2 immune responses and promote a shift from Th1 to Th2 immunity (Douglas Shytle, 2012; Ukil, 2003). So whereas turmeric could be good for Th1 dominant ailments, it’d worsen an already elevated Th2 dominant situation equivalent to eczema.

Turmeric can also be very wealthy in a pure chemical referred to as salicylates (a pure pesticide), which may worsen eczema in additional than 52% of individuals with eczema (Loblay and Swain 2006). So earlier than taking turmeric, it is advisable to know if you’re Th2 dominant or delicate to chemical substances – if you’re then turmeric may make you itchier. 

Caffeine (keep away from this)

Chocolate, espresso and common black tea additionally worsen Th2 dominant issues together with eczema, as caffeine suppresses Th1 immune operate.

Cacao, Matcha tea and a few gentle drinks additionally include caffeine which may make you itchier than ever as they stimulate Th2 (which we need to settle down, not stimulate). 

Olive leaf extract (keep away from this)

In animal research, olive leaf extract considerably elevated Th2 immune system responses, so if in case you have eczema it might be dangerous to devour olive leaf extract (Park, 2013). Olive oil could be an issue for a similar causes. 

Hemp seeds (keep away from this)

Marijuana and hemp seeds (together with hemp merchandise equivalent to protein powder and hemp seed milk), include THC which suppresses Th1 immune operate. Now it is a downside if in case you have eczema as you need to enhance Th1, not suppress it as it will solely worsen your Th2 dominant situation. (Newton, 2004)

So keep away from smoking and hemp seed merchandise if in case you have a Th2 dominant situation equivalent to eczema.

Can Th2 dominance be reversed completely?

Sure, most often you may steadiness your immune system however it’s not a passive occasion the place you merely take a tablet, then return to ingesting espresso, consuming sugar and smoking cigarettes – you have to take care of your well being and eat nicely. 

Additionally guarantee you do not have dietary deficiencies. I’m a giant advocate of dietary supplements as they’re the quickest solution to reverse dietary deficiencies. Your pores and skin wants nutritional vitamins and minerals each day and a easy deficiency equivalent to vitamin A or vitamin E can unbalance your immune system and make it Th2 dominant. 

Right here is reverse it:

Vitamin E – the Th1 and Th2 balancer (do that!)

Vitamin E is the predominant antioxidant in human pores and skin and it’s important for stopping pores and skin irritation for a lot of causes, most notably its balancing impact on the immune system.

6 shocking information about vitamin E:

    1. Vitamin E balances Th1 and Th2, by bettering Th1 responses within the physique (Han, 2000).
    2. Vitamin E’s anti-inflammatory motion decreases the allergy marker immunoglobulin E (IgE) in allergy victims, so it could actually lower the severity of allergic reactions.
    3. Vitamin E inhibits the manufacturing and launch of inflammation-making substances referred to as prostaglandins (Tsoureli‐Nikita 2002).
    4. Vitamin E is believed to stabilize lysosomal membranes, probably inhibiting occasions concerned in autoimmune ailments (Ayres 1978).
    5. Vitamin E decreases irritation in immune cells and inhibits lipoxygenase manufacturing, which is concerned in eczema, psoriasis and different pores and skin rashes. (Meydani, 1990)
    6. Vitamin E dietary supplements are often GMO soy-based! Keep away from soy based mostly vitamin E. It will not be said on the label so you’ll have to name your complement producer, except the label states “Non-GMO”, “soy free”. 

    Vitamin C (do that)

    Whereas vitamin E is good for eczema, no nutrient works alone. Vitamin E works greatest when mixed with a number of different vitamins:

    1. Vitamin C has a optimistic vitamin E recycling impact within the physique as vitamin C rejuvenates/revives vitamin E after it has been destroyed by oxidation.
    2. Beta-carotene is one other antioxidant that helps to spice up the protecting motion of vitamin E: as beta-carotene is extra lipophilic than vitamin E it is in a position to entry and shield inside your cell membranes (lipophilic means it dissolves higher in fat). (ref: Niki, 1995).
    3. Vitamin A (beta-carotene) deficiency causes Th1 and Th2 dysfunction (Stephensen, 2004). The vitamin A deficiency prevents correct formation of Th1 cells, which may result in Th2 dominance.

    Vitamin A: which kind is greatest?

    Whereas a vitamin A deficiency is likely one of the causes of Th2 dominance (and Th1 suppression), DO NOT take vitamin A (retinol) dietary supplements as they’ll make your pores and skin flake off in droves. I learnt this the exhausting approach and my face peeled for every week after I briefly took a vitamin A oral complement.

    Keep away from: retinol kinds of vitamin A

    Fats-soluble, retinol kinds of vitamin A dry out the pores and skin and worsen eczema so keep away from retinoic acid and different types of vitamin A.

    Favour: pure betacarotene

    As an alternative, take pure beta-carotene as it’s a secure solution to increase your vitamin A ranges. When shopping for dietary supplements, search for phrases equivalent to “pure beta-carotene” and “Dunaliella salina” – a pure microalgae greatest generally known as a supply of pure beta-carotene. 

    What’s Dunaliella salina? 

    To outlive in a salty atmosphere, Dunaliella salina makes excessive concentrations of beta-carotene to guard in opposition to the extraordinary UV gentle. In the same approach, the antioxidant exercise of beta-carotene from Dunaliella salina, when consumed every day, supplies gentle solar safety in your pores and skin.

    Why may this be helpful?

    Using topical steroids and immunosuppressants (lotions) generally prescribed to eczema victims, skinny your pores and skin and make it extra vulnerable to solar injury and pores and skin most cancers. Additionally, eczema victims usually can’t apply sunscreen to their eczema so they’re vulnerable to sunburn if spending time within the solar.  

    So taking pure types of beta-carotene could be a helpful solution to help with pores and skin restoration and enhance UV safety.  

    Merchandise for eczema and stopping Th2 dominance

    Whereas vitamin E, vitamin C and Dunaliella salina are solely three of many vitamins that are important to stopping eczema, you may get all of the vitamins from one supply as an alternative of shopping for twenty merchandise. 

    I am not eager to spruke my merchandise on-line – please use no matter you wish to turn into 100% eczema-free and do your individual analysis.

    Nonetheless, I’m guessing you may have most likely tried each cream, probiotic and eczema drug and you continue to have eczema. I get a whole bunch of emails and messages on Fb and Instagram) asking for my recommendation on eczema merchandise. Individuals inform me they’ve tried every part and have seen dozens of specialists, spent 1000’s of {dollars} and they’re depressed and disheartened and nonetheless itchy.

    So to save lots of you money and time (as I’m costly to see in individual), this is what I prescribe to my eczema sufferers and these are the merchandise which featured within the “Breakthrough food regimen for eczema” story which aired on 7 Information in Australia: Pores and skin Pal and The Eczema Food regimen. (Once more, my apologies for the promo. If you wish to know extra, please learn on.)

    Pores and skin Pal AM is 100% non-GMO, vegan and soy-free and comprises natural vitamin E, vitamin C and pure beta-carotene (14 vitamins in whole) to steadiness the Th1 and Th2 immune system. It additionally “comprises elements that help within the therapeutic and restore of the pores and skin” (TGA wording).  

    Pores and skin Pal is not one other pores and skin cream. It is a vitamin and mineral complement. It comprises no herbs so Pores and skin Pal can also be secure for youngsters to make use of (over age 1). 

    Under is our 7 Information interview which aired in Australia this 12 months. Notice my affected person Georgie Broos was interviewed and you will see she added Pores and skin Pal to her smoothie within the information video.

    Keep in mind eczema is a singular pores and skin situation so it wants specialised well being recommendation. 

    A lot love, 

    Karen Fischer (Eczema Life Clinic)

    About Karen Fischer 

    Watch our 7 Information video right here: 

    7 News eczema story


    At Eczema Life, we suggest nutritionist Karen Fischer’s low meals chemical program (The Eczema Detox) alongside with additive-free dietary supplements for pores and skin well being and wellbeing. Click on on the pictures to view extra particulars:




    Abrahamsson, T., Sandberg, M., Forsberg, A., Bjorksten, B. and Jenmalm, M., A., 2011, Th1/Th2-associated chemokine imbalance throughout infancy in youngsters growing eczema, wheeze and sensitization.

    Park, J.H., Jung, J.H., Yang, J.Y. and Kim, H.S., 2013. Olive leaf down-regulates the oxidative stress and immune dysregulation in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Diet analysis, 33(11), pp.942-951.

    Han, S.N., Wu, D., Ha, W.Okay., Beharka, A., Smith, D.E., Bender, B.S. and Meydani, S.N., 2000. Vitamin E supplementation will increase T helper 1 cytokine manufacturing in outdated mice contaminated with influenza virus. Immunology, 100(4), pp.487-493. 

    Niki, E., Noguchi, N., Tsuchihashi, H. and Gotoh, N., 1995. Interplay amongst vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. The American journal of scientific diet, 62(6), pp.1322S-1326S.

    Stephensen, C.B., Jiang, X. and Freytag, T., 2004. Vitamin A deficiency will increase the in vivo growth of IL-10–optimistic Th2 cells and reduces growth of Th1 cells in mice. The Journal of diet, 134(10), pp.2660-2666.

    El-Baky, H.A., El-Baz, F.Okay. and El-Baroty, G.S., 2004. Manufacturing of antioxidant by the inexperienced alga Dunaliella salina. Int. J. Agric. Biol, 6(1), pp.1560-8530.

    Xue, L.X., 1993. [Experimental study on extract of Dunaliella salina in preventing NSAR-induced cancer of proventriculus in mice]. Zhonghua yu fang yi xue za zhi [Chinese journal of preventive medicine], 27(6), pp.350-353.

    Douglas Shytle, R.,, 2012. Optimized turmeric extract reduces β-Amyloid and phosphorylated Tau protein burden in Alzheimer’s transgenic mice. Present Alzheimer Analysis, 9(4), pp.500-506.

    Ukil, A., Maity, S., Karmakar, S., Datta, N., Vedasiromoni, J.R. and Das, P.Okay., 2003. Curcumin, the key element of meals flavour turmeric, reduces mucosal harm in trinitrobenzene sulphonic acid‐induced colitis. British journal of pharmacology, 139(2), pp.209-218.

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