Is Anxiety Like OCD and Psoriasis Related?

Psoriasis as well as OCD which is a form of anxiety are both caused by excessive chronic inflammation.

Sure! Those health problems are related!

Even though OCD is considered to be a only a low serotonin issue and psoriasis the dysfunction of immune system both of those theories are wrong as they can be.

Psoriasis vs. OCD

OCD just like psoriasis can be dramatically improved by many different ways like treating the adrenergic, cholinergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic pathways.

I would like to mention here one of my previous blog posts where I suspected that acetylcholinesterase levels might be the main reason why that diet works for some people.

But today I will present here another possible way how low tryptophan diet might positively affect the psoriasis and (neuro)inflammation – by lowering the levels of toxic metabolites produced by kynurenine pathway.

By the way turkey meat has high tryptophan content and that’s why I chose header image with this bird.

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme overexpression causes low serotonin production

…and guess what induces the Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO enzyme) expression?

Yes, it is the inflammation! [1]

So, we are still going around the one and same thing when it comes to most chronic diseases – inflammation. In psoriasis and many other chronic inflammatory conditions something is inducing it and we are in a vicious circle of inflammation induced health problems (symptoms) which we so desperately are trying to resolve.


What exactly happens to serotonergic pathways when excessive inflammation is present in the body?

One of the big players in this is the above mentioned enzyme – Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO).


Tryptophan metabolites present in inflammation

Metabolism of amino acid tryptophan. The catabolites in red were proved to be directly toxic to immune system specifically to T lymphocytes.
Image Source: Soliman H, Mediavilla-Varela M, Antonia S. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase: is it an immune suppressor? Cancer J. 2010 Jul-Aug;16(4):354-9.


The mechanisms by which administration of interferon-α induces neuropsychiatric side effects, such as depressive symptoms and changes in cognitive function, are not clear as yet. Direct influence on serotonergic neurotransmission may contribute to these side effects. In addition, the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), which converts tryptophan into kynurenine, may play an important role, first, because IDO activation leads to reduced levels of tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin (5-HT), and thus to reduced central 5-HT synthesis. Second, kynurenine metabolites such as 3-hydroxy-kynurenine (3-OH-KYN) and quinolinic acid (QUIN) have toxic effects on brain function. 3-OH-KYN is able to produce oxidative stress by increasing the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and QUIN may produce overstimulation of hippocampal N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which leads to apoptosis and hippocampal atrophy. Both ROS overproduction and hippocampal atrophy caused by NMDA overstimulation have been associated with depression.
” [1]

The Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme converts tryptophan into kynurenine thus causing the reduction of available tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin (5-HT).

Additional problems arise from metabolites of kynurenine such as 3-hydroxy-kynurenine (3-OH-KYN) and quinolinic acid (QUIN) which both have the neurotoxic effects.

3-OH-KYN contributes to oxidative stress and quinolinic acid may overstimulate the NMDA receptors in hippocampus (part of the brain) leading to hippocampal atrophy.

Maybe you don’t know but magnesium is a natural NMDA receptor antagonist.[4]

Are there any Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme inhibitors?

Yes, it is possible to inhibit this enzyme with many different chemicals – drugs which are COX-2 inhibitors (Ibuprofen) – and Rosmarinic acid which is found in many herbs.[5, 6]

Popular herbs containing high concentrations of rosmarinic acid are Melissa officinalis, Mentha spicata, Salvia officinalis, Thymus vulgaris, Origanum vulgare.

The highest concentration of rosmarinic acid was found in
Mentha spicata (Spearmint) – but you have to

There is still another 1393 words in this article!

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