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October 2015

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(10):1112. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.0450

Hippocrates is a historical figure often thought of as the “Father of Medicine.” He is quoted as saying, “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” His wise words are not forgotten as modern medicine increasingly delves into the simplicity of food derivatives to conquer dermatological disease.

Since time immemorial, vitamin deficiency has been linked to various dermatoses.1 A connection has been established between vitamin A deficiency and a follicular hyperkeratosis known as phrynoderma and papular acneiform eruptions. Deprivation in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), commonly found in various plant and animal tissues, has been associated an oro-ocular genital syndrome, presenting as a scaly, seborrheoic dermatitis like eruption around the nose, eyes, ears, and genital areas.2

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