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November 1998

Diet and Pemphigus: In Pursuit of Exogenous Factors in Pemphigus and Fogo Selvagem

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Arch Dermatol. 1998;134(11):1406-1410. doi:10.1001/archderm.134.11.1406

Individuals with a genetic predisposition to pemphigus will develop the disease only when one or more additional factors are present. The nature of these factors is as yet unknown, but our starting point was that certain drugs (penicillamine, captopril, and rifampicin) are recognized as such factors. Since some nutrients have chemical compositions similar to these known causative drugs, these nutrients may act similarly and, therefore, nutritional factors should also be suspected. As when drugs are involved, elimination of the inciting ingredients may be crucial for management of the disease. This article discusses the possible role of nutritional ingredients in the disease process of pemphigus, including fruit, leaves, roots, seeds, and even water. Possible causative candidates are thiol, thiocyanate, phenols, and tannins.