Study Finds Link Between Fatty Acid Consumption and Lupus Disease Activity
Fatty acids can have pro- and anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers analyzed the records of patients in the Michigan Lupus Epidemiology & Surveillance (MILES) program, a population-based registry of people with lupus, and also asked them about possible effects of diet on their lupus activity.
This is the first study to find that lower dietary intake levels of omega-6 (pro-inflammatory) fatty acids, and higher dietary intake levels of omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids, are favorably associated with patient-reported outcomes in lupus, including decreased lupus activity and better sleep quality.
The investigators also discovered dietary intake levels of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids appeared to oppose one another, including after adjustment for omega-3 supplement use (fish and/or flaxseed oil), which suggests the use of supplements alone might be less likely than a broader dietary approach to influence patient-reported outcomes in lupus.
The MILES program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC funds registries across the country, which are designed to study established, US-based, populations with lupus, and understand characteristics (natural history, treatment, access to care, and disparities) of the disease in adults, and develop possible interventions. The results from this study suggest that higher dietary intake of foods associated with omega-3 such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are favorably associated with patient‐reported outcomes in lupus, particularly self‐reported lupus activity and sleep quality.
Read about lupus-specific diet and nutrition information.