Study Shows Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation Linked to Reduced Inflammation and Flaring in Lupus
New research suggests omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help improve outcomes in people with lupus. The study identified thresholds for two measurements – an Omega-3 Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acid (HUFA) score above 40% and an Omega-3 Index (O3I) score over 10% – which could someday be used as dietary targets for people living with lupus.
The findings are based on data from previous studies of female mice fed with varying doses of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in certain types of seafood and algae. Omega-3 fatty acid levels in the tissue and red blood cells of the mice were then measured using omega-3 HUFA and O3I scores. The data confirmed that increasingly greater supplement doses of DHA were associated with increasingly higher omega-3 HUFA and O3I scores. And, higher omega-3 HUFA and/or O31 scores were associated with a reduction in multiple markers of inflammation and autoimmune disease progression.
Lead study author Kathryn Wierenga, doctorate student and researcher at Michigan State University, adds, “We think that measuring the omega-3 status of patients is critical to establishing an effective personalized supplementation regimen to attenuate inflammation - and possibly reduce inflammation-triggered lupus flares. We hope that our preclinical findings will encourage the design of human trials to test this hypothesis.”
This latest research is a continuation of the research Wierenga began in 2019 as part of Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship (Finzi) program. Her Finzi award has also led to another recent study on investigating the effects of omega-3 supplementation in animals fed a Western-style diet.
LFA is proud to support the next generation of lupus investigators and cutting-edge research. Learn more about the Finzi Student Fellowship and LFA’s advocacy to improve research.
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