Study Finds Link Between Fatty Acid Consumption and Lupus Disease Activity

Fatty acids can have pro and anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers analysed 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.

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