The clinical effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils and/or copper in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Aubrey Bell, E.M. Duffy, G.K. Meenagh, S.A. McMillan, J.J. Strain, B.M. Hannigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils with or without copper on disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Fish oil supplementation has a beneficial effect on murine models of SLE, while exogenous copper can decrease the formation of lupus erythematosus cells in rats with a hydralazine-induced collagen disease. METHODS: A double blind, double placebo controlled factorial trial was performed on 52 patients with SLE. Patients were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups. Physiological doses of omega-3 fish oils and copper readily obtainable by dietary means were used. One group received 3 g MaxEPA and 3 mg copper, another 3 g MaxEPA and placebo copper, another 3 mg copper and placebo fish oil, and the fourth group received both placebo capsules. Serial measurements of disease activity using the revised Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM-R) and peripheral blood samples for routine hematological, biochemical, and immunological indices were taken at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 weeks. RESULTS: There was a significant decline in SLAM-R score from 6.12 to 4.69 (p <0.05) in those subjects taking fish oil compared to placebo. No significant effect on SLAM-R was observed in subjects taking copper. Laboratory variables were unaffected by either intervention. CONCLUSION: In the management of SLE, dietary supplementation with fish oil may be beneficial in modifying symptomatic disease activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1551-1556
Number of pages6
JournalRheumatology
Volume31(8)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology

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