Objective: To determine the clinical effect of dietary supplementation with low-dose omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids on disease activity and endothelial function in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Methods: A 24-week randomised double-blind placebo-controlled parallel trial of the effect of 3 g of omega-3polyunsaturated fatty acids on 60 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus was performed. Serial measurements of disease activity using the revised Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM-R) and British Isles Lupus Assessment Group index of disease activity for systemic lupus erythematosus (BILAG), endothelial function using flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial artery, oxidative stress using platelet 8-isoprostanes and analysis of platelet membrane fatty acids were taken at baseline, 12 and 24 weeks. Results: In the fish oil group there was a significant improvement at 24 weeks in SLAM-R (from 9.4 (SD 3.0) to 6.3 (2.5), p<0.001); in BILAG (from 13.6 (6.0) to 6.7 (3.8), p<0.001); in FMD (from 3.0% (-0.5 to 8.2) to 8.9% (1.3 to 16.9), p<0.001) and in platelet 8-isoprostanes (from 177 pg/mg protein (23-387) to 90 pg/mg protein (32-182), p=0.007). Conclusions: Low-dose dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils in systemic lupus erythematosus not only has a therapeutic effect on disease activity but also improves endothelial function and reduces oxidative stress and may therefore confer cardiovascular benefits.
Wright, S. A., O'Prey, F. M., McHenry, M. T., Leahey, W. J., Devine, A. B., Duffy, E. M., Johnston, D. G., Finch, M. B., Bell, A. L., & McVeigh, G. E. (2008). A randomised interventional trial of omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids on endothelial function and disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 67(6), 841-848. https://doi.org/10.1136/ard.2007.077156