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

EM Duffy, GK Meenagh, SA McMillan, JJ Strain, BM Hannigan, AL Bell

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57 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
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume31
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

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