A randomised interventional trial of ω-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids on endothelial function and disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus
- S A Wright1,2,3,
- F M O’Prey1,
- M T McHenry2,3,
- W J Leahey1,
- A B Devine1,
- E M Duffy2,4,
- D G Johnston1,
- M B Finch2,3,
- A L Bell2,3,
- G E McVeigh1
- 1Department of Therapeutics and Pharmacology, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
- 2Lupus Research Group, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
- 3Department of Rheumatology, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
- 4Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, UK
- Dr Stephen Wright, Department of Rheumatology, Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast BT9 7JB, Northern Ireland, UK;
- Accepted 3 September 2007
- Published Online First 17 September 2007
Objective: To determine the clinical effect of dietary supplementation with low-dose ω-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 ω-3-polyunsaturated 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 ω-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.
Funding: This study was funded by The Wellcome Trust and Lupus UK.
Competing interests: None.