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 3g of omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids on 60 patients with SLE 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 SLE (BILAG), endothelial function using flow mediated dilation of the brachial artery (FMD), 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±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% (-0.5-8.2) to 8.9% (1.3-16.9), p<0.001) and in platelet 8-isoprostanes (from 177pg/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 SLE not only has a therapeutic effect on disease activity but also improves endothelial function and reduces oxidative stress and may therefore confer cardiovascular benefits.
- endothelial function
- fish oils