Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids impact on lupus activity outlines new research

omega-3 food, omega-3 fatty acid, omega-3 diet, arthritis diet, lupus omega-3, lupus dietHigher dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with reduced lupus activity and better quality of sleep, says a study in Arthritis Care & Research.

Omega-3 fatty acids (include mackerel, salmon and sardines) are generally anti-inflammatory; omega-6 fatty acids (found in oils used in fast food and processed food) tend to be pro-inflammatory.

Scientists looked at how the two types of fatty acids affect symptoms in 456 people with systemic lupus erythematosus. Fatty acid intake was assessed using questionnaires.

Key findings

  • Disease activity scores were higher when people ate more omega-6 foods and less omega-3 foods;
  • Lupus activity and sleep disturbance scores were lower with each 1g/1,000 kcal increase of omega-3 fatty acids;
  • When people ate a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids they had less depressive symptoms and higher quality of life;
  • But higher omega-3 intake alone was not associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms or higher quality of life.

The authors conclude:

“This population-based study suggests that higher dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids, and lower omega-6:omega-3 ratios, are favorably associated with patient-reported outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus, particularly self-reported lupus activity and sleep quality.”

Click here to read the original research. 

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