Can Fish Oil Help The Symptoms Of Lupus?

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Supplements and natural remedies are all the rage online. What’s the deal with fish oil and can it really decrease lupus symptoms?

Oily fish, like salmon, is used to make fish oil supplements. It comes from the fish tissue. The potential health benefits come from two specific types of Omega-3 fatty acids:

  1. eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  2. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

These two acids are precursors to certain signaling molecules (eicosanoids) known to reduce inflammation in the body.

Why do people take fish oil for lupus? To reduce inflammation and decrease lupus symptoms.

Only limited research exists on the effectiveness of these supplements. Also, most of the studies used small groups of patients. Still, there is evidence that suggests taking fish oil supplements has a positive impact for people battling lupus. Below you will find more details on these studies so you can do your own research.  Also, although it can be tempting to try holistic remedies, it is always important to talk with your doctor first.

What does the research say about the benefits of fish oil for lupus?

A 2015 study evaluated fish oil’s impact on:

  • fatigue
  • quality of life
  • lupus (SLE) disease activity

To begin, 50 patients took one of the following treatments:

  1. A daily fish oil supplement (Metagenics)
    • comprised of six capsules/day equaling 2.25g EPA and 2.25g DHA,
  2. A visually identical olive oil capsules (to account for the placebo effect)

After 6 months, each researchers measured how the above factors changed. Finally, the study concluded that the group that took the marine oil supplements showed statically significant improvement on key indicators compared to the group taking the olive oil supplements.


Potential risks

Marine oils have few risks associated with them. This 1991 study found “no major side effects.” Note: This study also used a low-fat diet in conjunction with the dietary supplements.

Minor side effects occur for some people. For example:

  • belching
  • bad breath
  • heartburn
  • nausea
  • loose stools
  • rashes
  • nosebleeds
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