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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

“Many of the placebo-controlled trials of fish oil in chronic inflammatory diseases reveal significant benefit, including decreased disease activity and a lowered use of anti-inflammatory drugs.” 
-Journal of the American College of Nutrition

--> Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an inflammatory disease... 

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys.  Systemic lupus erythematosus is characterized by a high level of pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 1 (IL-1) and pro-inflammatory leukotriene (LTB4).   These two pro-inflammatory agents are largely produced by Omega-6.1

--> Omega-3 is a powerful anti-inflammatory... 

New research is driving forward our understanding by which Omega-3s work their anti-inflammatory powers.  A 2005 study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School state:

"Clinical assessment of dietary supplementation with Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids indicate their beneficial impact in certain human diseases, particularly those in which inflammation is suspected as a key component in pathogenesis."

The Harvard team identified a new class of fats in humans, derived from a fatty acid found in fish oil, which they showed can control inflammation.2  Lead Harvard researcher Dr. Charles Serhan was quoted after the study, "Since we obtained these results I started to encourage my own children to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids."   While Omega-3 performs anti-inflammatory activities in the body, Omega-6, on the other hand, largely does the opposite (fires up the immune system and inflammatory response).

--> Our diets today are drowning in Omega-6 relative to Omega-3... 

For millions of years, humans evolved on a diet rich in natural Omega-3 food sources such as fish, nuts, and free-range game.  As a result, our Omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) and Omega-6 (pro-inflammatory) fatty acids were in close balance with one another, about a 2:1 ratio.

In the last 100 years or so, our diets have changed remarkably with the advent of industrialization.  We now consume manufactured corn, soybean, and safflower oils (Omega-6 sources) and much less fish and wild game (Omega-3 sources). Due to our drastic change in diet, we now observe a 25:1 ratio, whereby our pro-inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids dominate over our anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids.

It should therefore come us little surprise that cultures with high diet intakes of fish rich in Omega-3 such as the Eskimos and Japanese have a low incidence of chronic inflammatory disorders even when compared to their Westernized ethnic counterparts.1  Observant of these interesting correlations, modern science has put Omega-3 to the test through hundreds of controlled clinical trials across a range of diseases.

--> Lupus clinical trials with Omega-3 show promising results... 

There are several small double blind placebo-controlled studies that show supplementation with Omega-3 yields therapeutic effects for those suffering from lupus (SLE).  In one small double blind cross over study, SLE patients taking Omega-3 reported statistically significant improvement compared to placebo.3  83% of patients taking Omega-3 reported improvement vs. only 24% taking placebo:

Walton Lupus Omega3 Study

In one recent double blind double placebo controlled factorial trial with 52 SLE patients published in the peer-reviewed The Journal of Rheumatology, fish oil (Omega-3) supplementation was clinically shown to help people with SLE.4

Systemic Lupus Activity Measure (SLAM-R) is a valid and reliable measure of activity in SLE.   The study found that patients taking fish oil had a significant reduction in SLAM-R score after 24 weeks compared to those not taking fish oil:

Duffy Lupus Omega3 Study

The scientists involved in the study concluded:

"Participants in the study who were taking fish oil supplements, three times per day for 24 weeks, saw a reduction in disease activity, an improvement in quality of life and reported an overall feeling of improved health by the end of the study compared to those taking a placebo supplement."

The scientists also observed increased energy levels:

"Participants taking the fish oil also showed a reduction in fatigue severity, the most debilitating symptom for lupus sufferers."

--> OMAPURE™'s main ingredient, Omega-3, may allow a reduced use of NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)... 

The very serious side effects of NSAIDs (including ibuprofen, naproxen, Celebrex) are well-known in the scientific community. The respected Mayo Clinic states:

"NSAIDs can cause stomach ulcers and related conditions.The FDA is now requiring expanded information about the risk of gastrointenstinal bleeding on the labels.Large dosages of NSAIDs can also lead to kidney problems and fluid retention, which can worsen congestive heart failure."

Omega-3 is a natural COX inhibitor and has a much safer profile than NSAIDs.  Leading scientific researchers explain:

"Fish oils contain the natural COX inhibitor EPA, which inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2 activity.  The different effects of EPA and NSAIDs on synthesis of downstream products are consistent with the known cardioprotective effect of fish oil and increased cardiovascular risk associated with NSAIDs (especially those that are COX-2 selective)."

The same researchers conclude from the clinical literature that Omega-3 can reduce NSAID use:

"Fish oils have been shown to reduce discretionary NSAID use for analgesia by about 50%."5

One study published in the highly regarded peer reviewed journal Arthritis & Rheumatism found that some Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients could not only reduce NSAID use but also eliminate it:

"We believe that our data support the previous observations that selected individuals with RA may discontinue NSAID therapy while consuming Omega 3 supplements."6

We invite you to read more on Omega-3 and its potential as a safer alternative to NSAIDs.

--> Omega-3 also brings you other important benefits... 

Perhaps the most widely known health benefits for Omega-3 involve the heart.   The American Heart Association states: "Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in epidemiological and clinical trials to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease."

These cardiovascular benefits might be particularly valuable to those who suffer from auto-immune diseases.  A large prospective cohort study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital found that the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) in women with rheumatoid arthritis was twice that compared to those without rheumatoid arthritis.  The risk jumps to three times more likely for women who had rheumatoid arthritis for at least 10 years.7

Omega-3 supplementation can reduce the risk of heart attack.   The American Heart Association states:

"Evidence from prospective secondary prevention studies suggests that EPA+DHA (Omega-3's active ingredients) supplementation ranging from 0.5 to 1.8 g/d (either as fatty fish or supplements) significantly reduces subsequent cardiac and all-cause mortality."8


  1. Simopoluous, AP:Omega-3 fatty acids in inflammation and autoimmune diseases.  J. Am Coll Nutr  2002 Dec;21(6):495-505  Abstract
  2. Arita M, Bianchini F, Aliberti J, Sher A, Chiang N, Hong S, et al: Stereochemical assignment, antiinflammatory properties, and receptor for the omega-3 lipid mediator resolvin E1.  J Exp Med 2005 Mar 7; 201(5):713-722.   Abstract
  3. Walton AJ, Snaith ML, Locniskar M, Cumberland AG, Morrow WJ, Isenberg DA: Dietary fish oil and the severity of symptoms in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.   Ann Rheum Dis 1991 Jul; 50(7):463-6. Abstract
  4. Duffy EM, Meenagh GK, McMillan SA, Strain JJ, Hannigan BM, Bell AL: The clinical effect of dietary supplementation with omega-3 fish oils and/or copper in systemic lupus erythematosus. J Rheumatol 2004 Aug; 31(8):1551-6.  Abstract
  5. Cleland L, James M, Proudman S : Fish oil : what the prescriber needs to know. Arthritis Res Ther 2005 Dec 21; 8(1):202. Full Article
  6. Kremer JM, Lawrence DA, Petrillo GF, Litts LL, Mullaly PM, Rynes RI, et al: Effects of high-dose fish oil on rheumatoid arthritis after stopping nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.   Arthritis Rheum 1995 Aug;38(8):1107-14.  Abstract
  7. Solomon DH, Karlson EW, Rimm EB, Cannuscio CC, Mandl LA, et al: Cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in women diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.   Circulation 2003 Mar 11: 107(9): 1303-7.   Abstract
  8. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ: Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Disease.    Circulation 2002;106:2747-2757. Full Article
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