Omega 3 Fatty Acids Help Prevent Lupus
The omega 3 fat in krill oil and fish oil known as DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) can prevent the development of lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the immune system attacks components of an individual’s body. It attacks connective tissue and can affect the kidneys, joints, lungs, skin and other organs. Lupus can cause debilitating fatigue and in some instances can even be fatal.
Silica is a known trigger of lupus in genetically susceptible individuals. Crystalline silica (also known as quartz) is a toxic, dangerous form of silica. It can be inhaled through the lungs but is also found in the agriculture, construction and mining industries. According to one of the study’s authors, "Cells in the lung can gobble up the silica, but it's so toxic, it kills these cells. When they die, signals are sent out to the immune system that something is wrong. The body then produces such a strong response that it also starts to target healthy cells."
According to the researchers, the DHA may be changing the way immune cells known as macrophages react to the silica in the lungs and subsequently alter the immune system's response in a way that prevents the onset of lupus.
The researchers concluded with the following statement: "What we do know is this study is a clear indication that eating DHA can prevent this one type of environmental triggering of lupus. It can suppress many of the disease's signaling pathways, which current drugs on the market now try to target and treat."
This is an extremely valuable finding, as lupus is an incredibly common disease. Not many people get enough DHA in their diet. You would have to eat a lot of cold water, deep sea fish such as sardines or herrings to obtain enough. Modern farming practices mean that most seafood, red meat and eggs contain considerably less DHA than they did 50 years ago. Eating pasture raised animal protein will help you get more DHA in your diet. Taking a krill oil or fish oil supplement is the most reliable way of boosting your intake.
For information on the treatment of lupus and all other autoimmune diseases, see our book Healing Autoimmune Disease.