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Omega-3 DHA could halt the onset of lupus

Natural Health News – The consumption of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid omega fatty acid -3) can stop a known potentially trigger lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

“What we discovered was that lupus was not caused by crystalline silica, a toxic mineral also known as quartz which is linked to human autoimmunity, DHA blocked the activation of the disease,” said Melissa Bates, one of the lead authors of the study and doctoral student in the Department of Food Science and human Nutrition and Toxicology Institute for Integrative MSU.

The results are published in the journal PLOS ONE .

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy tissues, cells and organs, causing pain and inflammation.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the most common form of the disease, accounting for about 70% of all cases. The skin is the organ most frequently affected by SLE, although the brain, kidneys, lungs and other organs and tissues may also be damaged.

What you need to know

Occupational exposure to crystalline silica is an important risk factor for developing lupus risk. People working in agriculture, construction and mining are at risk of snorting.

A new study has shown that consumption of omega-3 DHA can prevent injuries in the lungs and kidneys that are associated with silica-induced lupus.

Although this is an animal study, the results were very positive – with 80% of the lesions were arrested for the lowest consumption and 96% of injuries detained by the highest, suggesting that this may be useful for humans with lupus therapy.

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Environmental factors and lupus

There are a number of environmental factors that are believed to trigger lupus, one of which is exposure to crystalline silica.

Crystalline silica is a naturally occurring compound in many substances, including concrete, brick and mortar. Once inhaled, the cells in the lung may try to neutralize the silica, but is so toxic that just killing these cells. When they die, signals are sent to the immune system that something is wrong. Then, the body produces a strong immune response that mistakenly directed to healthy cells.

Previous research has also associated with occupational exposure to crystalline silica with an increased risk of SLE and other autoimmune diseases, damage to the lungs, in particular.

The preclinical study examined the effect of DHA in lupus lesions in the lungs and kidneys of female mice that were genetically predisposed to the disease. Mice received three different daily doses -. Equivalent to a human dose of 2, 6 and 12 g per day

The results were very positive in each dose stop 80%, 98% ad 96% of the lesions that are normally activated by silica.

Jack Harkema, a coauthor of the study and pulmonary pathologist said: “. I have never seen such a dramatic protective response in the lung before”

A “dramatic” protection

DHA can be found in fat, cold water fish and is produced by algae-eating fish and store in their bodies. The human body can not do so must be obtained from food and fish oil and algae oil supplements too.

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Current recommendations of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) suggest a minimum consumption of EPA + DHA 250 mg per day with a maximum intake of 5 g per day.

Although it is still unknown exactly why the DHA is able to prevent the onset of lupus, the researchers noted that this study gives scientists a better model to look at how much DHA is needed to ward off the environmental trigger of the disease.

Harkema suggests that more research is needed to understand exactly what is happening. For example, DHA could change the shape of these cells, also known as macrophage, reacting the silica in the lungs and somehow alter the immune system response.

Another theory is DHA helps cells send a signal of anti-inflammatory in the body so it does not overcompensate and trigger an autoimmune response. It is also possible that somehow DHA allows cells to engulf and remove toxic silica lungs without dying, avoiding any inflammatory signals being sent.

“What we do know is this study is a clear indication that the consumption of DHA can prevent this type of environmental trigger of lupus,” said study co-author James Pestka, Michigan State University. “You can remove many of the signaling pathways of the disease, which current drugs on the market now try to target and treat.”

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