Omega 3 – Fish Oils
Lately there has been a lot of information out there about Omega 3-6-9 and/or fish oils. For lupus the benefits of Omega 3 are important to discuss.
It is a fish oil that is high in polyunsaturated fats. These assist in heart health, as well as other functions in the body.1 These are fatty acids that are produced by the body. Natural consumption (through a food source) is always the best way to consume omega 3 (or any supplement for that matter). Although all fish have these oils, specific fish such as salmon, sea bass, tuna, mackerel are the best sources for these omegas.1 These fish oil fatty acids in omega 3 are EPA and DHA. (There is also a third type which is ALA but this is not from fish oils, just from vegetable based sources).2
Benefits of Omega 3
Omega 3 helps with muscle activity, brain function, blood clotting, digestion, heart health, fertility and cell division. 2
Studies have shown diets rich in fish oils (omega 3) have been helpful in treating cardiovascular disease (specifically high blood pressure), and preventing it. 1 It also appears they are helpful with depression and other psychiatric disorders.1 There are many other disorders and conditions that have been shown to be eased by the intake of omega 3, and you can check them out at wholehealthmd.com.
Lately, many pre-natal supplements have also been packed with fish oils for fetal brain and nervous system development.2 However, due to the chance of increased bleeding this may not be an option you want to have. That is a personal decision. I did take additional omega 3 supplements while pregnant, (not in my prenatal vitamin), but not until I was into the second trimester, and I took only the recommended dosage on the bottle.
Specifically to lupus, the omega 3 appears to help control inflammation in the joints, skin, kidneys and other body tissues. Skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema may have some relief from the itchy patches common to these conditions. 1 Studies have proven that the increased blood flow and circulation is helpful to those with SLE.3
The same type of benefits on joints can be seen in those with rheumatoid arthritis using omega 3 supplements, or eating a diet rich in omega 3.2
The Lupus Foundation has also published information showing diets rich in these fatty acids, and supplementation, may help the body produce more anti-inflammatory compounds.4
Dosage for lupus symptoms
The dosage to assist with lupus symptoms is recommended at 3,000 mg of omega 3 fish oil a day.1 This ended up being quite a number of pills when I did this previously. However, combined with the other supplements I have taken it was very helpful in controlling symptoms.
Omega 3s may interact with certain blood clotting medications, and if you are having surgery, it is important to talk to your surgeon well before your surgery if you are supplementing omega 3. 2
It’s important that you talk to your doctor before taking omega 3 supplements to be sure there will not be interactions with your medications, or medical conditions. Certain diabetic conditions can be helped, but some can be irritated by use.1 If you have naturally high cholesterol it is also important to ask your doctor before starting a omega 3-rich diet or supplementation.1
Overall, combined with other supplements and targeted dosages for lupus may help naturally ease some of your symptoms. Talk to your doctor and see what is recommended for you.