Association Between SLE Disease Activity and Omega Fatty Acids, Vitamin D

HealthDay News — For patients with systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE), increasing omega 6 (n-6)-to-omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid ratios are associated with disease activity, and low vitamin D is associated with later total organ and renal damage, according to 2 studies presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, being held in San Diego.

Prae Charoenwoodhipong, from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the correlation between dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and patient-reported outcomes in SLE in a cross-sectional study based on the MILES Program. The researchers found that increased n-6:n-3 ratios were associated with SLE disease activity after adjustment for covariates (Systemic Lupus Activity Questionnaire score, β 0.322). N-3 fatty acid intake was significantly correlated with better sleep quality (β −1.114) and trended toward significant decreases in depressive symptoms and presence of comorbid fibromyalgia.

Michelle A. Petri, MD, PhD, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined whether vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency predicts later organ damage among patients with SLE. A total of 1392 patients were included in the analysis. The researchers found that low vitamin D was associated with significantly increased risk of total organ damage and renal damage (adjusted relative risks, 1.17 and 1.66).

“Vitamin D supplementation, which can reduce proteinuria, should be a part of the treatment plan for lupus nephritis patients,” Petri said in a statement.

One author from the Petri study disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Related Articles


  1. Charoenwoodhipong P, Zick S, Marder W, et al. Omega polyunsaturated fatty acids and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): the Michigan lupus epidemiology & surveillance (MILES) program. Presented at: ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting; November 3-8, 2017; San Diego, CA. Abstract 2986
  2. Petri M, Fu W, Goldman D. Low vitamin D is associated with end stage renal disease in systemic lupus erythematosus. Presented at: ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting; November 3-8, 2017; San Diego, CA. Abstract 665