Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1.5 million Americans. According to experts, lupus flares are usually triggered by certain environmental factors. Michigan State University researchers has found that omega-3 fatty acid DHA can stop a known trigger of lupus and potentially other autoimmune disorders. “What we discovered was when lupus was triggered by crystalline silica, a toxic mineral also known as quartz that’s linked to human autoimmunity, DHA blocked the activation of the disease,” said Melissa Bates, one of the study’s lead authors.
The preclinical study examined the effect of DHA on lupus lesions located in the lungs and kidneys of female mice that have already been predisposed to the autoimmune disease. Another study author and pulmonary pathologist,Jack Harkema said: “Ninety-six percent of the lung lesions were stopped with DHA after being triggered by the silica.” He also added saying that he has never seen a protective response in the lung before. Researchers believe that DHA can change the cells to alter the response of the immune system that targets healthy cells by signaling or through other protective response.