A team of researchers has found that consuming an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, can stop a known trigger of lupus and potentially other autoimmune disorders. DHA can be found in fatty, cold-water fish and is produced by the algae that fish eat and store in their bodies. It can be found in fish oil supplements as well, used by more than 30 million Americans.
Researchers have identified an inflammatory molecule that appears to play an essential role in the autoimmune disorder systemic lupus erythematosus, commonly known simply as lupus. In their report the team describes finding that a protein that regulates certain cells in the innate immune system – the body’s first line of defense against infection – activates a molecular pathway known to be associated with lupus and that the protein’s activity is required for the development of lupus symptoms in a mouse model of the disease.
Lupus, a particularly bad hell on earth for people suffering from it. Lupus is caused by autoimmunity, in where the body attacks itself. I have a special place in my heart for people suffering from the disease because my Uncle suffered from it. There is no cure and only moderately effective treatments for the disorder, which causes, in some cases, the most excruciating pain you will ever feel. Thankfully new findings by a biomedical engineering team raise hope for a new class of drugs to treat lupus that may not include the long list of adverse risks and side effects often associated with current treatments.
My Uncle suffered from Lupus. The disease itself should have a more sinister sounding name, given the effect it has on the body. Lupus is a form of autoimmune disease which attacks the body and causes an incredible amount of pain. It’s not pretty and complications from the disease can make life even more unbearable for people. There is no cure and sadly there are few treatments outside of managing the pain and side effects of the disease. Thankfully medical researchers have used DNA sequencing to identify a gene variant responsible for causing lupus in a young patient. This doesn’t mean they are on the verge of a cure, but it could possibly lead to tailored treatments.