There are many supplements on the market right now that promise to treat lupus. While many lupus patients show vitamin deficiency it is unclear whether this deficiency is the cause or a symptom of the disease. With lupus, patients should not just buy supplements off the shelves. Vitamins and supplements are often not regulated and may contain ingredients that are harmful in the long run.
Here are the usual supplements patients take:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids/Fish Oil. The leading cause of mortality among lupus patients is cardiovascular disease. Supplementing patient’s diets with fish oil increases cardiovascular protection.
- Turmeric. In one study in Iran, turmeric has been shown to help patients with lupus nephritis. Turmeric contains curcumin which inhibits tumor growth and has anti-inflammatory properties. The sample size is too small though and still needs to be further studied.
- Vitamin D supplements. Patients who suffer from SLE often lack Vitamin D. This is because one trigger for flares is sunlight. Patients usually stay indoors, use sunscreen, or sun protective clothing to avoid flares. Without natural and artificial light, vitamin D needs to be supplemented. Lack of vitamin D often leads to bone deterioration, cardiovascular complications, and fatigue. Researchers have tried to study the effect of vitamin D, but no conclusive evidence has been found yet.
- DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) or androstenolone. DHEA is commonly used in bodybuilding and exercise, but studies have shown that it helps regulate autoimmune activity. Lupus also decreases DHEA levels so supplementing the body with DHEA strengthens the immune system.
- Primrose oil. Evening primrose oil has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces tissue damage caused by lupus.
- Green superfood supplements. Supplements that contain chlorella and spirulina help the body detoxify and are helpful especially against lupus nephritis.
- MSM. Methylsulfonylmethane is anti-inflammatory and a potent detoxifying agent.