Essential Fatty Acids & Autoimmune Disease Management


1. Reduced Reliance on Mediation Decreases Health Risk
2. Essential Fatty Acids-Flaxseed, Borage, and Fish oils
3. Recommended Dosage
4. Avoid or Reduce Consumption of Certain Foods





Reduced Reliance on Mediation Decreases Health Risk

The aim of diet and lifestyle in autoimmune diseases, and supplementation, is to help to decrease inflammation over the long term. Over time this reduces the number of flare-ups and the severity of the flare ups, as the disease moves forward, which provides better overall management. There is strong evidence that the right diet supplementation program can help reduce the reliance on immuno-suppressive drugs. Some of these drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases can increase risk of cancer, and opportunistic infection. The right diet and supplementation plan can also reduce risk of having to use too many anti-inflammatory medications, which can cause intestinal bleeding , ulceration, kidney damage, liver damage and even heart problems and high blood pressure problems.

Thus,reducing your reliance in these medications as much as you can is very important to your long-term health. The same is true for  reducing your reliance on Corticosteroid drugs (like prednisone) because they are they’re linked to increased risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and other problems.

Essential Fatty Acids-Flaxseed, Borage, and Fish oils

As for the right supplements,  one of the important supplements to consider in the long-term management of an autoimmune disease are essential fatty acids. The best blend combination of essential fatty acids includes flaxseed oil, borage oil and fish oil - all in one capsule. The fish oil contains omega three fats such as EPA, which the body will convert into this a hormone known as prostaglandin-3,  which is very anti-inflammatory. Fish oil also contains an omega-3 fat called DHA, which the body can convert into EPA and then into anti-inflammatory prostaglandin-3 hormone.

So fish oil is really important. But so is flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil also contains a great amount of omega-3 fat known as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Like DHA, the body can convert ALA into EPA. But the ALA from flaxseed does something else, it helps stop the body from making some of the bad essential fats that leads to inflammatory prostaglandin hormones known as prostaglandin-2.

Prostaglandin series 2 is the bad prostaglandin that promotes inflammation.  Taking flaxseed oil can help to block the body from synthesizing the bad fat that gets converted into Prostaglandin series 2. Fish oil alone cannot stop the synthesis of inflammatory prostaglandins. Fish oil needs the help of flaxseed oil to do that.

Now borage seed oil contains GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). GLA is very anti-inflammatory just like EPA and ALA for flaxseed oil.

Evening primrose oil also contains GLA, but only about 9 % of all the fats are GLA, whereas in borage seed 22% of the fats are GLA. So borage seed oil is superior. Other oils have some GLA too, but borage seed and black current oil are the richest sources of the GLA, which is an anti-inflammatory essential fat you need if you have an autoimmune disease or any inflammatory condition or want to reduce cancer risk. Black current oil is much more expensive than borage seed oil. So borage seed oil is the most cost effective way to get GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). 

Recommended Dosage

The bottom line is that I suggest you take a capsule each day that contains 1200 milligrams of essential fatty acids. The capsule should contain 400 mg of fish oil, 400mg of flaxseed oil, and 400mg of borage seed oil.

That's the combination you're looking for. In patients with autoimmune disease I normally encourage them to take 4-6 capsules per day during periods of remission or mild flare-ups to help to suppress the inflammatory process, and to decrease recurrences and flare-ups (states of exacerbation). It is also ideal to have 2 fish servings per week.  You don't want to go beyond two fish servings per week because that's how you end up with mercury toxicity and other problems. So, two fish servings a week is a safe amount according to the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Avoid or Reduce Consumption of Certain Foods

You should also stay away from the foods that have a lot of the bad fat, which promotes inflammation. So stay away from the red meat, pork and lamb, duck, high fat dairy products, and, of course, trans fats and so on.

This allows the essential fatty acid supplement with the flaxseed, borage and fish oil to work more effectively. it is also a good idea to take a high potency multivitamin that contains boosted doses of antioxidants,  B-50 complex and other vitamins and certain minerals like magnesium. These nutrients help convert the essential fatty acids in anti inflammatory prostaglandin series -2 hormones, by acting as cofactors and coenzymes in the biochemical reactions.

Many medical doctors don't study nutrition and natural medicine. Thus, they don't give this kind of advice to patients with autoimmune diseases. If you have a problem like this you really need to incorporate these measures into your global treatment plan. At you will find my comprehensive nutrition and supplementation management article for autoimmune disease by performing an article search on the home page.


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