Nutrients That Can Help

Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E may help in controlling lupus. The evidence is more derivative than direct, based on the anti-inflammatory nature of these nutrients. A clinical trial published in Arthritis and Rheumatism found that large dosages of the hormone dehydroepiandros-terone (DHEA) may be beneficial. Supplements, which are available at health food stores, reduced the frequency of flare-ups. However, DHEA should be used under a physician's guidance.

One intriguing European study, published in Phytotherapy Research, found that supplements of the flavonoid-containing Pycnogenol significantly reduced markers of inflammation and disease activity in patients with lupus. Patients taking corticosteroids to suppress inflammatory symptoms benefited from greater reductions in symptoms after adding 120 mg daily of Pycnogenol, and they also had reductions in their sedimentation rate, a general indicator of inflammation. It is possible that grape seed extract and other flavonoids might be beneficial as well.

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