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Lupus and Vegetarian Diet: What is the best medical evidence?

Ask Dr. T Question about lupus diet and vegetarians

Anti-inflammatory diet for lupus patients

Lupus and Vegetarian Diet?

Eating a Vegetarian Diet can be Part of an Autoimmune Protocol (AI Protocol)

There are studies showing that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce lupus inflammation and disease activity. Food examples are fatty fishes (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines), chia seed, flaxseed, walnuts. The Mediterranean diet is probably beneficial. At the same time, lowering inflammatory foods (omega-6 FAs) such as red meats, butter, etc (i.e. typical Western and American diet). I include these types of food recommendations in my “Lupus Secrets” as they are so important.

A lupus mouse study looked at “resistant starches.” Examples include potato starch, cold potatoes after cooking, oatmeal. These starches resist digestion, go to the large intestine where beneficial bacteria thrive on them. Studies showed positive immune system effects, so they looked at it for lupus mice. The mice who ate a diet rich in resistant starches were healthier, lived longer, and had less lupus disease activity.

A study in rheumatoid arthritis patients (closely related to lupus) had patients earth an anti-inflammatory diet containing more omega-3 fatty acids, more fruits and veggies (like your question: esp onion, carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, etc.), eat probiotic and prebiotics (eg yogurt with live cultures, and dark chocolate) while eliminating “Solanaceae vegetables (potatoes, eggplant, tomatoes), dairy products (replace it with almond, rice, coconut), greatly reduce all meats. After the study, there was significantly less inflammatory disease in the patients on this diet. (preliminary study data presented at ACR meeting NOV 2020 by principal investigator, Dr. Monica Guma, UCSD)

For more detailed information regarding an anti-inflammatory diet see my other blog on DIET
Thank you to Kelli Roseta of “More Than Lupus” for producing “Ask Dr. T”


Coras R, Martino C, Gauglitz J, Tripathi A, Jarmusch A, Cedola F, Fernandez Bustamante M, Agustín-Perez M, Alharthi M, Lee S, Singh A, Choi S, Rivera T, Nguyen K, Shekhtman T, Holt T, Golshan S, Knight R, Dorrestein P, Guma M. Rheumatoid Arthritis Improvement After Exposure to an Anti-Inflammatory “ITIS” Diet Is Associated with Changes of Gut Microbiome and Systemic Metabolome [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020; 72 (suppl 10). Accessed September 17, 2021.

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