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The Nutrition InvestigatorThe health and nutrition blog by Dr. Roc Ordman.

Fish oil testimonial for immune function

by Roc (click here for full post)

Thanks to a kind reader for this useful anecdote, consistent with published peer-reviewed literature:

Dear Roc, Remember our discussion of fish oil to be used to suppress autoimmune
disease? Well I thought you’d be interested to know that I think it works,
at least to a limited extent.

I’ve been taking it since 2007. Before that I had several telangiectasias on
my face and a rash of them had also appeared and persisted on my trunk and
upper arms since about 2005. A dermatologist had diagnosed these and pointed
out how they blanched with pressure. I later would learn that these are
associated with limited systemic scleroderma, formerly known as CREST
syndrome. For many years, my ANA had been running 1:2560, and my CRP and sed
rate, markers of inflammation, had persisted at 2 or 3 times the maximum of
the normal range.

I started with 6 capsules of fish oil daily, and the telangiectasias

After a few months, I reduced the dosage to 4 capsules daily. The
telagiectasias stayed away. It also brought my sed rate and CRP both down
into the normal range, even though they had been consistently elevated for
at least 10 years, and even though the ANA and anticentromere B antibodies
still remain sky high.

But each time I run out of fish oil, it I take too long about getting more,
the telangiectasis start coming back. I resume it, and they go away. This
has happened several times.

I now have switched to a purified omega 3 which is supposed to be 70% omega
3 instead of the fish oil which is supposed to be only 30 to 50% omega3. The
telangiectasias stay away as long as I continue to take it regularly.

I still don’t have any skin hardening after years of autoimmune symptoms. I
suspect that the fish oil’s suppression of inflammation may be helping to
keep the cascade of fibrosis from moving as fast as it otherwise would have.
Either that, or I have the very rare variety called sclerosis sine
scleroderma, which has minimal skin effects – mainly organ effects. My doc
considers the sine variety to be a subset of the limited variety which is my
diagnosis. I do have skin effects, but they are limited to things like itchy
rash, extreme dryness, Raynaud’s, burning erythromelalgia, puffy fingers,
and such. I’m lucky as scleroderma patients go. If you want to see what
scleroderma can do in the less fortunate, just do a Google image search.

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