Lupus
Environmenal factors are found to trigger the genetic disease Lupus, researchers from Michigan State University revealed.Reuters

Researchers from the Michigan State University revealed that around 1.5 million Americans are affected by Lupus, a genetic disease. Environmental factors are also said to be responsible for triggering lupus.

This ailment affects women belonging to the age group ranging from 15 to 44 years. Hispanics and African-Americans are particularly prone to this ailment, even though other races too contract this disease.

Lupus is an ailment of flares and exposure to UV rays or tanning in bed for too long are said to trigger this disease. There are various other factors like physical or emotional stress, various drugs and infection or injuries that can lead to lupus as per experts.

This research was conducted by a team of researchers from the Michigan State University, which discovered that an omega-2 fatty acid called docosahexaenoic (DHA) can prevent triggering of various autoimmune disorders including lupus. This research was published on September 29, 2016 on the university website.

Cold water fishes are good sources of DHA; these fishes consume algae which produce this acid. Statistics reveal that fish oil supplements containing DHA are used by more than 30 million Americans, Science Daily reported.

Presence of another fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic (EHA) is also found in fish oil supplements. Seaweed is said to be a vegetarian source DHA acid.

"What we discovered was when lupus was triggered by crystalline silica, a toxic mineral also known as quartz that's linked to human auto-immunity, DHA that blocked the activation of the disease," said Melissa Bates, one of the study's lead authors and a doctoral student at the MSU's Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and the Institute of Integrative Toxicology.

Jack Harkema a study author and pulmonary pathologist said 96 percent of the lung lesions were stopped with DHA after being triggered by the silica. He also added that he has never seen a protective response in the lung before.

This research was funded by the Lupus Foundation of America and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences.

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