What Are Autoimmune Disease Supplements?

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Autoimmune disease supplements and LupusAutoimmune disease represents a class of disease where the body’s immune system has become dysfunctional. The body’s immune system attacks itself, causing many illnesses. Some common auto-immune disease disorders include rheumatoid arthritis (not osteoarthritis) and lupus erythematosus. But by taking autoimmune disease supplements we can reinforce our immune systems and reduce the likelihood and severity of autoimmune diseases.

Lupus Erythematosus – Model of Auto-Immune Disease

Lupus erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the connective tissue. 90 percent of those afflicted are women, and mostly occur in young adults. It is an autoimmune disease.

The prognosis for people with Lupus depends on the severity of the condition and whether any dangerous complications develop. Mild cases of lupus respond very well to natural medicine. Those with more serious illnesses can expect to achieve some relief of symptoms with natural approaches.

Dietary Guideline:

Green leafy vegetables are important for autoimmune disease supplements

Follow a well-balanced high fiber diet, with plenty of green leafy vegetables. Maximize intake of raw and steamed vegetables, including broccoli, kale, beet and collard greens which can be consisdered useful autoimmune disease supplements.

  • Avoid any allergies or sensitivity to food that may trigger flare-ups. Many have found the avoidance of wheat, chocolate and milk to be helpful.
  • Avoid alfalfa sprouts that interfere with protein metabolism. Large amounts of raw cabbage depress thyroid function and should also be avoided.
  • Avoid distilled water. Drink 10 glasses of pure filtered and water that is slightly alkaline (pH 7.8-8)

Autoimmune Disease Supplements

  • Beta-carotene is required by the immune system and adrenal gland function. Take at least 10,000 IU a day
  • Full-spectrum digestive enzymes providing at least 5,000 I.U. of lipase, 2,500 I.U. of amylase, and 300 I.U. of protease three times a day as many lupus patients have digestive problems.
  • Many patients with lupus have difficulty absorbing sufficient protein. Take a good amino-acid complex that supplies all the essential amino acids, plus cysteine (the precursor to glutathione), GABA (relaxing the nervous system and improving nerve transmission), and carnitine (important for energy).
  • Month 1 – free form amino acid plus 500 mg l-cysteine twice a day
    Month 2 – add 500 mg of NAC twice a day
    Month 3 – add 500 mg of GABA
    Month 4 – add 500 mg of L-carnitine daily
    Month 5 – add 500 mg of L-carnitine daily
  • Lupus patients normally have fragile bone function, especially if steroid usage has been chronic. Calcium 800 mg and Magnesium 800 should be taken daily. Those with compromised renal function will require less.
  • Essential fatty acids such as those found in black currant seed oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, and flaxseed oil have anti-inflammatory effect and are beneficial for the skin.
  • Vitamin C and autoimmune disease supplementsGlucosamine, chrodoitin sulfate, MSM and bromelain support join function
  • Green-foods supplement contain important trace minerals missing in ordinary diet. It also acts to alkalize the biological terrain. Chlorella and spirulina are particularly good.
  • Probiotics such as acidophilus (5 billion or more) strengthen and stabilize the gastrointestinal system.
  • Vitamin C (1000 mg) has strong anti-inflammatory properties and strengthens the collagen and connective tissue matrix.
    Take together with L-lysine (500 mg), L-proline (250 mg). Also include ascorbyl palmitate 150-200 mg for its fat-soluble properties.
  • Vitamin E promotes healing and is a strong anti-oxidant. 400 I.U to 800 I.U a day. Those on coumadin should refrain from excessive vitamin E that has blood-thinning effect.
  • Zinc supplementation beyond 30 mg should be refrained.
  • DHEA is a hormone that stimulates the adrenal gland. Adrenal gland function is often compromised in people with lupus. 15-25 mg a day
  • Plant sterols should be considered as these act as weak natural steroids to reduce the inflammatory response and are good autoimmune disease supplements.
  • Medical tonifying mushroom. Those with symptoms should take astragalus and Cordyceps or Siberian ginseng to increase energy
  • Avoid herbs that stimulate the immune system such as Echinacea, Zinc, Cat’s claw, and olive leaf.
  • Reishi, Maitake, and Shitake mushroom enhance immune function. They also may improve parasympathetic nervous system and heart function. Take moderate dose of  concentrated extract equivalent to 1000 to 3000 mg a day in divided dosage.
  • Grape-seed and pine-bark extract are strong anti-oxidants. 500 mg twice a day.
  • Tumeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory and effective against arthritic type pain. Take 300 to 500 two to three times a day

Lifestyle Considerations:

  • Autoimmune disease supplements and quitting smokingAvoid contact with environmental pollutants, including automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke, and herbicides.
  • Avoid exposure to sun that can trigger Lupus.
  • Be careful with over the counter sunscreens that may be allergenic.
  • Be careful with any hormone replacement therapy. Manipulation of sex hormones can be a trigger of Lupus.
  • Use hypoallergenic shampoo and avoid heavy fragrances.

Dr. Lam’s Key Questions

Some people have a hyperactive immune system. When coupled with AFS, they can have symptoms surface that resembles anautoimmune disease.

If you have autoimmune diseases, you need to embark on a lifestyle that is good for you. Take supplements to replenish your organs to keep them healthy.

Vitamin C and autoimmune disease supplements

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Thank you so much, Dr Lam. I’ve researched many different sites (that are credible) about anything and everything dealing with the HPA axis and/or auto immune diseases. I’m a young lady that had respiratory pleurisy bouts, weird infections and constant shortness of breath after a trauma and many other symptoms. All blood tests have come back low to low normal. I’ve been doing ICT kits like crazy. When I read your article, it described literally every symptom from both AFS and Hypothyroidism. By far, yours has been the best research, comfort and peace. Thank you.



  • Charles says:

    What links have you found with the liver disease PSC? I’m 56 years old typeO blood, celiac disease as well.
    I have high liver enzyme levels, bilirubin normal, and high Creatinine.
    Any suggestions

  • Jennifer says:

    “Chlorella and spirulina are particularly good.” For auto immune diseases? All my research shows these two actually increase auto immune disease.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      These two green food’s primary function has to be do chelating out toxins such as inflammatory mercury and lead that can aggreviate or trigger auto immune problems as an indirect negative side effect

      Dr Lam

  • Lisa says:

    Could natural progesterone be of help with an autoimmune skin disease? My dog is taking Prednisone (15mg at the present moment) for Pemphigus Foliaceus, which has similar qualities to Lupus Erythematosus. I want to get him off the prednisone, or at least be able to reduce his dose down to a couple of mg. daily, but don’t want to prompt a relapse. Would a little progesterone help, since it’s anti inflammatory? Of at least help mitigate Pred side effects, like osteoporosis? Also, would some DHEA supplementation help as well? My dog is a 20lb male and 9 years old, in excellent health except for his skin problem. Prednisone has been highly helpful but I know it’s a bad if taken longterm.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      first of all I am not a veterinarian so my input must not be taken as vetenary advise. progesterone does have a calming effect but that is more neurological than auto-immune. DHEA is the biiological daughter of pregnenolone and is stronger than pregnenolone. Prednisone is much stronger. There are less potent steriods and your vet will know which one to step down if that is what you desire.

  • Gretch says:

    What about hydrolyzed collagen? Does it help? Also, I’m wondering if it helps with bone growth/strengthening or rebuilding tissue?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      It can be helpful , but you also have to be careful as it can be stimulating for some people who are in advance stages of AFS and too much can be constipational.

      Dr Lam

  • Pittpuppy says:

    As soon as I began using a transdermal hormone replacement cream POST FULL HYSTERECTOMY, I began having one flare right after another. Is this due to the comment above about hormone therapy being a trigger? What do you recommend as a hormone replacement therapy that will NOT trigger me constantly?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      It is not unusual for hormones to have paradoxical type effects. you need to go back to your doctor. If you are weak internally, hormones can crash you as well. there are many considerations. natural progesterone is particularly common to be associated with such effect

      Dr Lam

  • Dana says:

    I found this information rather interesting. How effective are dietary protocols for lupus in practice? I’m very curious about this. Thanks, Dr. Lam!

    • Dr. Lam says:

      No diet is perfect, but if it fits the body, the result can be amazing. Each body is a bit different, so you need to first understand your body’s needs in great detail. In general, you want a diet that is anti-inflammation and low in oxidative stress.

      Dr Lam