Effects of an Intervention With EVOO and Physical Activity in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (EFINUTRILES)

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    Universidad de Granada
Updated on 21 September 2023


In addition to the different pharmacological therapies available for the treatment of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) as well as for its numerous associated complications (cutaneous, articular, hematological, neuropsychiatric, renal...), it has recently been proposed that 'health-related lifestyles' could have a determining role in balancing numerous organic processes at all levels. In line with this, the benefits of following a healthy dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean Diet and, specifically, the intake of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) as well as the realization of regular physical exercise (PE) have been examined in numerous chronic non-communicable diseases such as obesity or cancer. However, in patients with autoimmune diseases, such as SLE, the possible effects of this synergy has not been investigated to date. Having demonstrated both the protective effect of a healthy dietary pattern and that of regular PE on the progression and risks associated with SLE in cross-sectional studies, non-intervention research has been developed that combines both strategies simultaneously, with nutritional supplementation or PE occurring independently. It is hypothesized that supplementation with EVOO in these patients together with PE will produce superior benefits compared to EVOO supplementation alone, showing changes in the phenotype of SLE and other parameters such as levels of chronicity/gravity, biomarkers (oxidative stress, immunological, inflammation), cardiovascular status and body composition.


SLE is one of the more representative autoimmune diseases that courses with several manifestations which are cutaneous-mucosal, joint, hematologic, neuropsychiatric and/or renal. In addition to the different pharmacological therapies available for its treatment, the adequate management of 'health-related lifestyles' becomes a relevant strategy by balancing, among others, the dysbiosis of the microbiota, the production of metabolites and the alteration of the immune response, with positive repercussions on all organic processes. Mediterranean Diet (MD), and the intake of EVOO in specific, which is its most representative food, has been shown to be a proven dietary pattern of protection against chronic non-communicable diseases. In line with this, Physical Exercise (PE) is another strategy on the rise. Regular exercise at moderate intensity has great impact on the immune system, the central nervous system, as a regulator of hormones and blood glucose levels, and on the psychosocial and cognitive spheres, ultimately leading to the appearance of numerous beneficial modifications in the face of external pathogenic aggressions and inflammatory processes.

Therefore, the synergy between DM and PE could enhance the known beneficial effects of both types of approaches in patients with SLE, as the scientific literature has shown in other chronic diseases such as obesity or cancer, among others. However, there are currently few studies that include PE interventions, and there is also some contradiction in the results. In addition, there is no study that synergizes both approaches in a coincident manner over time. The present study, whose main objective is to analyze the influence of the addition to a supplementation with EVOO of a multimodal combined physical exercise intervention in patients with SLE, is developed under the hypothesis that: The combination of dietary supplementation with EVOO together with the follow-up of a multimodal PE program will result in superior benefits in SLE patients with respect to a group of patients solely supplemented with EVOO, showing changes in SLE phenotype and parameters such as levels of chronicity/severity of the disease, levels of biochemical, immunological, inflammatory and oxidative stress markers, markers of cardiovascular risk and early atherosclerosis and endothelial function, cardiorespiratory status and body composition.

For this purpose, a 24-week clinical trial will be developed with three groups of patients with SLE (30 patients/group): a control group (no intervention), another that will add to the usual intake pattern of 40ml of EVOO daily during 24 weeks, and a third group that will add to this additional intake of EVOO the follow-up of a specific PE program in the middle of the intervention (12 weeks).

Data collection in all groups will be perform before the intervention, at an intermediate stage and coinciding with the beginning of the PE program (12 weeks), and at the end of the study (24 weeks).

The study will be carried out in three phases:

STAGE 1: Reinforcement of adherence to DM. In order to guarantee during the intervention the maintenance of the levels of adherence to DM established as inclusion criteria, previously and in both groups the basic principles of DM will be recalled by a nutritionist, through group sessions of 1 hour of duration.

STAGE 2: Intervention. EVOO supplementation, or EVOO supplementation + PE under the conditions previously described. The intervention, which will be extended over 24 weeks, will consist of the daily consumption of 40 ml of EVOO in a single daily intake, added to the usual intake pattern of the participants.

  • CG. The participants' usual lifestyle (dietary pattern and physical activity) will not be modified.
  • Intervention Group 1. Patients will take the EVOO supplementation as describe below, without changing their physical activity routines.
  • Intervention Group 2. In addition to taking EVOO supplementation, patients will start following a Multimodal Physical Exercise (MFE) program during the remaining 12 weeks of intervention, guided by personnel with experience in the area: 3 days per week, groupal sessions (≤10 participants/group) on non-consecutive days, both online and face-to-face sessions. Continuous (4-6weeks) and intervallic (week 5-7 to 24) cardiovascular exercise will be worked at moderate-intense intensity, controlled by HR in reserve, with a duration of 15-45 minutes. In addition, sympathetic modulation exercises (stretching, breathing, meditation) will be used as methods to promote recovery, with a duration of 10-30 minutes. In this group, supplementation will take place after exertion.

STAGE 3: Post-intervention data collection (week 25).

Condition Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
Treatment Physical Exercise Program, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05261529
SponsorUniversidad de Granada
Last Modified on21 September 2023

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