[PHNUTR-L] Omega-3s boost bone mass in young men - study
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Fri Mar 9 12:41:44 PST 2007
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Omega-3s boost bone mass in young men - study
By Stephen Daniells
08/03/2007 - Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids, particularly
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are linked to increased bone build up in
young men, says a new study.
"This was the first study to investigate the association between
individual PUFAs, BMD, and bone mineral accrual," wrote the researchers
from the Umeå University in Sweden.
"In a cohort of healthy young men, we found that concentrations of n-3
fatty acids, especially DHA, were positively association with peak BMD
in the total body and spine and with bone accrual in the spine," they wrote.
The new study adds to previous research reported that diets with a low
ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids may minimise bone
loss. Indeed, the new study, published in the current issue of The
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also reports that higher ratios
of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids was negatively associated with bone build up
during these formative years.
The researchers, led by Magnus Högström, recruited 78 healthy young men
from high schools and sports clubs with an average age of 16.7 at the
start of the study. The Northern Osteoporosis and Obesity Study (NO2
Study) measured total body bone mineral density (BMD) using dual-energy
X-ray absorptiometry, and obtained blood samples from the men to measure
blood lipid profiles.
"The novelty of our study was in the measurement of fatty acids in the
serum phospholipids fraction in healthy men and their association with
BMD and bone accrual in our cohort," stated the researchers.
After a mean follow-up of seven years 11 months Högström and co-workers
report that concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids were positively linked
to total BMD, spine BMD, with DHA specifically mentioned to have
significant positive associations with these two measures, at age 22.
"Our key finding was a positive association between n-3 fatty acids and
BMD of the total body and spine and the accumulation of BMD at the spine
between 16 and 22 years of age in this cohort of healthy young men,"
said the researchers.
In an accompanying editorial, Chaim Vanek and William Connor from Oregon
Health & Science University, wrote: "The study by Högström et al. nicely
adds to a growing body of evidence that n-3 fatty acids are also
beneficial to bone health."
Vanek and Connor suggested that the mechanism behind the apparent
benefits might come from affecting expression of the role of peroxisome
proliferators-activated receptor γ (PPAR-γ), a protein that plays a role
in metabolic functions and is expressed in bone marrow. Studies have
shown that overexpression of this protein is linked to lower bone mass,
therefore EPA and DHA, neither of which is known to activate PPAR-γ
expression, may protect bone mass.
"The attainment of peak bone mass in adolescence and the prevention of
age-related osteoporosis are potential positive effects of n-3 fatty
acids," they wrote. "Further elucidation of the physiological effects of
n-3 fatty acids on bone health, along with clinical trials of EPA and
DHA to prevent or treat osteoporosis, is needed."
Osteoporosis is estimated to affect about 75m people in Europe, the USA
and Japan. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the
total direct cost of osteoporotic fractures is €31.7bn in Europe, and
17.5bn in the US (2002 figure). The total annual cost of osteoporosis in
the UK alone is over £1.7bn (€2.5bn), equivalent to £5m (€7.3m) each day.
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
March 2007, Volume 85, Pages 803-807
"n-3 fatty acids are positively association with peak bone mineral
density and bone accrual in healthy men: the NO2 study"
Authors: M. Högström, P. Nordström, A. Nordström
Editorial: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
March 2007, Volume 85, Pages 647-648
"Do n-3 fatty acids prevent osteoporosis?"
Authors: C. Vanek and W.E. Connor
Kathrynne Holden, MS, RD < fivestar at nutritionucanlivewith.com >
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