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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Could a Diet High in Fish and Flax Help Prevent Broken Hips?

Higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood may reduce the risk for hip fractures in postmenopausal women, recent research suggests.
Scientists analyzed red blood cell samples from women with and without a history of having a broken hip. The study showed that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids from both plant and fish sources in those blood cells were associated with a lower likelihood of having fractured a hip.
In addition to omega-3s, the researchers looked at omega-6 fatty acids, which are generally plentiful in a Western diet. The study also showed that as the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s increased, so did the risk for hip fracture.
Though the study did not define the mechanisms for these relationships, the researchers hypothesized that inflammation may contribute to bone resorption, the breaking down of bone caused by the release of cells called osteoclasts.
“Inflammation is associated with an increased risk of bone loss and fractures, and omega-3 fatty acids are believed to reduce inflammation. So we asked if we would see fractures decrease in response to omega-3 intake,” said Rebecca Jackson, the study’s senior author and a professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at The Ohio State University.
 This work was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. The WHI was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Co-authors include Steven Ing of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; Bo Lu of the Division of Biostatistics; and Martha Belury of the Department of Human Nutrition, all at Ohio State; as well as Karen Johnson of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Jean Wactawski-Wende of the State University of New York, Buffalo.
Source:Journal of Bone & Mineral Research

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