Can Your Bones Profit from Omega-3s?

By Dr. Susan Brown and Cameron Vazquez, MPH

You’ve heard of omega-3s for mind well being and coronary heart well being, however have you ever heard about omega-3s for bone well being? Given the myriad advantages these essential anti-inflammatory vitamins have on our well being, it was solely pure to discover whether or not these advantages prolong to bone. And certainly, they do. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to cut back fracture threat and reduce bone loss, making them one other key nutrient to help bone well being.

Omega-3s and Fracture Danger

Quite a few research assert that omega-3s instantly affect fracture threat generally and threat of hip fracture particularly.

A 2015 research (1) discovered that males who had the best ranges of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3s, and EPA had the bottom threat of basic fracture in comparison with males with the bottom ranges of PUFAs, omega-3s, and EPA. The ladies on this research skilled a decrease threat of basic fracture after they had increased ranges of PUFAs.

This research additionally discovered that each day fish oil consumption, a substance with excessive concentrations of omega-3s, throughout midlife decreased a lady’s fracture threat by 25% and a person’s fracture threat in late life by 36%.

One other research inspecting postmenopausal girls discovered the same pattern when taking a look at hip fracture. The truth is, the research asserts that the quantity of α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and whole omega-3 polyunsaturated acids (PUFAs) in crimson blood cells is a significant predictor of hip fracture. Larger ranges of omega-3 fat had been related to a decrease threat for fracture. (2)

Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio and Fracture Danger

Many research cite excessive ranges of PUFAs as protecting towards bone. This contains each omega-6 PUFAs and omega-3 PUFAs. Nevertheless, analysis has discovered that there’s significance within the ratio of omega-6 PUFAs to omega-3 PUFAs. As an example, a research inspecting postmenopausal girls discovered {that a} increased omega-6/omega-3 ratio predicts a better threat for hip fracture. The truth is, the members with the best n-6/n-3 suffered from double the hip fractures. (2)

It is sensible {that a} excessive omega-6 to omega-3 ratio would enhance the chance of hip fracture. It’s well-known that having too many omega-6s in comparison with omega-3s contributes to quite a lot of critical inflammatory ailments akin to coronary heart illness, most cancers, and autoimmune issues. (3)

Omega-3s and Bone Mineral Density

Not solely does knowledge help that omega-3s dramatically scale back fracture threat, but in addition the analysis means that omega-3s instantly impression bone mineral density. That is performed by facilitating bone mineralization, lowering irritation, and defending towards extreme bone breakdown. (4)

Bone mineral loss is the results of an imbalance between bone formation by osteoblast cells and bone resorption by osteoclast cells. Omega-3s can enhance bone-building cell exercise and scale back the exercise of bone breakdown cells. One research even steered that 4.5 to six grams per day of EPA and DHA can have healing results on bone loss. (5)

Not solely have the bone advantages of omega-3s been replicated in populations everywhere in the world, together with in South Korea (6), China (7), Spain (8), and Iceland (1), however they’ve additionally been seen in research carried out by NASA on astronauts who’ve lived past our world. Astronauts lose bone due to the weightlessness they expertise in house journey. On common, astronauts lose 1 to 1.5% of bone per 30 days whereas residing in house. (9)

To fight this bone loss, researchers investigated the results of omega-3s and located that astronauts who consumed extra fish (and subsequently extra omega-3s) suffered much less bone loss following their return from 4- to 6-month house flights. (10)

Omega-3s and Steroid-Induced Osteoporosis

Glucocorticoids akin to prednisone, are the primary reason behind secondary osteoporosis and osteoporosis earlier than the age of fifty. (11)

Decreasing the injury to the bone from steroid drugs is essential and a latest Russian research means that omega-3 fat may help. Though this was an animal research, it demonstrated that omega-3 fat can forestall bone loss from steroid use. That is more than likely because of the anti-inflammatory actions of omega-3 fat. (12)

We stay up for extra human research, in addition to newer and extra revolutionary research sooner or later to substantiate these findings.

Higher Your Bones with Omega-3s

Right here on the Middle for Higher Bones, omega-3 fat rank amongst the vital bone-building vitamins, as does the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s. Now, with breakthrough know-how, it’s doable with a simple at-home blood spot test to get a complete evaluation to measure each your omega-3 fat and your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, and to detect in case you have poisonous trans fat.Omega 3 Master class

Click on for References


  1. Harris, T. B., et al. 2015. Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and fish-oil consumption in relation to osteoporotic fracture threat in older adults: The Age, Gene/Atmosphere Susceptibility Research. American Journal of Scientific Vitamin 101(5):947-955.
  2. Orchard, T. S., et al. 2013. The affiliation of crimson blood cell n-3 and n-6 fatty acids with bone mineral density and hip fracture threat within the girls’s well being initiative. Journal of Bone and Mineral Analysis 28(3):505-515.
  3. Simopoulos, A. P. 2006. Evolutionary facets of food regimen, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio and genetic variation: Dietary implications for persistent ailments. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 60(9):502-507.
  4. Sharma, T. and C. C. Mandal. 2020. Omega-3 fatty acids in pathological calcification and bone well being. Journal of Meals Biochemistry 44(8):e13333.
  5. Fazelnia, F. and N. Khodabandehloo. 2019. Preventive and healing impact of omega-3 supplementation on bone mineral density in individuals aged 60 years and older: A scientific evaluate. Inside Medication and Medical Investigation Journal 4(1):9-15.
  6. Moon, H.-J., et al. 2012. Optimistic correlation between erythrocyte ranges of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and bone mass in postmenopausal Korean girls with osteoporosis. Annals of Vitamin and Metabolism 60(2):146-153.
  7. Chen, Y. M., et al. 2010. Larger sea fish consumption is related to higher bone mass and decrease osteoporosis threat in postmenopausal Chinese language girls. Osteoporosis Worldwide 21:939-946.
  8. Lavado-García, J., et al. 2018. Lengthy-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid dietary consumption is positively related to bone mineral density in regular and osteopenic Spanish girls. PLoS ONE 13(1):e0190539.
  9. Stavnichuk, M., et al. 2020. A scientific evaluate and meta-analysis of bone loss in house vacationers. Npj Microgravity 6:article 13.
  10. NASA (Nationwide Aeronautics and Area Administration). 2010. NASA research discover omega-3 could assist scale back bone loss. Science Day by day 11 Could 2010.
  11. Briot, Ok. and C. Roux. 2015. Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. RMD Open 1(1):e000014.
  12. Elbahnasawy, A. S., et al. 2019. Protecting impact of dietary oils containing omega-3 fatty acids towards glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis. Journal of Vitamin and Well being 52(4):323-331.

Dr. Susan BrownI’m Dr. Susan Brown. I’m a medical nutritionist, medical anthropologist, author, and motivational speaker. Be taught my time-tested 6 step pure strategy to bone well being in my online courses.