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Omega-3 supplements boost bone mineral density in older women

A joint U.S.-Iranian study says that combining exercise with omega-3 supplements may boost the bone mineral density in older women and reduce markers of inflammation.

A daily supplement of 1,000 mg omega-3s in combination with aerobic exercise was associated with increases in bone mineral density (BMD) of up to 19% in post-menopausal women, according to findings published in Nutrition & Metabolism.

In addition, markers of inflammation such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) were significantly reduced following 24 weeks of supplementation plus exercise, report researchers from Urmia University in Iran and the University of Missouri in the U.S.

These findings are significant for women at risk of osteoporosis, characterized by low bone mass, which leads to an increased risk of fractures, especially of the hips, spine and wrists. Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.

Clients (especially post menopausal women) need to commit to the use of long-term omega-3 supplementation and aerobic exercise. 

Seventy-nine healthy post-menopausal women were recruited and randomly assigned to one of four groups: The first group acted as the control and did not receive supplements or an exercise plan; the second group received the exercise plan only; the third group received omega-3 supplements only (1,000 mg omega-3 per day, of which 180 mg was EPA and 120 mg was DHA); and the final group received both supplements and exercise.

The exercise plan involved walking and jogging three times a week at up to 65% of the maximum heart rate.

Twenty-four weeks later, and the researchers found that the combined omega-3/exercise group displayed BMD increases of 15% in the lower back and 19% in the neck of the thigh bone (femur) at the hip.

In addition, the combination group had decreased levels of the pro-inflammatory compounds IL-6 and TNF-alpha by 40% and 80% respectively.

I recommend Metagenics EPA-DHA 720 as part of your daily supplements.

 

Nutrition & Metabolism; 8(1):71, 2011

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