essential fatty acids and osteo health

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Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 13:37:45 MST

            Altern Med Rev 2001 Feb;6(1):61-77 Related Articles, Books

      Can manipulation of the ratios of essential fatty acids slow the rapid
rate of postmenopausal bone loss?

      Kettler DB

      Private practice: Sky Park Wellness Center, Irvine, CA. Correspondence
Address: 18102 Sky Park South, Irvine, CA 92614. E-mail:

      [Record supplied by publisher]

      The rapid rate of postmenopausal bone loss is mediated by the
inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis
factor alpha. Dietary supplementation with fish oil, flaxseeds, and flaxseed
oil in animals and healthy humans significantly reduces cytokine production
while concomitantly increasing calcium absorption, bone calcium, and bone
density. Possibilities may exist for the therapeutic use of the omega-3
fatty acids, as supplements or in the diet, to blunt the increase of the
inflammatory bone resorbing cytokines produced in the early postmenopausal
years, in order to slow the rapid rate of postmenopausal bone loss. Evidence
also points to the possible benefit of gamma-linolenic acid in preserving
bone density.

      PMID: 11207457

      Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 1995 Jul;53(1):13-9

The effect of different n-6/n-3 essential fatty acid ratios on calcium
balance and bone in rats.

Claassen N, Coetzer H, Steinmann CM, Kruger MC

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Pretoria, South

Prostaglandins (PGs) are known to have various effects on bone metabolism.
The supplementation of essential fatty acids (EFAs), the precursors of PGs,
leads to increased intestinal calcium absorption and calcium balance. It is,
however, not known whether increased calcium absorption and calcium balance
will enhance the calcium content in bone. Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 40)
aged 5-12 weeks were supplemented with EFAs. The main dietary EFAs, linoleic
acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) were administered in a ratio of 3:1
as a control group. The conversion of LA to ALA to the PG precursors is
slow, with the first step, delta-6-desaturation being rate limiting. Fatty
acids beyond this rate-limiting step, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, n-6) and
eicoapentaenioc acid (EPA, n-3), were administered to different groups in
the ratios 3:1, 1:1 and 1:3 to explore the impact of different ratios of n-6
and n-3 EFAs. Intestinal calcium absorption (mg/24 h) increased by 41.5% in
the 3:1 supplemented group, compared with the control group. The decrease in
urinary calcium (mg/24 h) correlated with the increase in n-3 level. The
calcium balance (mg/24 h) and bone calcium (mg/g bone ash) increased
significantly in the 3:1 (41.5% and 24.7%) group, compared with the control.
The increase in bone calcium might be attributed to an EFA-induced increase
in circulating PGs. An increased synthesis of PGs acting on target bone
cells, as well as changes in membrane fluidity, may underlie these

PMID: 7675819

      Clin Nutr 2000 Aug;19(4):271-6 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut

Serum fatty acid imbalance in bone loss: example with periodontal disease.

Requirand P, Gibert P, Tramini P, Cristol JP, Descomps B

Faculty of Dentistry of Montpellier, Institute of Biology, Montpellier,

Among the numerous factors of bone remodelling, the local action of
arachidonic acid metabolites together with cytokines, is particularly
important, especially that of prostaglandin PGE2. It has been suggested that
the alveolar bone destruction in periodontal disease and osteoporosis can be
treated by reducing the ratio of arachidonic acid in phospholipids, which
would diminish prostaglandin production. The aim of this study was to
evaluate the main serum polyunsaturated fatty acids and a possible
alteration in the level of arachidonic acid in patients suffering from
periodontal bone loss. Of the 105 patients who participated the study, 78
were suffering from periodontal bone loss and 27 served as a control group.
The fatty acids were measured in serum by gas-chromatography. The results
showed that the level of fatty acids of the n-6 pathway was higher in our
patients with bone loss than in the control group, whereas the reverse was
observed with fatty acids of the n-3 pathway. In conclusion, our patients'
bone losses are linked with an imbalance between n-6 and n-3 fatty acids,
which seems to justify a diet increase in 20- and 22-carbon fatty acids.
Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

PMID: 10952799

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