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A systematic review of the impact of n-3 fatty acids in bone health and osteoporosis

Pooneh Salari, Ali Rezaie, Bagher Larijani, Mohammad Abdollahi

Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(3): RA37-44

ID: 836571


Osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women, delineates a major health and economic problem in the world. Regarding the pathogenesis of osteoporosis and the interaction between various cells and mediators, many studies have been conducted to evaluate the benefit of different therapeutic options. Over the past several years evidence has been growing on the effects of dietary fatty acids on bone health. The objective of this paper was to provide a review of the current knowledge of dietary fatty acids and osteoporosis. Medline/Index Medicus and EMBASE/Excerpta Medica were searched for relevant papers regarding the effects of n-3 fatty acids on osteoporosis between 1963 and 2007 using the key words: osteoporosis, bone health, n-3 fatty acids, and PUFA. Bone mineral density and bone markers have been used in several animal studies to evaluate the beneficial effect of n-3 fatty acids on bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. Generally, animal studies support the beneficial effects of n-3 fatty acids on bone health and osteoporosis; however, the dissimilar lipid metabolism in human and animals, the various study designs, and controversies over the human study outcomes make it difficult to draw a definite conclusion. The authors believe that conclusive findings in humans are still lacking in this area and it needs to be further investigated.

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