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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;81(4):934-8.

Ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids and bone mineral density in older adults: the Rancho Bernardo Study.

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  • 1Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several lines of evidence suggest that n-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Other research, mainly in animals, also suggests a role in bone health.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to investigate the association between the ratio of dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acids and bone mineral density (BMD) in 1532 community-dwelling men and women aged 45-90 y.

DESIGN:

Between 1988 and 1992, dietary data were obtained through self-administered food-frequency questionnaires, and BMD was measured at the hip and spine with the use of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A medical history was obtained and current medication use was validated. Age- and multiple-adjusted linear regression analyses were performed.

RESULTS:

There was a significant inverse association between the ratio of dietary linoleic acid to alpha-linolenic acid and BMD at the hip in 642 men, 564 women not using hormone therapy, and 326 women using hormone therapy; these results were independent of age, body mass index, and lifestyle factors. An increasing ratio of total dietary n-6 to n-3 fatty acids was also significantly and independently associated with lower BMD at the hip in all women and at the spine in women not using hormone therapy.

CONCLUSIONS:

A higher ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids is associated with lower BMD at the hip in both sexes. These findings suggest that the relative amounts of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids may play a vital role in preserving skeletal integrity in older age.

PMID:
15817874
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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