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Nutr Metab (Lond). 2011 Oct 15;8:71. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-8-71.

Long-term aerobic exercise and omega-3 supplementation modulate osteoporosis through inflammatory mechanisms in post-menopausal women: a randomized, repeated measures study.

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Department of Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran.



Evidence indicates that dietary fats and physical activity influence bone health. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of long-term aerobic exercise and omega-3 (N-3) supplementation on serum inflammatory markers, bone mineral density (BMD), and bone biomarkers in post-menopausal women.


Seventy-nine healthy sedentary post-menopausal women aged 58-78 years participated in this study. Subjects were randomized to one of 4 groups: exercise + supplement (E+S, n = 21), exercise (E, n = 20), supplement (S, n = 20), and control (Con, n = 18) groups. The subjects in the E+S and E groups performed aerobic exercise training (walking and jogging) up to 65% of HRmax, three times a week for 24 weeks. Subjects in the E+S and S groups consumed 1000 mg/d N-3 for 24 weeks. The lumbar spine (L2-L4) and femoral neck BMD, serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α, interleukin (IL) 6, prostaglandin (PG) E2, estrogen, osteocalcin, 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1, 25 Vit D), C-telopeptide (CTX), parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcitonin (CT) were measured at baseline, the end of week 12 and 24.


Serum estrogen, osteocalcin, 1, 25 Vit D, CT, L2-L4 and femoral neck BMD measures increased (P < 0.05) and the serum CTX, PTH, TNF-α, IL-6, and PGE2 decreased (P < 0.05) in E + S group after the 24 wk intervention but not in the E or S intervention groups. L2-L4 and femoral neck BMD, estrogen, osteocalcin, and CT were negatively (P < 0.05) correlated with TNF-α and PGE2. PTH and CT were correlated positively and negatively with IL-6, respectively (P < 0.05).


The present study demonstrates that long-term aerobic exercise training plus N-3 supplementation have a synergistic effect in attenuating inflammation and augmenting BMD in post-menopausal osteoporosis.

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