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Nutrients. 2012 Dec 27;5(1):10-22. doi: 10.3390/nu5010010.

Dietary habits, nutrients and bone mass in Spanish premenopausal women: the contribution of fish to better bone health.

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Metabolic Bone Diseases Research Group, School of Nursing and Occupational Therapy, University of Extremadura, Caceres 10003, Spain.


The moderate consumption of fish is recommended for a healthy diet and is also a feature of the Mediterranean diet. Fish is a major food group in diets throughout the world, and studies show that fish consumption is associated with a lower risk of a number of conditions. Spain has one of the highest annual per capita consumptions of fish worldwide. As fish is a source of high quality protein; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; vitamins, such as A and D; and minerals, such as selenium, calcium, iodine, magnesium, copper and zinc, nutrients that have positive effects on bone characteristics, it has been proposed that its consumption could improve bone health. In this cross-sectional study, we have investigated the relationship between dietary habits and nutrient intake of 151 Spanish premenopausal women and analyzed the association of fish consumption on bone mass measured by quantitative ultrasound of the phalanges. A higher (P < 0.05) bone mass and vitamin D intake (P < 0.05) was observed in the group with a fish intake of 5-7 servings/week. We conclude that increased fish consumption is helpful in maintaining an adequate bone mass in Spanish premenopausal women.

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