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Osteoporos Int. 2017 Oct;28(10):2887-2891. doi: 10.1007/s00198-017-4128-7. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Intake of omega-3 fatty acids contributes to bone mineral density at the hip in a younger Japanese female population.

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Public Health Research Foundation, 1-1-7 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 169-0051, Japan.
Clinical Medical Research Center, International University of Health and Welfare, Women's Medical Center, Sanno Medical Center, 8-5-35 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tokyo Women's Medical University Hospital, 8-1 Kawadacho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-8666, Japan.
Laboratory of Public Health, Department of Health and Nutrition, Osaka Shoin Women's University, 4-2-26 Hishiyanishi, Higashi-Osaka, Osaka, 577-8550, Japan.
Department of Internal Medicine, Research Institute and Practice for Involutional Diseases, 1610-1 Meisei, Misato, Azumino, Nagano, 399-8101, Japan.


This study investigated the relationships between intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids and bone mineral density in Japanese women aged 19 to 25 years. Intakes of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3) were positively associated with peak bone mass at the hip.


Lifestyle factors such as physical activity and nutrition intake are known to optimize the peak bone mass (PBM). Recently, intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been reported to contribute to bone metabolism. In this study, the relationships of intakes of n-3 and omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids with PBM were evaluated in Japanese female subjects.


A total of 275 healthy female subjects (19-25 years) having PBM were enrolled, and lumbar and total hip bone mineral density (BMD) and bone metabolic parameters were measured. Dietary intakes of total energy, total n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and total n-6 fatty acids were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire. Physical activity information was also assessed.


The mean ± SD age was 20.6 ± 1.4 years, and BMI was 21.2 ± 2.7 kg/m2. BMI and serum bone alkaline phosphatase contributed significantly to lumbar BMD on multiple regression analysis. Intake of n-3 fatty acids and physical activity were also significantly related to total hip BMD. Using EPA or DHA instead of total n-3 fatty acids in the model did not result in a significant result.


Adequate total n-3 fatty acid intake may help maximize PBM at the hip.


Omega-3 fatty acids; Peak bone mass; Polyunsaturated fatty acids

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