Omega-3 has significant effect on bone strength, study shows

18 October 2011

Healthcare research has shown that fatty acids such as omega-3 cap down throughout could substantially reduce the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Researchers at the University of Bristol found that diets rich in omega-3 reduced the chance of contracting the disease by 50 per cent.

Published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, the study was formed through tests that were carried out on guinea pigs. Some were fed a standard diet, while others were given food containing high levels of omega-3.

The fatty acid, sourced from fish oil or flax oil, was shown to have a profound effect on the symptoms of osteoarthritis and indicated that the old wives' tale about fish oils being good for bones is actually factual.

Leader of the research, Dr John Tarlton, from the Matrix Biology Research group at the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, said: "Most diets in the developed world are lacking in omega-3, with modern diets having up to 30 times too much omega-6 and too little omega-3."

He added that taking omega-3 will help redress this imbalance and may positively contribute to preventing a range of other health problems such as heart disease and colitis.

Osteoporosis or "porous bone" is a disease of the skeletal system characterised by low bone mass and the deterioration of bone tissue.

Posted by Philip Briggs

Tarlton, John, et al., "Regulation of osteoarthritis by omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in a naturally occurring model of disease", Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, September 2011.


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