Preventive and Curative Effect of Omega-3 Supplementation on Bone Mineral Density in People Aged 60 Years and Older: A Review Article


Unsaturated Fatty Acid

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Fazelnia, F., & Khodabandehloo, N. (2019). Preventive and Curative Effect of Omega-3 Supplementation on Bone Mineral Density in People Aged 60 Years and Older: A Review Article. Internal Medicine and Medical Investigation Journal, 4(1).


Osteoporosis and osteopenia are common worldwide problems leading to potentially life-threatening consequences. Omega-3 supplementation for treating osteoporosis is less studied and less valued by physicians. We aimed to ascertain the appropriate dosage of omega- 3 supplementation to prevent osteoporosis. Google scholar database was searched in May 2017 using the keywords: n-3 fatty acids, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, osteopenia, osteoporosis, bone density, and fracture. We reviewed English language reports of randomized controlled trials with intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, in which subjects were over 60 years and supplemented with a quantified dosage of omega-3; and outcome was indicated by bone mineral densitometry medical record of fractures and radiological imaging, and serum biomarker to evaluate bone metabolism. We reviewed 110 papers, which only eight articles met our conclusion criteria and concluded with curative effects. Three articles came up with no prophylactic or curative effect of omega-3 supplementation, three articles suggested a dosage of omega-3 supplement that non significantly increased bone mineral densitometry or decreased absorption, and thus, had prophylactic effects. One article just concluded the positive effects, not defining the exact results. It is suggested that a dosage of 4.5 to 6 g/d of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid can have curative effects, while 900-1000 mg/d can have prophylactic outcomes. N-3 fatty acids have positive effects on bone density, but to confine definitive dosage and formulation of omega-3 supplementation for reducing the risk of osteoporosis, further investigations are required.


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