Fatty acids may be important dietary components that modulate osteoporotic fracture risk.

Researchers at The Ohio State University, Columbus, studied fatty acid intake in relation to osteoporotic fractures.

First, the details.

  • 137,486 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative were studied.
  • The women identified total fractures; hip fractures were confirmed by medical record review.
  • Fatty acid intake was estimated from food-frequency questionnaires and standardized to total caloric intake.
  • No data on omega-3 fatty acid supplements were available.

And, the results.

  • Higher saturated fatty acid consumption was associated with a significantly higher hip fracture risk.
  • Lower total fracture risk was associated with a significantly higher monounsaturated fatty acid intake and polyunsaturated fatty acid intake.
  • Unexpectedly, higher consumption of marine omega-3 fatty acids was associated with significantly greater total fracture risk, whereas a higher omega-6 fatty acid intake was associated with a significantly lower total fracture risk.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Saturated fatty acid intake may significantly increase hip fracture risk, whereas monounsaturated and polyunsaturated FA intakes may decrease total fracture risk.”

However, in postmenopausal women with a low intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids, a higher intake of omega-6 fatty acids may modestly decrease total fracture risk.

12/26/10 23:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.