New data shows omega-3s reduce fracture risk

Getting enough fish oil daily in midlife is associated with lower fracture risk for women later in life, according to a major study from the University of Iceland. And when news about a significant decrease in fracture risk comes from researchers in a country where fracture risk is high, I certainly pay attention.

In the Icelandic study, women who got high daily amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish-oil consumption during midlife had a 25% lower risk of fracture compared to those who didn’t. The risk of fracture for men who consumed fish oil daily was even less – up to 45% less than those men who had lower levels. For men, getting optimal amounts of fish oil later in life was associated with lower fracture risk.

Are you getting enough omega-3s in your diet?

Closer to home, the average American only gets about 200 mg per day of the most important omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day from their diet. The American Heart Association recommends a much higher intake of between 1000–3000 mg.

Good omega-3 food sources

Omega-3s are found in a wide range of foods, including many fish sources. But vegetarians and vegans can also get omega-3s from food, with research showing a diet high in omega-3s from plant sources may be just as effective as those from fish sources.  Here are my favorite choices for omega-3 rich foods:

• Seafood (sources both high in omega-3’s and low in environmental contaminants include anchovies, herring, mackerel, oysters, wild salmon, and sardines)
• Fresh ground flaxseed
• Flaxseed oil
• Hempseed oil
• Canola oil
• Avocados
• Walnuts
• Eggs
• Pumpkin seeds
• Sesame seeds
• Olives

As it sometimes can be difficult to get the full amount of omega-3s from diet alone, many women choose a daily high-quality omega-3 supplement.  I recommend Omega-3s that are molecularly distilled to help you get all of the key benefits for your bones, joints, immune system, heart, skin and more.

 

References:

Orchard TS. 2013. The association of red blood cell n-3 and n-6 fatty acids with bone mineral density and hip fracture risk in the women’s health initiative. J Bone Miner Res. 2013; doi:10.1002/jbmr.1772.

Harris, TB. 2015 May; Plasma phospholipid fatty acids and fish-oil consumption in relation to osteoporotic fracture risk in older adults: the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility Study. Am J Clin Nutr  101(5):947-55. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.087502. Epub 2015 Mar 18. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25787995 accessed March 23, 2016)


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