Balanced levels of omega-3 and omega-6 is linked to fewer hip fractures
by Newsletter Editor
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential to the diet because the body does not synthesize them, and needs to get them from foods. The typical American diet has too much omega-6 compared to omega-3, creating an unhealthy imbalance.
Doctors in this study wanted to test a new theory using omega-3 and omega-6 levels to predict chances of hip fracture. The researchers said that red blood cells give a more accurate reflection of how much omega-3 and omega-6 people consume and absorb over the long term.
In the study, doctors measured red blood cell levels of omega-3 and omega-6 in 648 postmenopausal women who had experienced a hip fracture. Women whose omega-6 levels were highest compared to omega-3 were nearly twice as likely to have experienced a hip fracture as women whose omega-6 levels were closer in balance with omega-3.
Doctors also found that, compared to women with the lowest levels, women who had the highest red blood cell levels of the omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), were 54 percent less likely to have experienced a hip fracture.
Reference: J Bone Miner Res.2013 Mar;28(3):505-15