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Omega-3s plus exercise promote healthy bones in postmenopausal women

Low estrogen levels during postmenopause can cause bone loss, inflammation and increase the chances of fractures. Anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen bones by suppressing the activity of osteoclasts, cells that remove minerals from bone.

In one study, 79 healthy postmenopausal women split into four groups. Group one did not exercise or take supplements. Group two walked and jogged only (up to 65 percent of maximum heart rate). Group three took omega-3s (180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA per day), the amount found in a 1,000 mg regular strength fish oil softgel. Group four took the omega-3s and exercised.

After 24 weeks, while there were no changes in the other groups, group four had 40 to 80 percent lower signs of inflammation, 15 percent greater bone mineral density (BMD) in the lower back, and 19 percent more in the thigh bone and hip. 

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