Internal Medicine and Medical Investigation Journal

ISSN: 2474-7750

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


Author(s): Faezeh Fazelnia1, Niloofar Khodabandehloo1

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 ome


ga-3 supplementation to prevent osteoporosis. Google scholar database was searched in May

2017 using the key words: n-3 fatty acids, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, essential

fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid, docosapentaenoic acid, al


pha 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 supple


ment that non-significantly increased bone mineral densitometry or decreased absorption,

and thus, had prophylactic effects. One article just concluded the positive effects, not defin


ing 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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