Eating Fish May Keep Bones Strong
Mature adults who eat fish frequently have a decreased risk of developing osteoporosis according to a study published in the March 2nd, 2011 online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
10 million Americans have osteoporosis and 18 million more have low bone mass, placing them at risk for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a serious health issue characterized by low bone mass which leads to an increased risk of fractures. Women are 4 times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 70% of women over the age of 80 have osteoporosis.
Using surveys of the eating habits of more than 600 mature adults collected in the 1980's and 1990's, researchers at Northeastern University were able to compare bone density to the amount of fish the participants consumed.
They found that both men and women who ate 3 or more servings of fish per week had significantly less bone loss over a period of four years than the participants who ate less fish.
The researchers also looked at the quantity of omega-3’s and omega-6’s the participants were getting in their diets. They found that participants had the least amount of bone loss when they had high levels of both omega-3’s and omega-6’s in their diet.
The researchers stressed that it is more important to maintain a good balance of omega-3’s and omega-6’s in the diet. Western diets tend to be lacking in omega-3’s and abundant in omega-6’s, which could be detrimental.
Other health benefits of omega-3's include improving heart health, reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and even improving mood.
Taking a high quality supplement is a good way to increase omega-3 intake, however make sure that the supplement you choose is certified for purity and high in DHA and EPA, the two most important omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are also high in omega-3?s.