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Essential Fatty Acids May Help Mature Adults Avoid Osteoporosis

A new study shows that eating diets high in polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 may help mature adults avoid osteoporosis. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center and their findings were published the March 2011 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the diets and bone health of over 600 adults with an average age of 75 who participated in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study. They measured bone density at the beginning of the study, and again 4 years later.

They found that people who consumed the most fish (3 or more servings per week) had higher bone mass density than those who consumed the least.

Although this study did not look into the mechanisms behind their findings, the researchers noted that the benefits of these essential fatty acids may be derived from their ability to improve calcium absorption.

These new findings add yet another item to the long list of health benefits associated with essential fatty acids. While, these benefits are most pronounced for heart health, studies have also shown that essential fatty acids may boost cognitive function, decrease the risk of age related vision loss and even improve mood.

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