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Combined Regimen of Exercise & Healthy Fats Boosts Bone Health

Posted on Nov. 7, 2011, 6 a.m. in Women's Health Dietary Supplementation Exercise Fatty Acids, Lipids & Oils Osteoporosis

Among postmenopausal women, aerobic exercise plus consumption of omega-3 fatty acids improves bone mineral density (BMD).

Previous studies have suggested that dietary fats and physical activity influence bone health. B. Tartibian, from Urmia University (Iran), and colleagues enrolled 79 healthy post-menopausal women, assigning them to one of four groups: group 1 was the control (no supplements or exercise); group 2 engaged in aerobic exercise (walking and jogging, achieving up to 65% of maximum heart rate); group 3 received a daily supplement of 1000 mg omega-3 (as 180 mg EPA/120 mg DHA); and group 4 received both the supplement and engaged in aerobic activity. After 24 weeks, the team found that the combined omega-3/exercise group displayed bone mineral density (BMD) increases of 15% in the lower back, and 19% in the thigh bone at the hip. As well, inflammatory markers among the combined omega-3/exercise group improved: levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) were reduced by 40%, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) decreased by 80%.  The study authors submit that: "The present study demonstrates that long-term aerobic exercise training plus [omega-3] supplementation have a synergistic effect in attenuating inflammation and augmenting [bone mineral density] in post-menopausal osteoporosis.”

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Tartibian B, Hajizadeh Maleki B, Kanaley J, Sadeghi K. “Long-term aerobic exercise and omega-3 supplementation modulate osteoporosis through inflammatory mechanisms in post-menopausal women: a randomized, repeated measures study.”  Nutr. Metab., 2011 Oct 15;8(1):71.

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