, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 179–186

The effect of n-3 fatty acids on bone biomarkers in Iranian postmenopausal osteoporotic women: a randomized clinical trial


    • Medical Ethics and History of Medicine Research CenterTehran University of Medical Sciences
  • Mahsa Asalforoush
    • Pharmaceutical Sciences BranchIslamic Azad University
  • Fatemeh Ameri
    • Pharmaceutical Sciences BranchIslamic Azad University
  • Bagher Larijani
    • Endocrinology and Metabolism Research CenterTehran University of Medical Sciences
  • Mohammad Abdollahi
    • Faculty of Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research CenterTehran University of Medical Sciences

DOI: 10.1007/s11357-009-9122-3

Cite this article as:
Salari Sharif, P., Asalforoush, M., Ameri, F. et al. AGE (2010) 32: 179. doi:10.1007/s11357-009-9122-3


Recently, n-3 fatty acids are in the center of attention for their potent anti-inflammatory effects. Osteoporosis as a chronic senile disease is associated with inflammation, and the role of inflammatory mediators has been demonstrated in recent years. The beneficial effects of n-3 fatty acids on bone were proven in many animal studies, while to date, no conclusive data is available in human. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of n-3 fatty acids on bone biomarkers in osteoporotic postmenopausal women. Twenty-five osteoporotic postmenopausal women were recruited in the study and randomized in treatment and control groups. The patients received 900 mg n-3 fatty acid capsules or placebo per day for 6 months. Serum levels of osteocalcin, bone alkaline phosphatase (BALP), calcium, vitamin D, and parathormone and urine concentration of pyridinoline (Pyd) were measured at baseline, second month, and sixth month in both groups. In the treatment group, compared with baseline, at the second month, osteocalcin increased slightly; thereafter, it showed decrement trend until the end of the study. In the control group, it decreased all over the study. None of these changes was significant. BALP showed nonsignificant decrease from baseline over the time in both groups. Urine level of Pyd decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in the treatment group, while no significant change was seen in the control group. Serum calcium and vitamin D increased in both groups; however, changes were not significant. No significant changes were seen in calcium clearance and parathormone. In conclusion, n-3 fatty acids can decrease bone resorption; however, it could not affect bone formation significantly after 6 months treatment. Further investigations are recommended.


Osteoporosisn-3 fatty acidsOsteocalcinBone alkaline phosphatasePyridinoline

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© American Aging Association, Media, PA, USA 2009