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Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 81, Issue 6, pp 459–471 | Cite as

Specific Effects of γ-Linolenic, Eicosapentaenoic, and Docosahexaenoic Ethyl Esters on Bone Post-ovariectomy in Rats

  • R. C. PoulsenEmail author
  • E. C. Firth
  • C. W. Rogers
  • P. J. Moughan
  • M. C. Kruger
Article

Abstract

Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) are involved in the regulation of bone metabolism. Increased dietary consumption of n-3, and possibly some n-6, LCPUFAs may limit postmenopausal bone loss. The aim of this study was to determine the effects on bone of specific fatty acids within the n-3 and n-6 LCPUFA families in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Rats were OVX or sham-operated and fed either a control diet (OVX and sham) or a diet supplemented with 0.5 g/kg body weight/day of γ-linolenic (GLA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA) ethyl esters or a mixture of all three (MIX) for 16 weeks. Bone mineral content (BMC), area, and density and plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I, vitamin D, selected biochemical markers of bone metabolism, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were determined. The OVX-induced decrease in lumbar spine BMC was significantly attenuated by DHA but not by EPA or GLA supplementation or supplementation with a mixture of all three LCPUFAs. Endosteal circumferences of tibiae were significantly greater in DHA and EPA compared to OVX. Plasma C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen and osteocalcin concentrations were not significantly different in the DHA group compared to OVX. Femur BMC decreased by a significantly greater amount in GLA than OVX, and final plasma PTH concentrations were significantly higher in GLA compared to all other groups. In conclusion, DHA ameliorated OVX-induced bone mineral loss. GLA exacerbated post-OVX bone mineral loss, possibly as a result of PTH-induced bone catabolism.

Keywords

γ-Linolenic acid Eicosapentaenoic acid Docosahexaenoic acid Ovariectomy Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids Rats 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was funded by Fonterra Brands Ltd., New Zealand. R. C. P. was the recipient of a TAD scholarship from the Tertiary Education Commission, New Zealand.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Poulsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. C. Firth
    • 2
  • C. W. Rogers
    • 2
  • P. J. Moughan
    • 3
  • M. C. Kruger
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Food Nutrition and Human HealthMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute of VeterinaryAnimal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  3. 3.Riddet CentreMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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