Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 93, Issue 2, pp 147–154 | Cite as

Association of n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake with Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women

  • Kiyoko Nawata
  • Mika Yamauchi
  • Shin Takaoka
  • Toru Yamaguchi
  • Toshitsugu Sugimoto
Original Research


n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 fatty acids) have been shown to have a beneficial effect on bone in animal studies, although little is known about their role in bone metabolism in humans. We investigated the association between bone mineral density (BMD) and daily n-3 fatty acid intake. This cross-sectional, community-based, epidemiologic study was conducted among 205 healthy postmenopausal women (mean age 63.5 years, range 46–79). We examined BMD, serum N-terminal propeptide of type I collagen (PINP), urinary type-I collagen cross-linked-N-telopeptide (uNTX), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Nutrient intake was calculated using a food-frequency questionnaire. BMD was measured at the lumbar spine and femoral neck by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Simple regression analysis showed that intake of neither n-3 fatty acid nor n-6 fatty acid was associated with age or lipid metabolism indices. However, simple regression analysis showed that n-3 fatty acid intake was positively associated with both lumbar spine BMD and femoral neck BMD. n-6 fatty acid intake was positively associated with femoral neck BMD but not lumbar spine BMD. Multiple regression analysis showed that n-3 fatty acid intake was positively associated with lumbar spine BMD after adjustment for age, BMI, duration of menopausal state, grip strength, PINP, uNTX, and intakes of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and n-6 fatty acid. In conclusion, n-3 fatty acid intake was positively associated with lumbar spine BMD independent of bone resorption and serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in postmenopausal women.


n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acid n-6 Polyunsaturated fatty acid Bone mineral density Nutrient intake Bone resorption marker Postmenopausal women 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kiyoko Nawata
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mika Yamauchi
    • 1
  • Shin Takaoka
    • 1
  • Toru Yamaguchi
    • 1
  • Toshitsugu Sugimoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Internal Medicine 1, Shimane University Faculty of MedicineIzumoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Health and Nutritional ScienceThe University of ShimaneMatsueJapan

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