Osteoporosis International

, Volume 28, Issue 10, pp 2887–2891 | Cite as

Intake of omega-3 fatty acids contributes to bone mineral density at the hip in a younger Japanese female population

  • T. KurodaEmail author
  • H. Ohta
  • Y. Onoe
  • N. Tsugawa
  • M. Shiraki
Original Article



This study investigated the relationships between intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and omega-6 fatty acids and bone mineral density in Japanese women aged 19 to 25 years. Intakes of omega-3 fatty acids (n-3) were positively associated with peak bone mass at the hip.


Lifestyle factors such as physical activity and nutrition intake are known to optimize the peak bone mass (PBM). Recently, intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been reported to contribute to bone metabolism. In this study, the relationships of intakes of n-3 and omega-6 (n-6) fatty acids with PBM were evaluated in Japanese female subjects.


A total of 275 healthy female subjects (19–25 years) having PBM were enrolled, and lumbar and total hip bone mineral density (BMD) and bone metabolic parameters were measured. Dietary intakes of total energy, total n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and total n-6 fatty acids were assessed by a self-administered questionnaire. Physical activity information was also assessed.


The mean ± SD age was 20.6 ± 1.4 years, and BMI was 21.2 ± 2.7 kg/m2. BMI and serum bone alkaline phosphatase contributed significantly to lumbar BMD on multiple regression analysis. Intake of n-3 fatty acids and physical activity were also significantly related to total hip BMD. Using EPA or DHA instead of total n-3 fatty acids in the model did not result in a significant result.


Adequate total n-3 fatty acid intake may help maximize PBM at the hip.


Omega-3 fatty acids Peak bone mass Polyunsaturated fatty acids 



The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to the people who voluntarily participated in the present study. This study was financially supported by a grant from the Japan Osteoporosis Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

The study protocol was approved by the ethics committee of Tokyo Women’s Medical University. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflicts of interest

H.O. received lecture fees from Pfizer. M.S. received consulting fees from Asahi Kasei Pharma and Teijin Pharma. T.K. is an employee of Asahi Kasei Corporation. N.T. and Y.O. have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Kuroda
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Ohta
    • 2
  • Y. Onoe
    • 3
  • N. Tsugawa
    • 4
  • M. Shiraki
    • 5
  1. 1.Public Health Research FoundationTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Clinical Medical Research Center, International University of Health and WelfareWomen’s Medical Center, Sanno Medical CenterTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyTokyo Women’s Medical University HospitalTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Public Health, Department of Health and NutritionOsaka Shoin Women’s UniversityOsakaJapan
  5. 5.Department of Internal MedicineResearch Institute and Practice for Involutional DiseasesNaganoJapan

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