In one study, rats had their ovaries removed, decreasing their estrogen levels (simulating menopause). This was expected to show a decrease in bone density. This simulated menopausal condition lead to inflammation, which lead to bone density loss. However, half the rat group was fed olive oil, a healthy fatty acid oil, and their bone loss was much less.
The study also mentioned the increasingly promoted Mediterranean diet, known for its antioxidant nutrients, because in Europe, the lowest occurrences of osteoporosis has been shown to be in the Mediterranean area. The home of olive oil.
Another study showed results that a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids was related to lower bone density at the hip in both older men and women - a condition that, if it were to persist, could lead to osteoporosis.
Researchers collected the dietary data of 1,500 participants, both men and women aged 45-90, through self-administered, standard questionnaires. Details such as smoking habits, alcohol use, exercise, reproductive history, and use of vitamins, various medications, and estrogen and other hormones, were also obtained. Baseline bone mineral density (BMD) was measured and researchers found that:
*foods containing omega-6 fats were responsible for lower BMD (bone mass density)in the hip bones of older men and in women whether or not they took hormone therapy.
*omega-6 to omega-3 ratios was associated with BMD at the hip bones of women whether they took hormone therapy or not.
The conclusion was, in the rat study mentioned above “. . . ageing and oestrogen deficiency induce inflammatory and oxidant conditions that are involved in the development of this chronic disease. " (osteoporosis).
Since it is known that omega 3 fatty acids decrease inflammation in the body, and that omega 6 oils increase inflammation in the body, then it stands to reason that we have control over our health as we age, to a large degree. It is inflammation that is aging, and destructive.
Omega 6 oils are not bad for us, we just don't need a lot. We do need to know how to eat so that we get as much omega 3 oils in our diet, daily, as we get omega 6 oils. Firstly, we can choose lean meats, and trim them well. Also, what those meats (including poultry) eat, matters. Beef that is fed grass contains less omega 6 fat, since that comes from grains. Free range poultry also will have less omega 6 fat.
Secondly, the bottled oils on the grocery store shelf are usually omega 6 oils. Olive, avocado, flax seed oil and walnut oil are exceptions, and are the most common ones you can buy. Any health food store carries a good selection. These oils are great for making fresh salad dressings - flavor them exactly as you like them!
Eating another source of omega 3 fatty acids, cold water wild caught fish, is a good idea, but limited. Those fish are polluted with mercury and other poisons. Purified, or pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements are now easy to get.
If you are pregnant or nursing, this fish oil is instrumental in your baby's brain development. Ask your health practitioner about the best dosage for you.
Isn't it is amazing how easy it is to take control of our health?
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/81/4/934 - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is where the study with the 1500 humans is published; http://journals.cambridge.org published the study done with the rats.
Click here for more information on practicing natural health to help manage high blood pressure, arthritis, add, menopause, heart health, depression, joint pain and more. Dianne M. Buxton is a mother, writer, and a ballet teacher, interested in anti-aging nutrition and lifestyles.