Consuming food rich in the plant omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) like walnuts and flaxseed oil improved bone health, according to a small trial from the US.
“This is the first controlled feeding study in humans to evaluate the effect of dietary plant-derived omega-3 PUFA on bone turnover, assessed by serum concentrations of [the markers of bone resorption and formation] N-telopeptides (NTx) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP),” wrote lead author Amy Griel from the Penn State Univerisity.
Writing in the Nutrition Journal, Griel and her co-workers report the results of their randomised, double-blind, balanced order, three-period crossover study with 23 overweight people with moderately high cholesterol levels. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of three diet groups for six weeks, one of which were rich in flaxseed oil and walnuts.
“The results from the group who ate a diet high in flaxseed oil and walnuts indicate that plant sources of dietary n-3 PUFA may have a protective effect on bone metabolism via a decrease in bone resorption in the presence of consistent levels of bone formation,” said the researchers.
Steve - while a small study, it adds to the bevy of research supporting omega-3's.