NASA-sponsored studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may play a role in mitigating bone breakdown that occurs during spaceflight and in osteoporosis. Ongoing research for decades has looked for ways to stop bone density loss in astronauts. The solution could have significant implications for space travelers and those susceptible to bone loss on Earth. The studies' results are published in the May issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
The paper reports on four types of studies using cell culture, ground-based bed rest, and data from both space shuttle and International Space Station crew members. NASA studies bone density loss because it is one of the main effects of exposure to the weightlessness of space.
During the study, higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with less bone loss. Based on these studies, the investigators evaluated bone loss in astronauts and compared their findings to reported fish intake during spaceflight. Researchers found that astronauts who ate more fish lost less bone mineral after four-to-six-month spaceflights. The data provides evidence that inflammatory processes may be involved in some of the adaptation to microgravity and suggest that reducing NFκB activation could serve as a countermeasure to bone loss.
Steve - some of the most vital information on bone loss have come from the study of astronauts. This is not the first to focus on omega-3.