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Protective effect of dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on bone loss in gonad-intact middle-aged male rats

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2007

Chwan-Li Shen*
Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterDepartment of Pathology, Lubbock, TXUSA
James K. Yeh
2Winthrop-University HospitalBone Metabolism Laboratory, Mineola, NYUSA
Jahan Rasty
3Texas Tech UniversityDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Lubbock, TXUSA
Yong Li
4Purdue UniversityCenter for Enhancing Foods to Protect Health, Lipid Chemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory, West Lafayette, INUSA
Bruce A. Watkins
4Purdue UniversityCenter for Enhancing Foods to Protect Health, Lipid Chemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory, West Lafayette, INUSA
*Corresponding author: fax +1 21 806 743 2766, email
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This study evaluated the effect of a fat blend containing long-chain (LC) n-3 PUFA on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone metabolism in gonad-intact middle-aged male rats (12 months old, n 28). Seven rats were killed on day 0 of dietary intervention to determine the baseline BMD. The remaining rats (seven per group) were fed a diet with one of the following dietary lipid treatments (g/kg diet): 167g safflower oil+33g menhaden oil (N6+N3 diet, control), 200g safflower oil (N6 diet, almost devoid of LC n-3 PUFA), or 190g menhaden oil+10g corn oil (N3 diet, rich in LC n-3 PUFA) for 20 weeks. After 20 weeks, all dietary treatment groups had a lower BMD compared with the baseline reference. However, rats fed the N3 diet had the highest bone mineral content and cortical+subcortical BMD compared with those fed the N6 and control N6+N3 diet. Compared with the control (N6+N3) group, rats fed the N3 diet had higher values for serum insulin-like growth factor-I, parathyroid hormone, 1, 25-(OH)2 vitamin D3 and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase activity, but lower bone NO production and urinary Ca, whereas rats fed the N6 diet had higher bone prostaglandin E2 production and serum pyridinoline. These findings indicate a protective action of LC n-3 PUFA on ageing-induced bone loss in gonad-intact middle-aged male rats through a modulation of local factors and systemic calcitrophic hormones.

Research Article
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 2006


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