Your Bones Need Omega-3
Omega-3 is in a group of essential fatty acids that you’ve probably heard of before; they are one of the mainstays of the nutrition industry, with a market value of roughly $1.6 billion industry wide. And you’ve probably also heard that they’re good for you, with a wide range of health benefits, including being good for your heart, good for your brain, and that they help reduce inflammation in the body. Interestingly, many people remain unaware of the health benefits that Omega-3 has to offer when it comes to bone health. If you needed yet another reason for adding foods rich in omega-3 into your diet, get ready to add improved bone health to your list.
Our bodies cannot manufacture Omega-3 and as such it is vitally important to our health that our diets contain food sources with enough Omega-3 in them. In fact, diets deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a wide range of serious health issues relating to the brain, nerves, eyes, and the immune system. But did you know that being deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids could also lead to poor bone health?
Just like our skin or muscle tissue, bone is a living tissue. The body is always undergoing a constant process of making new bone matter and removing old bone matter. However, during early childhood and adolescence, the body produces new bone matter at a much faster rate than it removes old bone matter, leading to our bones becoming denser during this time period. By about age 30, our bones reach their peak density. This is important because the amount of bone mass you have in your early 30s helps determine your risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. During these formative years, it has been demonstrated that Omega-3 is positively associated with increased bone mineral density, meaning that people with higher concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood build stronger bones during the body’s peak years for bone density formation, setting the stage for better bone health later on in life.
In fact, recent studies have begun to demonstrate how low levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood stream may lead to the increased risk of bone fractures in older people, notably with hip fractures in postmenopausal women. With broken hips being one of the most common fracture-related injuries associated with osteoporosis, affecting one out of every 2 women above age 50, this is an significant finding for women. And while it’s important that everyone gets Omega-3 in their diet on a daily basis to help promote healthy bones, for women in their menopausal years it isn’t just important, it is crucial. When women go through menopause, they experience a rapid reduction in bone mineral density. Higher omega-3 fatty acid concentrations are thought to improve bone mineral density, and recent studies have begun to show just how true this idea is.
So now that you know that Omega-3 is good for your body, playing a vital role in maintaining healthy bones, what foods should you start trying to work into your diet? Foods such as fatty fish (i.e., salmon, herring, mackerel) along with plant foods such as walnuts, flax, wild rice, and certain omega-enriched dairy products are all good examples of food high in Omega-3s that you can add into your diet to help support your bone health. While some risk factors for osteoporosis can’t be changed, such as gender or ethnicity, diet is one thing that can be controlled. By eating a diet rich in calcium and Omega-3, and getting plenty of physical exercise and vitamin D, people may be able to build strong bones that can last a lifetime.
Established in 2007 by Dr. Behfar Sanjari, Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has been committed to providing quality health care services to the Greater Toronto Area for over half a decade. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has qualified professionals who can help you come up with a personalized plan to ensure the long term health of your bones, skeletal system and over all well-being. Our walk-in clinic in conveniently located at 10144 Yonge Street, just north of Major MacKenzie Drive in the heart of Richmond Hill. Visit Chiro-Med online or call 905-918-0419 for more information.