Prepared Foods July 25, 2005 enewsletter

A recent study suggests maintaining a proper balance of dietary fats might prevent much of the bone loss associated with post-menopausal osteoporosis.

According to the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Researchers at Purdue University and the Indiana University School of Medicine found diets with a low ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids minimized the bone loss typically brought on by estrogen deficiency, which is common in post-menopausal females.

Omega-6 fatty acids are typically found in foods such as grains and beef, while omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods such as walnuts and salmon.

"Our lab and others have shown that omega-3 fatty acids help promote bone formation," said Bruce Watkins, professor and director of Purdue's Center for Enhancing Foods to Protect Health. "We also have shown that higher intakes of omega-6 fatty acids lead to an increased production of compounds associated with bone loss."