Posts Tagged ‘fish oil and MS’

Osteoporosis and low bone density are common in people in the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published in the Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

We’ve known that people who have had MS for a long time are at a greater risk of low bone density and broken bones, but we didn’t know whether this was happening soon after the onset of MS and if it was caused by factors such as their lack of exercise due to lack of mobility, or their medications or reduced vitamin D from lack of sun exposure,” said study author Stine Marit Moen, MD, of Oslo University Hospital Ulleval in Norway.

Research has shown Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil specifically EPA and DHA ,  are positively associated with bone mineral accrual and, thus, with peak BMD in young men.” Higher bone density in youth can decrease the chances of brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life.

Low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of MS. Low vitamin D levels can lead to reduced calcium absorption and bone mineralization, or the process the body uses to turn minerals into bone structure.
“Our hypothesis was that if vitamin D exerts a major effect on the risk of MS, then the effects of low vitamin D levels on bone density would be apparent soon after the onset of MS,” Moen said.
The study involved 99 people with an average age of 37 who were recently diagnosed with MS or clinically isolated syndrome, which means they had a first episode of symptoms like those in MS but have not yet been diagnosed with the disease. All had no or minor physical disability from the disease.
The participants had bone density tests an average of 1.6 years after the first time they had any symptoms suggestive of MS. Their tests were compared to bone tests of 159 people of similar age, gender and ethnicity who did not have the disease.
A total of 51 percent of those with MS had either osteoporosis or osteopenia, compared to 37 percent of those who did not have the disease. Osteoporosis is a disease where low bone density causes the bones to become thin and brittle, making them more likely to break. Osteopenia is low bone density that is less severe than osteoporosis but puts a person at risk for osteoporosis.
The results remained the same after researchers adjusted for other factors that can affect bone density, such as smoking, alcohol use and hormone treatment.
“These results suggest that people in the early stages of MS and their doctors need to consider steps to prevent osteoporosis and maintain good bone health,” Moen said.

The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in young men is linked to “peak bone mass” or bone mineral density, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study found that 22-year-old men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids had the greatest bone density in the body and spine two years later.

Dr. Magnus Hogstrom and colleagues from Umea University in Sweden followed 78 healthy young men from their mid-teens to early adulthood. The team measured the BMD (bone mineral density) of the total body, hip and spine at the start of the study and again when the participants were 22 and 24 years of age. The objective was to quantify a relationship between the levels of omega-3 fatty acids and bone density.

According to the journal, “The results showed that Omega-3 fatty acids,  are positively associated with bone mineral accrual and, thus, with peak BMD in young men.” Higher bone density in youth can decrease the chances of brittle bones and osteoporosis later in life.

As well as that the EPA in omega3 is one of the most potent  natural anti inflammatory as detailed in previous blogs , as a result the EPA will reduce any inflammation naturally as there is a clear relationship with osteoporosis and inflammation the EPA will target the site of inflammation and reduce it.

Although osteoporosis is often associated with women, the American Osteoporosis Foundation reports that two million American men have osteoporosis. Inadequate physical exercise, smoking and use of antacids that contain aluminum are among risk factors.

Recent research by NASA has also shown that omega3 is a key factor in preventing bone density loss during space travel and they advise that this has important implications for those at risk or suffering from osteoporosis

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