Including flaxseed oil in the diet could reduce the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women and women with diabetes, according to new animal studies.
Diabetes in post-menopausal women may also lead to a greater risk of osteoporosis than removal of the ovaries, as detailed in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health.
Egyptian researchers recently examined 70 female albino rats to learn more about the effects of diabetes on bone health and flaxseed oil in preventing osteoporosis, a thinning of the bones that affects more women than men and can lead to vertebral fractures that are sometimes mistaken as general back pain.
The study included 30 rats that had their ovaries removed and another group of rats that were induced with experimental diabetes. The rats were divided into control, sham and specific groups classifying whether they had diabetes or their ovaries removed, and whether they had flaxseed oil in their diet.
At two months, urine samples from the rats were collected and analyzed by the researchers, who found that rats with diabetes had higher levels of deoxypyridinoline in their urine. Deoxypyridinoline is often a marker of bone resorption associated with osteoporosis.
The researchers then found that rats that were given flaxseed oil had lower levels of deoxypyridinoline in their urine, possibly indicating that this dietary supplement has a positive effect on bone mineral density -- potentially from "n-3 fatty acids" protecting bone mineralization and matrix formation -- and ultimately could be used by women in the prevention of osteoporosis.