Protective effect of dietary oils containing omega-3 fatty acids against glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis

  • Elbahnasawy, Amr Samir (Department of Bioecology, Hygiene and public health, Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University) ;
  • Valeeva, Emiliya Ramzievna (Department of Bioecology, Hygiene and public health, Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University) ;
  • El-Sayed, Eman Mustafa (Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, National Research Centre) ;
  • Stepanova, Natalya Vladimirovna (Department of Bioecology, Hygiene and public health, Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University)
  • Received : 2019.06.03
  • Accepted : 2019.07.26
  • Published : 2019.08.31


Purpose: Glucocorticoids (GCs) are implicated in secondary osteoporosis, and the resulting fractures cause significant morbidity. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play a vital role in bone metabolism. However, few trials have studied the impact of omega-3 PUFA-containing oils against GC-induced osteoporosis. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to determine whether supplementation with omega-3 PUFA-containing dietary oils such as fish oil, flaxseed oil or soybean oil can impede the development of GC-induced osteoporosis. Methods: The fatty acids (FAs) content of oils was determined using gas chromatography. Male rats were subdivided into 5 groups (8 rats each): normal control (balanced diet), prednisolone control (10 mg/kg prednisolone daily), soybean oil (prednisolone 10 mg/kg + soybean oil 7% w/w), flaxseed oil (prednisolone 10 mg/kg + flaxseed oil 7% w/w), and fish oil (from cod liver; prednisolone 10 mg/kg + fish oil 7% w/w). Results: The study data exhibited a significant depletion in bone mineral density (BMD) and femur mass in the prednisolone control compared to the normal control, accompanied with a marked decrease in the levels of plasma calcium and 1,25-$(OH)_2$-vitamin $D_3$, and elevated levels of C-terminal telopeptide (CTX), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-${\alpha}$) and malondialdehyde (MDA). Supplementation with fish oil, soybean oil or flaxseed oil helped to improve plasma calcium levels, and suppress oxidative stress and inflammatory markers. Additionally, bone resorption was suppressed as reflected by the decreased CTX levels. However, fish oil was more effective than the other two oils with a significant improvement in BMD and normal histological results compared to the normal control. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that supplementation with dietary oils containing omega-3 PUFAs such as fish oil, soybean oil or flaxseed oil can play a role in the prevention of bone loss and in the regulation of bone metabolism, especially fish oil which demonstrated a greater level of protection against GC-induced osteoporosis.


Supported by : Kazan Federal University (Russian Federation), National Research Centre (Egypt)


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