Bone benefits of fish oil supplementation depend on its EPA and DHA content

Haissam Abou-Saleh, Allal Ouhtit, Ganesh V. Halade, Md Mizanur Rahman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The preventive effect of high-dose (9%) regular-fish oil (FO) against bone loss during aging has been demonstrated, but the effects of a low-dose (1%–4%) of a highly purified concentrated FO (CFO) has not been elucidated. The aim of this study was to determine the dose-dependent effect of a CFO against bone loss in C57BL/6 female mice during aging. Twelve-month old mice were fed with 1% and 4% CFO and 4% safflower oil (SFO) diets, including a group with a 4% regular-FO diet and a group with a lab chow diet for 12 months. Bone mineral density (BMD) was analyzed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) before and after the dietary intervention. At the end of dietary intervention, bone resorption markers in serum and inflammatory markers in bone marrow and splenocytes and inflammatory signaling pathways in the bone marrow were analyzed. As compared to the 4% SFO control, 4% CFO maintained higher BMD during aging, while 1% CFO offered only a mild benefit. However, the 1% CFO fed group exhibited slightly better BMD than the 4% regular-FO fed group. BMD loss protection by CFO was accompanied by reduced levels of the bone resorption marker, TRAP, and the osteoclast-stimulating-factor, RANKL, without affecting the decoy-receptor of RANKL, osteoprotegerin (OPG). Further, CFO supplementation was associated with an increase in the production of IL-10, IL-12, and IFN-γ and a decrease in the production of TNF-α and IL-6, and the activation of NF-κB, p38 MAPK, and JNK signaling pathways. In conclusion, the supplementation of 4% CFO is very efficient in maintaining BMD during aging, whereas 1% CFO is only mildly beneficial. CFO supplementation starting at middle age may maintain better bone health during aging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2701
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Aging
  • Bone mineral density
  • Bone resorption
  • Concentrated fish oil
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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