Omega-3 fatty acid effect on alveolar bone loss in rats

J Dent Res. 2006 Jul;85(7):648-52. doi: 10.1177/154405910608500713.


Gingival inflammation and alveolar bone resorption are hallmarks of adult periodontitis, elicited in response to oral micro-organisms such as Porphyromonas gingivalis. We hypothesized that omega (omega)-3 fatty acids (FA) dietary supplementation would modulate inflammatory reactions leading to periodontal disease in infected rats. Rats were fed fish oil (omega-3 FA) or corn oil (n-6 FA) diets for 22 weeks and were infected with P. gingivalis. Rats on the omega-3 FA diet exhibited elevated serum levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), documenting diet-induced changes. PCR analyses demonstrated that rats were orally colonized by P. gingivalis; increased IgG antibody levels substantiated this infection. P. gingivalis-infected rats treated with omega-3 FA had significantly less alveolar bone resorption. These results demonstrated the effectiveness of an omega-3 FA-supplemented diet in modulating alveolar bone resorption following P. gingivalis infection, and supported that omega-3 FA may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of periodontal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Bone Loss / diagnostic imaging
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / microbiology
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / prevention & control*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Bacteroidaceae Infections / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / isolation & purification
  • Radiography
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fish Oils