Femur EPA and DHA are correlated with femur biomechanical strength in young fat-1 mice

J Nutr Biochem. 2009 Jun;20(6):453-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2008.05.004. Epub 2008 Aug 15.


Evidence suggests that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are beneficial for maintenance of bone health and possibly bone development. This study used the fat-1 mouse, a transgenic model that synthesizes n-3 PUFA from n-6 PUFA, to determine if outcomes of bone health were correlated with n-3 PUFA in femurs. Control and fat-1 mice were fed an AIN-93G diet containing 10% safflower oil from weaning through 12 weeks of age. Femur bone mineral content (BMC) and density were determined by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and biomechanical strength properties, surrogate measures of fracture risk, were measured by a materials testing system. Femur fatty acid composition was determined by gas chromatography. At 12 weeks of age, femur n-3 PUFA were higher among fat-1 mice compared to control mice. The n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio in the femur was negatively correlated with BMC (r=-.57, P=.01) and peak load at femur midpoint (r=-.53, P=.02) and femur neck (r=-.52, P=.02). Moreover, long-chain n-3 PUFA, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid were significantly and positively correlated or displayed a trend suggesting positive correlations, with BMC and peak load. In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest that n-3 PUFA have a favorable effect on mineral accumulation and functional measures of bone in fat-1 mice at young adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acid Desaturases / genetics*
  • Fatty Acid Desaturases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Femur / chemistry*
  • Femur / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • fat-1 protein, C elegans
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid
  • Fatty Acid Desaturases