Vegetarians do not achieve adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids
Silica helps build bone in women with osteopenia or osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is the condition where bone looses minerals and becomes brittle increasing the risk of
fracture and immobility, even death. Osteopenia is an earlier stage of osteoporosis. 80 percent of
all individuals with osteoporosis are women.
In this study 114 women with either osteoporosis or osteopenia were split into 4 groups. All 4 groups
received Calcium 1,000mg a day and Vitamin D 800 IU a day for one year. One group received placebo in
addition to the two supplements while the others received Silicon in addition to the supplements. At
the end of one year, those on the Silicon had significantly improved bone mineral density of the femur
versus those on placebo. The Silicon was found to improve the uptake of both Calcium and Phosphorus by
the bones while decreasing the number of bone destroying cells (osteoclasts) and increasing the number
of bone building cells (osteoblasts). The study was just presented at the conference of the American
Society of Bone and Mineral Research in Nashville.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us
to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral
supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.
In this study 104 healthy vegetarians had their levels of EPA and DHA checked and it was found that
they were low on these extremely beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. Adequate levels of Alpha-Linolenic
Acid (the precursor to Omega-3 fatty acids) were consumed daily by the vegetarians from nuts, seeds,
vegetable, and vegetable oil sources. However, the Alpha-Linolenic Acid didn't convert as efficiently
as expected into Omega-3 Fatty Acids. At this point one group of the Vegetarians received one DHA
capsule daily while the other group received a vegetable oil placebo, both for 8 weeks. At the end of
eight weeks those on DHA had a significant increase in their EPA and DHA levels with 69% of the
Vegetarians supplemented with DHA achieving adequate Omega-3 fatty acid levels while those on placebo
were still deficient. Omega-3 fatty acid precursors found in vegetarian sources are not adequate for
maintaining blood EPA-DHA levels. The study is published in the August issue of the journal