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When Fats Go Bad, You May Get Osteoporosis


You've heard a lot about calcium to protect your bones. But what about the fats you eat and metabolize?

Oxidation of fats may contribute to osteoporosis, and the adverse effects of oxidation on both arteries and bone cells may explain the parallel development of osteoporosis and atherosclerosis. Oxidized fats can inhibit the function of bone-forming cells as well as create inflammation that is a factor in bone loss.

An "oxidized" fat is a fat that has been transformed into an unstable "free radical" that destroys nearby molecules, thus damaging your tissues. Fats and oils become oxidized when they are exposed to heat, light or oxygen. The perfect example is French fries. They are cooked in vegetable oil that is exposed to high heat as well as light and oxygen. As a result, French fries are loaded with oxidized, "free radical" fats.

Moreover, the normal process of metabolism can result in the oxidation of fats inside your body. That's why your body (hopefully) has reserves of antioxidants, which neutralize oxidized free radicals. But sadly, the antioxidant defense system of most Americans has been depleted because of a junk food diet and poor lifestyle choices such as smoking.

If you're a woman over age 35, we urge you to start a healthy diet. We also recommend that you talk to one of our doctors about an antioxidant formula to protect your from oxidized fats in your body. Calcium is only one piece of the puzzle for maintaining health bones.

Source: Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2003;68:373-378