A new study by researchers from Egypt suggests that the use of flaxseed oil in food could help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in post-menopausal and diabetic women.
Mer Harvi and his team at the National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt, experimented with 70 female albino rats- 30 out of which had had their ovaries removed (ovx)- to come up with their findings.
Thereafter, the rats were classified as control, sham, diabetic, diabetic received flaxseed oil in the diet, ovx, ovx-diabetic and ovx-diabetic received flaxseed oil in the diet.
After two months, the urine and blood samples of ovx and the diabetic ovx groups showed higher levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and the bone-creating protein osteocalcin. The non-ovx diabetic group had lower levels of these compounds.
The levels of IGF-1 and osteocalcin could be brought to normal by the use of flaxseed oil in the diet.
It was also discovered that the diabetic group had high levels of deoxypyridinoline. Deoxypyridinoline is present in the bone and is excreted unmetabolized in urine. It is a specific marker of bone resorption, and is measured in urine tests to confirm osteoporosis. Flaxseed oil in diet reduced the levels of this compound.
It was concluded that flaxseed oil was beneficial to women with diabetes in reducing osteoporosis' risk.
Harvi and colleagues write: "We recommend further investigations using animals and humans to confirm the effect of using dietary flaxseed oil to improve bone health and to prevent osteoporosis."
The study will appear in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health.