According to a study featured on Medical News Today, women who maintain a proper ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the body may have a lower risk of hip fractures.

Researchers from Ohio State University studied the blood samples and hip fracture records of 324 pairs of participants from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). They found that women who had the highest ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids had more risk of suffering from hip fractures as compared with those who had more normal ratios.

Scientists believe that the western diet, which has a lot of red meat and sweets and uses plenty of corn and sunflower oils, contains 15 to 17 times more omega-6 than omega-3.

Although both fatty acids are needed by the body, omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties, while omega-6 has both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing omega-3 intake by eating nuts and fatty fish as well as taking supplements may help offset the inflammatory effects of omega-6.

(Photo by Steffen Zahn via Flickr Creative Commons)

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