Scientists have known for more than a decade that the omega-6 fats contained in vegetable oils (like those used to manufacture margarine) degrade human bone density. Now new research has thrown light on how that happens and why anyone concerned about osteoporosis needs to immediately stop consuming them.
One in twenty Australians have osteoporosis (Greek for ‘porous bones’) and 1 in 4 have low bone density (the precursor to osteoporosis). The number of people affected is accelerating wildly. In the last 10 years the number of GP visits related to osteoporosis has doubled in Australia.
Our bones are not static lumps of rock. They are living tissue which constantly accumulate and dispose of minerals. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them. This causes a loss of bone thickness (bone density or mass).
As bones become thinner and less dense, even a minor bump or fall can cause a serious fracture. Unfortunately most people don’t know they have the disease until after they suffer a break. Eight out of ten cases are recorded in people over the age of 55 but the age of onset is becoming progressively younger.
Osteoporosis medicines work by making the cells that break down bone (osteoclasts) less active. This tips the balance towards accumulation of minerals by the cells that form bone (osteoblasts).
Every processed food on the supermarket shelves is loaded with omega-6 fats (in the form of seed oils). Every fried food has been boiled in omega-6 fats (seed oils again). Our National Heart Foundation actively encourages us to eat margarines brimming with omega-6 fats (yep, seed oils). And the charity responsible for advice about Osteoporosis doesn’t even mention the known link between omega-6 fats and the disease.
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