Statins and Fish Oil Improve Lipid in Bones


Statins and dietary fish oils improve lipid composition in bone marrow and joints.

There have been numerous efforts to alter the lipid content of cardiovascular tissues. Although equally important, only limited information is available about musculoskeletal tissues. I characterized joint and bone marrow lipids in patients having joint replacement surgery and explored the effects of fish oils and statins on lipid composition in bone marrow and joint fluid. Joint drainage catheters were used to collect marrow lipids from 84 patients having 128 hip and knee replacements for osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis, and femoral neck fractures (osteoporosis). Statins reduced the amount of lipid by 22% in patients with osteoporosis, 26% in patients with osteoarthritis, and 41% in patients with osteonecrosis compared with pretreatment lipid levels in the same patients. Taking fish oils reduced the amount of lipid in bone marrow by 20%. Lipid profiles of disturbed marrow and joint fluid from patients who took statins or dietary fish oil showed an increase in the proportion of unsaturated fatty acids and longer-chain fatty acids relative to pretreatment profiles. The ability to change the amount and character of bone and joint lipids may have major importance for strengthening bone, reducing the severity or preventing osteonecrosis, and enhancing joint lubrication.

Pritchett JW
Clin. Orthop. Relat. Res. Mar 2007
PMID: 17496750