Intestinal transference of calcium and rate of bone turnover were evaluated in ovariectomized rats fed for 15 days with a high amount (30%) of lipid enriched with monounsaturated (groundnut oil), polyunsaturated (sunflower oil) and saturated (coconut oil) fatty acids. The results were compared with those for sham-operated control and ovariectomized groups fed a normal diet (7% groundnut oil). Irrespective of the saturation and unsaturation characteristics, all lipids (edible oils) used in our study considerably decreased the rate of in situ intestinal transference of calcium. Likewise, the activities of intestinal mucosal enzymes, alkaline phosphatase (AP) and calcium ATPase (Ca2+-ATPase) were decreased significantly in all the segments of the small intestine in a descending gradient. Significant changes in bone turnover and bone calcium (Ca) mobilization were confirmed in these animals by marked alterations in plasma AP activity, urinary calcium and phosphate excretion and calcium to creatinine (Ca:creatinine) ratio. Lipid supplementation (30%) in such ovariectomized rats using groundnut oil (monounsaturated), sunflower oil (polyunsaturated) or coconut oil (saturated) for 15 days further enhanced all of the above observed parameters. These results suggest that the intake of high amounts of lipids with different unsaturation and saturation characteristics may be an important factor in determining bone loss in ovariectomized rats.