April 21, 2014
264 Omega-7 a beneficial fatty acid [21 April 2014]
Omega-7 is a family of mono-unsaturated fatty acids of which palmitoleic acid is the most common. I first wrote about this nutrient two years ago in an article on Seabuckthorn.
Recent research (mostly animal studies so far) has found this oil to have many benefits:
• promotes burning of body fat for energy
• improves blood lipid levels (cholesterol)
• prevents atherosclerotic plaque by keeping artery walls smooth and non-sticky
• reduces C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation
• increases insulin sensitivity thus helping to prevent metabolic syndrome
• protects insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells
• beneficial for the mucous membranes of the digestive, urinary and reproductive systems
• promotes growth of healthy skin, hair and nails
• supports wound healing
Omega 7 is abundant in only a few foods: Seabuckthorn berries, macadamia nuts, and some cold water fish like anchovies and wild salmon. It is available in supplement form as Seabuckthorn berry oil and in so-called “Purified Omega-7” oil made from fish.
Michael Roizen, MD promotes supplementation with the “purified omega-7” which is free of palmitic acid. This is important, he claims, because palmitic acid, found in Seabuckthorn oil, increases inflammation. The Seabuckthorn promoters counter that this is just a marketing ploy and that palmitic acid, especially in small amounts along with other fatty acids, is actually beneficial. And they remind us that Seabuckthorn is still the richest known source of omega-7.
Other scientists like Irena King, PhD of the U. of New Mexico advises caution in the use of any omega-7 supplement: “I think we’re way too early for supplements of omega-7—way too early. The studies haven’t figured it out yet.” Instead she suggests simply including macadamia nuts in your diet.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.