Eating foods made with canola oil enriched with omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study conducted by Canadian and Spanish researchers.
The research adds to the body of knowledge showing that omega-3 is a powerful influence on the metabolism of cholesterol.
The scientists analyzed plasma — the colorless, watery part of blood — from volunteers who had at least one symptom of metabolic syndrome. Blood samples were taken after eating different types of oils.
They found that those who ingested canola oil (rapeseed with less than 2 percent erucic acid) enriched with omega-3s had significantly reduced triglycerides in their plasma as well as reduced concentrations of PCSK9.
PCSK9 is a protein associated with high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in blood and with other cardiovascular diseases.
The omega-3 enriched canola oil significantly reduced the concentration of triglycerides in plasma, and also reduced concentration of the PCSK by 10 percent.
Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, and, according to The Heart Foundation, kills more people than all forms of cancer combined. An American dies from cardiovascular disease every 60 seconds.
Scientists have been exploring ways that functional foods — foods with added ingredients such as enriched bread or calcium-fortified orange juice — have a positive effect on health and can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
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