Tags: Heart Disease | High Cholesterol | omega | 7 | fatty | acids | cholesterol

Omega-7 Fatty Acids: Little Known Supplement Lowers Cholesterol Naturally

Omega-7 Fatty Acids: Little Known Supplement Lowers Cholesterol Naturally

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By    |   Tuesday, 29 November 2016 09:44 PM

Omega-3 fatty acids get plenty of publicity these days, but a growing number of scientists believe that their lesser-known cousin — omega-7s — may pack a more potent punch in battling high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.

“Omega-3s have gotten a lot more attention, in part because they are much more abundant in fish and other foods than omega-7s,” notes Dr. Michael Roizen, chief of wellness at the Cleveland Clinic.

“Omega-3s are good for the eyes and the brain, which is why they call fish ‘brain food.’ But it’s also in flax seeds, avocado, walnuts and other things that the associated food industry promotes.”

By contrast, omega-7s are just emerging into the public consciousness. Although there are several of these non-essential fatty acids, all of the focus is seems to be on just one of them: palmitoleic acid.

“When you talk about omega-7s, you are really talking about palmitoleic acid,” Roizen tells Newsmax Health. “And it’s a very under-researched area. Most of what we know comes from animal studies, not humans.”

Still, it’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities.

“In the studies, omega-7s appear to decrease insulin resistance, which leads to hepatic (liver) fat elimination, which leads to less visceral fat, all of which decreases inflammation and improves cholesterol profile,” explains Roizen.

Researchers believe that omega-7s work by facilitating communication between fat and muscle cells to optimize energy use and storage.

That means it could become a major player in the battle against metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health-threatening conditions including hypertension, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and the stubborn belly fat that tends to accumulate at middle age.

The belly fat that produces an apple-shaped person — as opposed to pear-shaped — is particularly dangerous because it is closely tied to cardiovascular disease and inflammation. This is an area where there have been omega-7 trials with humans.

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology found a “significant reduction” in C-reactive protein (a blood marker for inflammation), triglycerides, and LDL “bad” cholesterol, as well as an increase in “good” HDL cholesterol levels in people who took a palmitoleic acid supplement for just 30 days.

Not only do omega-7s seem to signal the body to stop storing inflammatory fat, they also kill appetite, so individuals taking them tend to eat less.

In animal studies, high omega-7 diets produced more stomach and intestinal hormones that promote a feeling of fullness while generating less hormones that promote hunger.

The biggest problem with omega-7s is that they aren’t commonly found in food. The richest natural sources are macadamia nuts and sea buckthorn, a berry-bearing shrub that primarily grows in the Himalayas. To a lesser degree, they are also found in some fish.

But they are available in supplement form.

“In Japan, where they eat a lot of fish and macadamia nuts, there is a much lower incident of heart disease and metabolic syndrome,” says Roizen. “But eating too many macadamia nuts may not be such good advice because they are very high in calories, and we already have a big problem with obesity here in America.

“Sea buckthorn is also problematic because it contains a significant amount of palmitic acid, which is a cancer risk.”

Roizen, who has served as a consultant for a company that produces omega-7 supplements, admits that the new fatty acids on the block need much more research.

“I would tell people who want to try it to get an omega-7 supplement that has been purified from fish and contains no palmitic acid,” he suggests. “At this point, there’s not enough data to even determine the best dosage, but estimates are about 420 milligrams a day.”

Still, he adds, it may not hurt to try omega-7s, especially if you’re at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

“I would say that, in general, people should hold off on taking things that have toxicity and no proven benefit,” Roizen notes. “But omega-7s have very little downside and a big upside. I give that choice to patients who are at high risk of arteriosclerosis.”

 

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You've probably heard about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and other foods. But a growing number of scientists believe that their lesser-known cousin — omega-7s — may pack a more potent punch in battling high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems.
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2016-44-29
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 09:44 PM
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