You’re probably already familiar with the essential omega-3 fats and the many health benefits they offer - protecting against the harmful effects of inflammation, heart disease, and more.
Now, new studies have uncovered omega-7, a promising new omega fatty acid with a significant beneficial impact on both cholesterol levels and plaque development in arteries.
Omega-7 fats are found in all tissues in the body, but mainly in the liver.
In one study, Harvard researchers screened 3,000 people with type 2 diabetes. They identified omega-7 fats as the most active, working to prevent further development of type 2 diabetes in study participants by regulating insulin.
Similarly, a Japanese study found similarly beneficial effects of omega-7 fats on type 2 diabetes in mice, again by modifying their insulin levels.
In another study at the Cleveland Clinic, omega-7 fats were seen to significantly lower plaque formation in the entire group of test mice. Levels of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol were shown to increase by an average of 85 percent in these mice.
Anchovies, sea buckthorn and macadamia nuts are naturally high in omega-7 fats; and of course omega-7 supplements are also available.
The sea buckthorn grows in high-salt conditions along the ocean shoreline and in deserts from Western Europe to Mongolia. While very astringent, its berries are edible; but they are a great source of vitamin C, containing 15 times as much as oranges. Sea buckthorn berries are also a rich source of omega-7 fats and are used to make both nutritional supplements and skin care products.
Macadamia nuts are rich in palmitoleic acid, an omega-7 fatty oil that provides building blocks for enzymes that control fat burning. Some experts believe palmitoleic acid may represent a therapy for obesity, although more research is needed.
Too much intake of omega-7 fats causes an unpleasant side effect. When they accumulate in the oily sebum that lubricates the skin, they are broken down into a chemical which causes an unpleasant odor to the skin. Frequent washing and specially formulated cosmetics can be used to eliminate the odor.
As always, before starting a new dietary supplement, it’s wise to consult with your physician to ensure it doesn't interfere with any medications you may be currently taking.