Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Is Omega 5 oil a trans fatty acid?

Trans Fats and Oils

Recently, there has been some information circulated by a certain doctor unfamiliar with Omega 5 that pomegranate seed oil contains trans fatty acids.

From various sources who have talked to him, I understand that the information is disseminated by this doctor who also happens to have his own brand for the sole purpose of promoting his own oil mix. He has no knowledge of Omega 5 oil.

We have asked a Canadian expert in oils to tell us the correct state of affairs, here is what he told us:

"The main source of trans fatty acids are those produced industrially to harden unsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils; the content can vary from 20 to 60% of total fat. Ruminant bacteria naturally produced trans fatty acid intermediates during biohydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids; the content can vary between 3 to 6% in the total fat of milk and meat from ruminants. Small amounts of trans fatty acids are also produced naturally in plants (total content less than 1%).

The trans fatty acids present in the industrial fats are the result of chemical processes which produces a random distribution of different kinds of trans fatty acids (isomers), while the naturally produced trans fatty acids are the product of biologically mechanisms (enzyme reactions) that form specific isomers.

Research has shown that the naturally produced trans fatty acids do not correlated to risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, while the industrially produced trans fatty acids do.

A unique class of trans fatty acids has been found in ruminant fats that contain two unsaturated bonds, one trans the other the more common cis configuration. This family of trans containing fatty acids has been called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and they have been shown to protect against cancers, and reduce atherosclerosis, diabetes and immunity in experimental animals. Some beneficial responses are now being confirmed in humans.

There are a number of plant oils, pomegranate oil being the more common of them, that contain ‘CLA like’ conjugated fatty acids in which one of the three unsaturated bonds is trans. These conjugated fatty acids likewise show unique physiological responses and their effect on cancer is presently being investigated.

To consider all trans fatty acids equally undesirable for health, such as the industrial fats, is scientifically incorrect and misleading. Such a position may in fact prevent us from realizing the benefits associated from these natural occurring trans containing fatty acids."
My advice -- take the teachings of parties who have no expertise in Omega 5, with a grain of salt.

Be well.

1 comment:

KKL said...

Total lipid content and fatty acid composition of oilseed from lesser known sweet pomegranate clones
P Melgarejo 1, F Artés 2 *
1Department of Vegetable Crop, Escuela Politécnica Superior, University Miguel Hernández of Elche, Ctra de Beniel Km 3.2, E-03300 Orihuela (Alicante), Spain
2Postharvest and Refrigeration Laboratory, Food Science and Technology Department, CEBAS-CSIC, PO Box 4195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain

*Correspondence to F Artés, Postharvest and Refrigeration Laboratory, Food Science and Technology Department, CEBAS-CSIC, PO Box 4195, E-30080 Murcia, Spain

Punica granatum L; total lipids; fatty acids; oilseed

The oil content and fatty acid composition of the oilseed of seven lesser known Spanish sweet pomegranate (Punica granatum L) clones were determined by gas chromatography. The seeds contained oil in the range of about 63-122 g kg-1 dry matter, a notably lower content than that of some oriental pomegranate cultivars. Levels of lipid content probably could be considered insufficient for economic industrial exploitation compared with those of conventional oilseeds. The predominant fatty acid was the polyunsaturate (n - 3) linolenic acid (43.4-88.2%), followed by the diunsaturate linoleic (5.3-16.5%), the monounsaturate oleic (3.7-20.3%) and palmitoleic (traces to 2.9%) acids. To a lesser extent the saturates palmitic (2.6-14.9%) and stearic (1.2-9.0%) acids were also found in all clones. Lauric and arachidic acids were rarely detected. We have not confirmed the presence of behenic (C22:0) and lignoceric (C24:0) acids previously reported in edible and non-edible pomegranate cultivars. Intervarietal differences in fatty acid composition were shown and they could be useful to establish chemotaxonomic differences. In contrast with previous reports on sweet pomegranate cultivars, a very low (0.04-0.35) saturated/unsaturated fatty acid ratio was found.
© 2000 Society of Chemical Industry

Received: 29 February 2000; Accepted: 2 March 2000