Monday, September 3, 2007

What would you choose -- a diet pill made of organic omega 5 oil or a genetically modified rapeseed oil mix?

The American Chemical Society reported in March 2007 that Japanese scientists tested whether genetically modified punicic acid of the type contained in Omega 5 oil can be an anti obesity elemet.

The team inlcuded: Kazunori Koba,* Jun Imamura, Asuka Akashoshi, Junko Kohno-Murase,# Shoko Nishizono, Mari Iwabuchi, Kazunari Tanaka, and Michihiro Sugano

The abstract states in the pertinent part that: Punicic acid, one of the conjugated linolenic acid (CLN) isomers, exerts a body-fat reducing effect. Although punicic acid is found in pomegranate and Tricosanthes kirilowii seeds, the amount of this fatty acid is very low in nature.

Having concluded that, the goal of this study was to produce a transgenic oil containing punicic acid.
A cDNA encoding conjugase that converts linoleic acid to punicic acid was isolated from T. kirilowii, and the plant expression vector, pKN-TkFac, was generated. The pKN-TkFac was introduced into Brassica napus by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. As a result, a genetically modified rapeseed oil (GMRO) containing punicic acid was obtained, although its proportion to the total fatty acids was very low (approximately 2.5%). The effects of feeding GMRO in ICR CD-1 male mice were then examined. Wild-type rapeseed (B. napus) oil (RSO) containing no CLN was used as a control oil. For reference oils, RSO-based blended oils were prepared by mixing with different levels of pomegranate oil (PO), either 2.5% (RSO + PO) or 5.0% (RSO + 2PO) punicic acid.

Mice were fed purified diets containing 10% of either RSO, RSO + PO, RSO + 2PO, or GMRO for 4 weeks, and dietary PO dose-dependently reduced perirenal adipose tissue weight with a significant difference between the RSO group and the RSO + 2PO group.

GMRO, as compared to RSO, lowered the adipose tissue weight to the levels observed with RSO + 2PO.

The liver triglyceride level of the RSO + 2PO and GMRO groups but not that of the RSO + PO group was lower than that of the RSO group.

The RSO + 2PO and GMRO groups, but not the RSO + PO group, had increased carnitine-palmitoyltransferase activity in the liver and brown adipose tissue.

These results showed that dietary GMRO, even at a dietary punicic acid level as low as 0.25 wt % of diet, reduced body fat mass and altered liver lipid metabolism in mice and was more effective than an equal amount of punicic acid from Pomegrnate oil.

Faculty of Nursing and Nutrition, Siebold University of Nagasaki, Nagasaki 851-2195, Japan; Faculty of Agriculture, Tamagawa University, Tokyo 194-8610, Japan; Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Kumamoto 862-8502, Japan; Mitsubishi Kagaku Bio-Clinical Laboratories Inc., Tokyo 174-8555, Japan; Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama 226-3501, Japan; and Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 813-0043, Japan

What is Rapeseed: Rapeseed is grown for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel; leading producers include the European Union, Canada, the United States, Australia, China and India. Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa, Rapaseed and (one particular cultivar) Canola, is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). The name is derived through Old English from a term for turnip, rapum (see Brassica napobrassica, which may be considered a variety of Brassica napus). Some botanists include the closely related Brassica campestris within B. napus

Canola oil. Canola oil (or rapeseed oil) contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a ratio of 2:1 and is only second to flax oil in omega-3 fatty acid. It is one of the most heart-healthy oils and has been reported to reduce cholesterol levels, lower serum tryglyceride levels, and keep platelets from sticking together. .

Side effects: Rapeseed has been linked with adverse effects in asthma and hay fever sufferers. Some suggest that oilseed pollen is the cause of increased breathing difficulties. This is unlikely however, as rapeseed is an entomophilous crop, with pollen transfer primarily by insects. Others suggest that it is the inhalation of oilseed rape dust that causes this[1], and that allergies to the pollen are relatively rare. There may also be another effect at work; since rapeseed in flower has a distinctive and pungent smell, hay fever sufferers may wrongly jump to the conclusion that it is the rapeseed that is to blame simply because they can smell it.[ An alternative explanation may be that it is simply the sheer volume of rapeseed pollen in the air around farmland which triggers an allergic reaction in hayfever sufferers on inhalation, or following prolonged exposure to high levels

Some legal battles that are noteworty: The Monsanto Company has genetically engineered new cultivars of rapeseed that are resistant to the effects of its herbicide Roundup. They have been vigorously prosecuting farmers found to have the Roundup Ready gene in Canola in their fields without paying a license fee. These farmers have claimed the Roundup Ready gene was blown into their fields and crossed with unaltered Canola. Other farmers claim that after spraying Roundup in non-Canola fields to kill weeds before planting, Roundup Ready volunteers are left behind, causing extra expense to rid their fields of the weeds. In a closely followed legal battle, the Supreme Court of Canada found in favor of Monsanto's patent infringement claim for illegal growing of Roundup Ready in its 2004 ruling on Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser. The case garnered international controversy as a court-sanctioned legitimation for the global patent protection of genetically modified crops.

Query -- were the Japanese researchers really using organic pomegranates seed oil with high levels of punicic acid such as : or were they using some low level brands from India or China ? It has been established that pomegranates seed oil from certain parts of the world contain the highest level of punicic acid, why then try to use genetically modified canola oil?


Kramer Lorrian said...

Is Omega 5 oil really effective to reduce weight?

I am awaiting to hear from GOL. POMEGA does not promote the gell caps as diet pills, but if it is good for GOL, perhaps the POMEGA5 oil works?

The general approach for treatment of obesity is to suggest a low calorie diet and increased physical activity. Ther are many weight loss programmes in the market. Some over-the-counter wellness products are also very popular these days as they claim to produce the results fast. But many of these products are not researched properly and medical community has expressed doubts about their effectiveness in long term.

Many weight loss programmes are based on low carbohydrate diet although its long term effect is not very much different than that of low calorie carbohydrate rich diet, according to a recent research. Low carbohydrate diet produces ketosis which causes low cholesterol levels and reduced body weight. However, there are differences of opinion in medical community as to whether the low carb diet is safe in long run.

Other systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Homeopathy also have their own approach for treatment of obesity. According to Ayurveda, obesity is recognized as a disease called "Medoroga". Meda means fat and it is one of the seven Dhatu's that are sequentially produced from food in the human body. Obesity is considered as a nutritional disorder mainly produced due to sedentary life style. Ayurveda puts more emphasis on prevention of the disease and adopting a healthy life style. The medicines for the treatment of obesity contain the substance known as Guggulu which is responsibe for reducing weight. Ayurveda uses natural products in the preparation of medicines and these medicines are generally safer than chemical based medicines and drugs. Also, the Ayurvedic medicines have a long history of use and hence, are more reliable.

Homeopathy has its own approach. It treats the patient, not the disease. It takes into account the constitution of a person for treatment of diseases. The constitution is the physical, emotional and intellectual make up of the person. Hence there are no ready made prescriptions for obesity which can produce uniform results. The patient should have enough patience to take Homeopathic medication otherwise no significant results can be produced.

Another approach that can help in curing obesity is that of Yoga. Yoga advocates a healthy life style with its specific techniques to clean the body from toxins and improve emotional and intellectual balance. It covers a broad spectrum of life. Besides physical aspects, it also covers emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of life which are mostly ignored by modern science when treating a patient. Certain types of pranayama (breathing techniques) greatly help in the cure of obesity. Meditation can reduce mental stress which is also a cause for tendency of over-eating.

A person should be kept motivated and focused on the goals in order to implement a particular weight loss programme. Hence behavioral therapy is also popular these days which suggests to set specific goals and have a reward other than food for achieving those goals. Regular recording of weight and activities is also important to track the progress.

An integrated approach is required which can address the issue more appropriately. A good weight loss plan should be based on a synthesis of different approaches for treatment of obesity. A weight loss formula is available at that incorporates the following steps:

Step1 - A Meditation technique to eliminate mental causes of obesity
Step2 - A simple but powerful fat burning exercise
Step3 - Pranayam (breathing techniques)
step4 - Balanced diet

It provides a step by step method which anyone can follow to reduce weight and get a perfect body shape. It incorporates the traditional wisdom about healthy life style. It is based on an integrated approach which addresses multiple causes of obesity. You are not required to purchase any expensive wellness product to implement it. In this way, you save money which you would otherwise have to spend on the treatment of obesity related problems.

Kramer Lorrian

Jake Solomon said...

Can you explain this quote about the Omega 5 CLA link?

Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans1,2
Leah D Whigham, Abigail C Watras and Dale A Schoeller
1 From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI (LDW), and the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (ACW and DAS)

Background:Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to be an effective supplement for reducing fat mass in animals, whereas results in humans have been inconsistent.

Objective:This is a meta-analysis of human studies in which CLA was provided as a dietary supplement to test its efficacy in reducing fat mass.

Design:We searched the PubMed database (National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD) and references from the resulting search to identify studies in which CLA was provided to humans in randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials and in which body composition was assessed by using a validated technique.

Results:We identified 18 eligible studies. Of these, 3 were single-isomer studies, and results comparing CLA isomers were inconclusive. We compared the length of treatment by using studies in which a mixture of purified isomers were used and those in which purified trans-10,cis-12 isomers were used. This comparison indicated that the effect of CLA was linear for up to 6 mo and then slowly approached an asymptote at 2 y. An analysis of the dose effect indicated that fat loss compared with placebo was –0.024 kg · g CLA–1 · wk–1 (P = 0.03). After adjustment to the median dose of 3.2 g CLA/d, CLA was effective and produced a reduction in fat mass for the CLA group alone (0.05 ± 0.05 kg/wk; P < 0.001) and for the CLA group compared with placebo (0.09 ± 0.08 kg/wk; P < 0.001)

Conclusion:Given at a dose of 3.2 g/d, CLA produces a modest loss in body fat in humans.