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, 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 : http://www.pomega5.com/ 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?