We Love Good Fats!
Gone are the bad old days when all fats were lumped together under the banner of "bad" in a dietary sense. In those days, supermarket shelves were inundated with low-fat alternatives to popular products such as cheese, yoghurt, crackers, cereals; you name it and there would have been a low-fat alternative to the standard product.
Thank goodness those days are over! That trend passed largely due to the emergence of the concept of "good fats" and the recognition that humans need plenty of fats in their diet to maintain good health.
These days the term "good fats" is widely known. It is used to describe fats that provide health benefits including fats found in fish, nuts, olive oil and avocado, among other sources.
Among the so-called "good fats" are a class of fats - the omega's - that is arguably the most famous of all the "good fats". They provide an array of health benefits from heart health to brain health to lowering inflammation.
In this blog we'll look at a relatively new kid on the "good-fat"-block; omega-7. We'll take a look at the latest research on this fat, and we'll explain why you should be taking a superior form of an omega-7 daily called CardiOmegia, for your cardiovascular health.
What are Omegas?
Omega fatty acids are a group of unsaturated fatty acids that are needed for good health. The best-known omegas are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids (they have more than one double bond in their chemical structure).
Omega-3's and omega-6's are essential fatty acids, meaning your body cannot produce them, therefore you need to get them from your diet. The best sources of omega-3's are fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
While it is also important to get omega-6's from dietary sources, in developed countries, most people consume too much omega-6s due to a high intake of processed foods, and not enough omega-3. Many health experts believe the high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is to blame for the rapid rise in cardiovascular problems in modern times.
Omega-9 is another, less well-known type of omega fatty acid. This is a monounsaturated fatty acid (it has a single double bond in its chemical structure) and it is classified as non-essential - meaning the body is capable of producing omega-9 on its own. However, eating foods rich in omega-9's is still beneficial for health. Common sources of omega-9s include almonds, avocado and olive oil.
Understanding of omegas is constantly growing. In 2008 scientists at the prestigious Harvard Medical School made an exciting discovery. They were researching the mechanism behind weight loss. What they found was a fat that behaved like a hormone. Based on its structure, they called it omega-7, also known as palmitoleic acid. Omega-7 has made it into the exclusive "good fat" club, and for very sound reasons, it has been proven to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Introducing Omega 7
Since its discovery, researchers have shown that omega-7 may help prevent cardiovascular disease and support healthy cholesterol levels and healthy metabolism. Omega-7 is also popular in skincare products and is known for its anti-aging and moisture-providing properties.
While omega-7 is present in some foods, such as avocado, Peruvian anchovies and macadamia nuts, a plant called sea buckthorn has the highest omega-7 content. Xtend-Life's Founder, Warren Matthews became interested in sea buckthorn after meeting Dr Tina Yuen in Geneva, one of the founders of a company called Puredia.
Puredia is the world's foremost expert in sea buckthorn and the production of health-promoting ingredients from the plant. Warren was intrigued to know more about what they were doing with the sustainable wild harvesting of sea buckthorn berries from the Tibetan plateau. After a lot of verification and research, the decision was made to include a particularly potent version of sea buckthorn extract in CX8. We chose the ingredient called CardiOmegia, which offers the highest concentration of omega-7, in its natural triglyceride form.
Metabolic & Cardiac Benefits of Omega-7
Omega-7 functions as a lipid hormone referred to as a lipokine. Unlike other omegas, omega-7 influences lipid metabolism. For example, treatment with omega-7 reduces new fat synthesis and the activity of lipid producing enzymes in fat cells. Omega-7 has also been shown to increase fat breakdown and increase the enzymes involved in fat burning for energy.
This is all excellent news for supporting metabolic health. Interestingly, having better fat metabolism has major flow-on effects for cardiovascular health too. The main connection between metabolic health and cardiovascular health is fat cells. Fat cells produce molecules that tell the body to produce inflammation. Chronic low-grade inflammation is a precursor to both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Research has shown that higher levels of omega-7 in the blood and higher omega-7 consumption are associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker. Hence, omega-7 reduces inflammation, resulting in a reduced risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
In terms of markers directly associated with cardiovascular health, research on the benefits of omega-7 in humans is very promising.
In an epidemiology study involving over 3,500 adults aged 65+, those with higher omega-7 levels had higher levels of "good" cholesterol, lower triglyceride levels and a lower ratio of total-to-HDL cholesterol.
In a meta-analysis that pooled data from 11 independent clinical trials, researchers found that supplementation with sea buckthorn significantly improved blood lipid profiles in those who had hyperlipidaemia (elevated fat levels in the blood). Specifically, supplementation with sea buckthorn significantly reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol and significantly increased HDL-cholesterol. The benefits were seen in those who were at risk of cardiovascular events, but not in healthy subjects.
Similar results were found in a study with obese children. Obese children have increased markers of oxidative stress, low antioxidant defence molecules, high markers of inflammation, and disturbance of molecules that affect fat metabolism and higher insulin resistance. Treatment of obese children with sea buckthorn had a beneficial effect, reducing total cholesterol, triglycerides, markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, leptin, and blood pressure. That's a rather impressive scorecard for a dietary supplement!
As a supplement, CardiOmegia provides the highest levels of omega-7 in natural triglyceride form. This is due to the pure C02 supercritical extraction method used by Puredia, which ensures both potency and purity. CardiOmegia helps lower cardiovascular risk factors including lowering triglycerides and cholesterol as well as lowering blood pressure. Taking sea buckthorn is kind of like a two-for-one deal because it also reduces oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance which has huge benefits for metabolic health and overall health and wellness.
Although omega-7 doesn't enjoy the limelight as much as its more famous cousin omega-3, we, along with many scientists and health experts, are strong believers in the benefits of omega-7. That's why we incorporated CardiOmegia from sea buckthorn into CX8 and that's why we believe you should take CardiOmegia every day. Your future self will thank you!
CX8 - Heart Health Support
Containing 8 natural ingredients, including CardiOmegia from sea buckthorn, to help support cardiovascular health.Shop now
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Xiao-fei Guo, Bo Yang, Wenwen Cai, Duo Li.Effect of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) on blood lipid profiles: A systematic review and meta-analysis from 11 independent randomized controlled trials. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 61, 2017, Pages 1-10.
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Dr. Amanda Wiggins
Xtend-Life Research Scientist
Dr. Amanda Wiggins works with Xtend-Life as the Chief Research Scientist, where she can use her passion for science, research and nutrition.