Quest Vitamins LTD,
Issue # 61.1 - Fatty Acids and Heart Health
MUFA\'s for heart health?
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of increasing the levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in the diet of students on risk markers for artery disease. 51 students were used in the diet and were randomly allocated to one of two diets. A moderate increase in MUFA or a high increase in MUFA. The study lasted for a total of 16 weeks and the results showed that the diet with high MUFA\'s was more effective for decreasing the risk markers associated with artery disease, such as platelet aggregation, than the diet moderate in MUFA\'s. In conclusion it was stated that increasing the levels of MUFA\'s in the diet is a beneficial alteration as it is associated with maintaining the health of the blood vessels and therefore reducing the risk of artery disease which may lead to a heart attack.
British Journal of Nutrition 2003, 90, 597-606.
Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids reduce Heart Disease?
The importance of regular intakes of essential fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids, is well documented. They have been associated with a reduced incidence of inflammation and have been shown to be beneficial for the health of the nervous system. This study investigated the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the incidence of cardiovascular disease and it concluded that an important cardiac-regulating function exists that is affected by these fatty acids. The particular fatty acids, EPA and DHA were highlighted which appear to play roles in auto-immune diseases, diabetes and arthritis. The mechanism by which these fatty acids protect against heart disease is thought to be due to their resistance against oxidative stress, when compared to saturated fatty acids, which is now known to be the initial stage of plaque formation.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003) 57, Suppl 1, S22-S25
Can monounsaturated fat help weight loss?
A recent study was designed to assess whether an increase in monounsaturated fat intake could aid weight loss. It was a randomised crossover study involving eight overweight or obese men who followed the new diets for four weeks. Half of the subjects consumed a diet high in monounsaturated fats and the other half consumed diets high in saturated fat and the results were compared. These results showed that substituting saturated for monounsaturated fat can induce a small but significant loss of body weight and fat mass without a significant change in total energy or fat intake.
British Journal of Nutrition 2003, 90, 717-727