The use of camelina oil reduces total and LDL cholesterol levels in people with impaired glucose metabolism, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. The study analyzed the link between camelina oil, fatty fish and lean, white fish with blood cholesterol and blood sugar metabolism and low-grade inflammation. Camelina oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid.
Earlier research has shown that fish protein and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have beneficial effects on several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Evidence relating to the effect of alpha-linolenic acid on these risk factors, however, remains scarce.
The small study involved 79 Finnish men and women, aged 40 to 72, with impaired fasting glucose. The study participants were randomly divided into four groups: the camelina oil group, the fatty fish group, the lean fish group, and the control group.
Depending on their group, study participants were instructed to eat either fatty or lean fish four times a week, or to take a daily 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of camelina oil for 12 weeks. People in the control group were allowed to eat fish once a week, but were not allowed to use camelina oil or other oils containing alpha-linolenic acid.
The researchers found that camelina oil had a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels, but no similar effects were observed for fatty or lean fish. Moreover, there were no significant differences in glucose metabolism or low-grade inflammation between the groups.
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