Rapeseed Oil May Benefit Health

November 9/Helsinki, Finland/Hindustan Times -- Researchers have found that consumption of canola-type rapeseed oil decreases the level of fibrinogen detrimental to health in the body. Universities of Helsinki and Tampere scientists conducted the study on fatty acids.

The increased fibrinogen level, caused by an imbalance in essential fats in one's diet, decreases when saturated fatty acids are replaced with rapeseed oil.

A complex state of balance, the haemostatic balance, prevails in the bloodstream. One player in this balancing act is fibrinogen, the single most important blood coagulation factor.

A high level of fibrinogen promotes the creation of thrombosis and maintains inflammation within the body. An increase in the fibrinogen level is closely linked with, for example, cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The new research demonstrated for the first time that an increase in the fibrinogen level of the blood is largely caused by the lack of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid in the diet.

When there is too little of this beneficial fatty acid found in one's diet, an imbalance between fatty acids in the body is created.

When the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid level is too low, the body starts to manufacture more harmful omega-6 arachidonic acid out of the omega-6 linoleic acid, creating hormone-like compounds that cause thrombosis and inflammation.

According to the researchers, the fat composition of rapeseed oil is optimal with regard to fatty acids essential to the body and consequently is well-suited to reduce the fibrinogen levels in the blood.

The research results were published in the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.

From the November 22, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition