Fish Oil & Oleic Acid Counter Each Other's Beneficial Health Effects: MUFAs Improve Cholesterol & Glucose Metabolism, Fish Oil Lowers Triglycerides But Only On Their Own!
|Oleic acid and fish oil don't mix.|
In a recent study, Sani Hlais and his colleagues from the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, analyzed the effects of 12 weeks of differently dosed fish and/or high-oleic acid sunflower oil (OSO) supplementation in 98 healthy subjects (18–35 not on meds and supplement abstinent; Hlais. 2013)
"Hold on!? Healthy sunflower oil?"
I know, the current dogma is: "There is no oil beside fish and coconut oil... well maybe virgin olive oil." But just as the term "dogma" implies this is just a deeply ingrained pattern - no universal truth. The statistically significant reductions of total and LDL cholesterol in the OSO group (8g/day; 6.5g oleic acid content), which was absent in the fish oil (2g/day) group would be one of those effects that contradict this dogma. And as it turns out - the effects probably will not even even manifest themselves in those of you who apply the "better I take any supplement on earth, to make sure I don't miss something", when you stand in front of the virtual or real shelves of supplement vendors.
|Figure 1: Changes in total, LDL, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides (in mg/dL; Hlais. 2013)|
|Figure 2: Changes in BMI, fasting glucose and insulin over the 12-week study period (Hlais. 2013)|
For omega-3 vs. omega-6 we already know that the conversion of the short chain omega-3 fatty acid ALA to its long-chain brethren EPA and DHA is hampered by high intakes of linoleic acid (LA: short chain omega-6), because they require the same enzymes needed for the generation of arachidonic acid (ARA) from LA. The "competition" the scientists suspect to be working here is instead probably on a cellular or receptor level. Well, I guess future studies are going to elucidate that in more detail... right?
"In conclusion, glycemic and blood pressure parameters were not affected by the different supplements. Intake of ﬁsh oil (2 g/day) was found to reduce TAG by about 13 % and not to affect other lipid parameters. Intake of oleic acid (6.5 g/day) was found to reduce both total and LDL cholesterol by about 10 %. These effects seem to be diminished when using a combination of the two oils (n-3 and n-9), which may be attributed to a competition in the metabolism of the two fatty acids." (Hlais. 2013)
Trigs or phospholipids what's in your fish oil caps + why does it matter? (learn more)
|Supercharged Phenol-Enriched Virgin Olive Oil - would it be worth the extra-money (learn more)?|
- Hlais S, El-Bistami D, El Rahi B, Mattar MA, Obeid OA. Combined Fish Oil and High Oleic Sunflower Oil Supplements Neutralize their Individual Effects on the Lipid Profile of Healthy Men. Lipids. 2013 Jul 26.