Linseed oil with a health-promoting effect

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Linseed oil protects against diseases of the cardiovascular system

Linseed oil shows a similar preventive effect against cardiovascular diseases like the omega-3 fatty acids in sea fish. However, flaxseed oil cannot completely replace fish consumption, according to a human study by Melanie Köhler, a nutritionist from the University of Jena.

Even if linseed oil cannot replace the consumption of sea fish, this is well suited as a supplementary food, explained Köhler. The researcher received the Alpro Foundation Award 2013 for her research work on Thursday at the 50th Scientific Congress of the German Nutrition Society (DGE) in Bonn, according to the university. For years, researchers have been looking for a possible natural substitute for the omega-3 fatty acids in sea fish. Because of the enormous global population growth and overfishing of the seas, the DGE's recommendation to eat fish two days a week will be difficult to implement in the long term.

Linseed oil particularly rich in alpha-linolenic acid As part of her study, the researcher at the University of Jena investigated “whether linseed oil can serve as an omega-3 fatty acid supplier instead of sea fish,” reports the University of Jena. Melanie Köhler has focused on linseed oil as a potential substitute, "because the oil is particularly rich in alpha-linolenic acid." In the human body, this "fatty acid is converted into the long-chain and health-protecting omega-3 fatty acids." A total of nineteen volunteers (nine men and ten women) received two tablespoons of linseed oil daily for eight weeks. The average age of the test subjects was 62 years. All study participants were overweight and suffered from high blood pressure and disorders of the blood sugar metabolism. The test subjects were not allowed to eat fish during the eight-week trial period.

Linseed oil doubled the omega-3 fatty acid concentration At the beginning and after the end of the test period, the Jena researcher checked the concentration of the omega-3 fatty acids in the test subjects' blood. Here it had been shown that the consumption of linseed oil doubled the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood. In addition, "blood pressure values ​​were lower and blood lipids improved," emphasized the nutritionist. Her study was part of a study funded by the German Research Foundation on possible plant alternatives for omega-3 fatty acids in sea fish. Even if the linseed oil cannot completely replace the sea fish, the results are very promising, according to the assessment of the current study.

Substitute for omega-3 fatty acids of sea fish wanted A substitute for sea fish as an omega-3 fatty acid supplier is urgently required, according to the University of Jena, given the empty sea. Aquaculture fish has so far offered no alternative due to its significantly lower proportion of omega-3 fatty acids. It should also be possible for people who do not eat fish out of conviction to be able to get omega-3 fatty acids in another way. For example, the recommendation of the German Nutrition Society to eat fish twice a week is not acceptable for many vegetarians. In fact, nature offers the highest known content of omega-3 fatty acids in high-fat "sea fish such as herring, salmon, anchovy or mackerel". It is therefore difficult to find an adequate replacement. (fp)

Also read about omega-3 fatty acid:
Young and healthy with omega-3 fatty acids
High-fat fish prevents diabetes and heart disease
Fish oil capsules ineffective in pregnancy?
Vegetables and fish for Alzheimer's prevention
Omega-3 fatty acids: helps against psychosis?

Photo credit: Rolf Handke /

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