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Fatty fish is the good oil

14 May 2018

Fatty fish gives you good cholesterol, according to a new study from the University of Eastern Finland.

The research, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, found that eating fatty fish increases the size and lipid composition of HDL particles in people with impaired glucose metabolism.

HDL lipoprotein is commonly known as the good cholesterol, although the health effects of HDL particles actually are dependent on their size and composition.

The changes in the size and lipid composition of HDL particles caused by fatty fish make them beneficial for cardiovascular health. The study also found that camelina sativa oil decreases the number of harmful IDL particles.

The researchers studied the effects of camelina oil and fatty fish intake on the size and composition of cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins.

Earlier studies have shown that large HDL particles are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, whereas a small HDL particle size may increase the risk.

The IDL lipoprotein is the precursor of LDL, which is also known as the bad cholesterol. Research has shown that long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have a beneficial effect on lipoprotein size and composition. Camelina oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid, which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid.

The study involved 79 Finnish men and women aged between 40 and 72, and with impaired glucose metabolism. Study participants were randomly divided into four groups for a 12-week intervention: the camelina oil group, the fatty fish group, the lean fish group, and the control group. People in the lean and fatty fish groups were instructed to eat lean or fatty fish four times a week, and people in the camelina oil group were asked to use 30 millilitres of camelina sativa oil daily.

Participants in the control group were allowed to eat fish once a week, and the use of camelina oil and other oils containing alpha-linolenic acid, such as rapeseed oil, was prohibited.

The researchers found that eating fatty fish increased the size and lipid composition of HDL particles, and that the use of camelina oil decreased the number of harmful IDL particles. Both of these changes can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Eating lean fish, however, was not associated with changes in the number, size or composition of lipoprotein particles.

CHRIS JOHNSON

 


Published: 14 May 2018