Health New human health trial shows plant produced omega-3 fats just as effective nutritionally as fish oil

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Research, led by the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Medicine, has shown that key omega-3 fatty acids within GM plant oils are taken up and processed by the body in exactly the same way as when fish oils are eaten.

The findings are great news for Rothamsted, where Prof Johnathan Napier has pioneered the modification of the Camelina plants to produce the enhanced vegetable oil in their seeds.

He said: “It is genuinely exciting to see our research progress to the point where we are carrying out human studies, and even more pleasing to see such positive results.

"This first study in humans is both an important scientific advance and another step on our journey towards making this oil available to the consumer."

Mainly found in fish oil and oily fish, the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are key components of cell membranes and important for health and development, but there are no natural plant sources of these omega-3s.

The fats are well known to help protect against heart disease and strokes, but the UK population consumes less than half the recommended amounts of these key nutrients, mainly due to dietary choices that exclude fish, such as vegetarianism.

Additionally, current marine supplies can only meet 15 per cent of global demand, so there is a need for a source of omega-3 oils that is broadly acceptable to consumers, which can be scaled up to meet demands, and is sustainable.



Read more here. (Rothamsted Research)
 
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