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Sustainable Alternative to Fish Oil – Plant Oils from Black Current, Hemp, Chia and Other Super Seeds

Plant-based Omega-3 stearidonic acid (SA) has similar anti-inflammatory biological properties to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) derived from fish oil.

Black currant seed (BCSO) oil is the most chemically stable of the plant-based fatty acid oils. Its profile includes Omega-3 stearidonic acid and Omega-6 alpha-linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linoleic acid (GLA).  This makes it the Omega 6 & 3 fatty acid oil of choice for those suffering from dry eye disease and other silent inflammation-based diseases, particularly mucosal tissue inflammation.
Stearidonic acid is also found in hemp seed oil and the blue-green algae Spirulina.These plants are not dependent on Omega 3 ALA delta-6 desaturase metabolic activity to produce SA, as is Flax Seed Oil, which has been used as a fairly successful treatment for dry eye systemic inflammation for years, in spite of limited conversion to Omega-3 EPA.
This is probably not nutrition science that makes fish oil sellers happy.
BCSO also exerts beneficial effects on the immune system, partly through its ability to down-regulate the series two inflammatory prostaglandin (PGE2). The age-associated increase in production of PGE2 contributes to the decline in T cell-mediated immune function with age.
To determine if BCSO could prevent this decrease in immune function, researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to examine the effect of 2 months of BCSO supplementation on the immune response of 40 healthy subjects aged 65 and older.
BCSO improved a number of markers of immunity in the subjects and significantly reduced PGE2 production compared to the placebo group, leading the study authors to conclude that BCSO has an immune-enhancing effect attributable to its ability to reduce inflammatory PGE2 production.
Furthermore, Omega 3 SA and GLA found in BCSO has been shown to lower triglyceride levels and appropriately modulate platelet activity, the process by which blood cells coagulate, indicating it has a role to play in heart health, as well as eye health.
BCSO contains an abundant amount of Omega-6 GLA. Dietary sources of GLA are very uncommon and some individuals are unable to metabolically convert omega-6 linoleic acid (LA) from the diet into GLA, especially if they are zinc, magnesium, vitamin C or B6 deficient, indicating that there is a great need for supplementation with this nutrient.
GLA has been shown to inhibit inflammatory responses by regulating inflammatory mediators such as nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB), frequently associated with diseases of the retina.
Again, GLA up-regulates the mucosal tissue specific anti-inflammatory PGE1 required to properly address a systemically inflammed dry eye.
Additionally, GLA exerts heart-protective effects. In an animal study, researchers found that GLA attenuated the formation of atherosclerotic plaques; inhibited the level of serum triglycerides and oxidized LDL cholesterol, as well as markers of oxidation, leading them to conclude that GLA could significantly reduce the development of atherosclerosis by improving the anti-oxidation capacity of the body.
In cell culture studies, GLA has triggered apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human leukemia cell lines and has inhibited tumor growth, cell cycle progression and angiogenesis in glioma cells. In one in vitro study, GLA was found to enhance the response of multi-drug-resistant leukemia cells to anticancer drugs.
This is an Omega-6 fatty acid we should not be without.
reprinted from biosyntrix.com – by Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer
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