July 28, 2004

Beneficial Fats May be Added to Plants

Research has shown many possible health benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids, from cardiovascular function to cancer protection to improved mental health. Some studies have even specifically targeted schizophrenia patients, and have found that a diet high in omega-3 may help patients derive more symptom control benefits from medication.

Omega-3 acids are produced naturally in fish oils; however, scientists are now looking at bioengineering certain plants to produce them as well.

Plants make natural precursors for the beneficial fats, but don't produce the long acid chains. UK scientists recently inserted three genes into a mouse ear cress plant, allowing it to convert its precursors into the full chains.

Says PUFA (poly-unsaturated fatty acid) Newsletter ditor Joyce A. Nettleton, "Using biotechnology to produce LC-PUFAs in oilseed crops would greatly expand the availability of these beneficial fatty acids in food and feed for human and animal nutrition. This is extremely promising research."

Especially promising given the PUFA newsletter prediction that the largest global health problems in the year 2020 will be cardiovascular disease, perinatal conditions, and mental illness.

For the full news article, see "Health Promoting Omega-3s May be Produced in Biotech Plants" (July 1, 2004) in Life Science News at Biocompare (http://news.biocompare.com).

For more research on the specific benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids for psychiatric health, see "Other Treatments" on the schizophrenia.com website (http://www.schizophrenia.com/treatments.htm#epa)

For a free subscription to the PUFA newsletter, sponsered by DSM Nutritional Products of the Netherlands, please visit http://www.fatsoflife.com/


I ead somwehere that Omega 3 fish oil lowers the metabolic rate and may lead to diabetes .Is that right?

Posted by: monica at August 2, 2004 05:14 AM

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