Canola Oil May Reduce Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome
March 30, 2013

Some Vegetable Oils Could Reduce Belly Fat, Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Consuming certain types of vegetable oil could lower a person´s abdominal fat and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, a team of US and Canadian researchers claim in a new study.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of medical disorders that combine to increase a person´s risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and it occurs in one out of every three Americans and one out of every five Canadian adults. Now, however, scientists have discovered evidence that using canola oil and high-oleic canola oils instead of other selected oil blends can help lower the risk of the condition.

"The monounsaturated fats in these vegetable oils appear to reduce abdominal fat, which in turn may decrease metabolic syndrome risk factors," Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Penn State University, said in a statement. Findings of the study were recently presented at the American Heart Association's EPI/NPAM 2013 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

In a randomized, controlled trial, Kris-Etherton and colleagues recruited 121 subjects, all of whom were at risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Each participant was given a daily smoothie which contained 40 grams of one of five different types of oil as part of a weight-maintenance, heart-healthy, 2000-calorie diet, the researchers said.

“Members of the group had five risk factors characterized by increased belly fat, low ℠good´ hdl cholesterol and above average blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes,” they explained. “The researchers repeated this process for the remaining four oils.”

Those who consumed canola or high-oleic canola oils every day over a period of four weeks had their belly fat reduced by 1.6 percent versus those who consumed a blend of flax and safflower oil. The other two oils, a corn/safflower oil blend and high-oleic canola oil enriched with an algal source of the omega-3 DHA, had no effect on abdominal fat, even though the flax/safflower and corn/safflower blends were both low in monounsaturated fat.

“It is evident that further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms that account for belly fat loss on a diet high in monounsaturated fatty acids,” Kris-Etherton said. “Our study indicates that simple dietary changes, such as using vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids, may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and therefore heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.”

In addition to Kris-Etherton, authors on the study include: Peter Jones and Shuaihua Pu of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg; Sheila West, Xiaoran Liu, Jennifer Fleming and Cindy McCrea of Penn State; Benôit Lamarche and Patrick Couture of Laval University in Quebec; and David Jenkins of the University of Toronto. Their research was funded by the government of Canada, the Canola Council of Canada and Dow Agrosciences.