Researchers Find No Link Between Vegetable Oil Consumption And Inflammation

[ Watch the Video: Vegetable Oil IS Good for You ]

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online

There is no link between vegetable oil consumption and circulating indicators of inflammation typically associated with heart disease, cancer, asthma and arthritis, researchers from the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois claim in a recently-published study.

Vegetable oils, including those from soy, corn and canola, are high in linoleic acid (LA), an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that has been found in previous animal studies to promote inflammation. However, Missouri researcher Kevin Fritsche and his colleagues argue that is not always the case, as people respond differently to linoleic acid.

“In the field of nutrition and health, animals aren´t people,” explained Fritsche, an MU professor of animal science and nutrition in the Division of Animal Sciences. “We´re not saying that you should just go out and consume vegetable oil freely. However, our evidence does suggest that you can achieve a heart-healthy diet by using soybean, canola, corn and sunflower oils instead of animal-based fats when cooking.”

According to the researchers, the average American consumes at least three tablespoons of vegetable oil each day. In addition, for the past four decades, linoleic acid has been linked to reduced blood cholesterol levels, and it has also been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Some experts have warned that Americans could be consuming too much vegetable oil (and essentially, too much LA). Fritsche and his colleagues contradict those claims.

He and Guy Johnson, an adjunct professor of food and human nutrition at the University of Illinois, reviewed 15 different clinical trials involving 500 US adults who consumed vegetable oils and various other forms of fats.

They set out attempting to discover whether LA promoted inflammation in humans, and after reviewing the research, they discovered no such link between diets high in the fatty acid and inflammation in the body.

“Some previous studies have shown that inflammation, which is an immune response in the body, can occur when certain fats are consumed,” Fritsche said. “We´ve come to realize that this inflammation, which can occur anywhere in the body, can cause or promote chronic diseases. We know that animal fats can encourage inflammation, but in this study, we´ve been able to rule out vegetable oil as a cause.”

Fritsche and Johnson report that their findings emphasize the importance of following Institute of Medicine and American Heart Association recommendations regarding the use of vegetable oil when cooking. Ideally, people should consume between two and four tablespoons of vegetable oil daily to reach the necessary amount of linoleic acid needed for a heart-healthy diet, they said.

“Consumers are regularly bombarded with warnings about what foods they should avoid,” explained Fritsche. “While limiting the overall fat intake is also part of the current nutrition recommendations, we hope people will feel comfortable cooking with vegetable oils.”

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