London: Consuming foods made in canola oil -- an improved form of rapeseed, with less than two per cent erucic acid, a component found in mustard oil -- that is enriched with Omega-3 has the potential to reduce the risk of heart diseases, researchers say.
The findings showed that consuming high oleic canola oil enriched with Omega-3 can help reduce the concentration of triglycerides -- the main constituents of body fat in humans and animals -- in the blood, which when increased may contribute to hardening of the arteries or thickening of the artery walls, and raise the risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
Further, using high oleic, Omega-3 -- a potent regulator of cholesterol metabolism -- enriched canola oil to cook foods also resulted in a significant reduction (10 per cent) of the PCSK9 protein concentration in plasma, compared to the other dietary treatments, said researchers from the University of Granada (UGR) in Spain.
PCSK9 is a protein associated with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or bad cholesterol in blood and with other cardiovascular diseases.
The mechanism of action of this protein is based on the destruction of the receptors of LDL cholesterol, preventing the uptake of LDL by the cells and increasing their plasma concentrations, resulting in an increased risk of atherosclerosis and other related diseases.
"The study states that although the mechanism of action for the consumption of different fatty acids on plasma concentrations of PCSK9 is being investigated, we should not forget the importance of dietary fat in the prevention of the risk of cardiovascular diseases," said lead author Celia Rodrigguez from the University of Granada (UGR).