A Answers (2)
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredYou've already heard plenty about DHA, the great-for-you omega-3 fatty acid in fatty fish and algal- or fish-oil supplements. Now, new research suggests that omega-7s are a healthy fat with amazing powers, too. Omega-7s squelched heart-threatening LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, boosted ticker-friendly HDL, decreased fatty liver, and improved cells' ability to take in blood sugar in several well-designed studies.
Ashley Koff, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredOmega-7, known as palmitoleic acid, may appear to have minor status in the world of monounsaturated fats but its health benefits are hardly such. Omega-7 helps regulate fat and blood sugar metabolism (in adipose tissue and in the pancreas). In vitro studies suggest that omega-7 helps improve the function of the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. And when it comes to the skin, omega-7 is no minor leaguer -- it's a major fatty acid in epithelial cell membranes. This means skin, blood vessels, and mucous membranes. The presence of omega-7 in the epithelial cell membrane plays a protective role including inhibiting bacterial growth, as well promoting tissue recovery and healing.
Research specifically on sea buckthorn oil, (which contains 30 to 40 percent omega-7), shows its role in improving eczema, acne, oral and stomach ulcers, and vaginal irritation/dryness. Common dietary sources of omega-7 fatty acids include wild salmon, macadamia nuts, and sea buckthorn berries.