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Omega 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 is 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 as promoting tissue recovery and healing. Research specifically on sea buckthorn oil, (which contains 30-40% omega 7), shows its role in improving eczema, acne, oral and stomach ulcers, and vaginal irritation/dryness. Dietary sources of omega 7 fatty acids include wild salmon, macadamia nuts and sea buckthorn berries.
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