Volume 15, Number 4, Juillet-Août 2008
|Page(s)||252 - 256|
|Published online||15 July 2008|
Echium oil: A valuable source of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids
Croda Consumer Care Europe Mevisa Site Carretera C-35 Km 72 (Hostaric-Blanes)
Fogars de la Selva
Echium oil is a vegetable oil of non-GMO plant origin extracted from the seeds of Echium plantagineum containing significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acid Stearidonic Acid (SDA) and omega-6 acid γ-linolenic acid (GLA). Typical fatty acid composition of Echium oil is: Oleic acid (18:1 n-9) 16%, Linoleic acid (LA, 18:2 n-6) 19%, γ-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3 n-6)10%, α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3 n-3) 30% and Stearidonic acid (SDA, 18:4 n-3) 13%. This natural ratio of fatty acids, trough their metabolism, deliver enhanced plasma concentrations of eicosapentaenoic (EPA, 20:5 n-3), docosapentaenoic (DPA, 22:5 n-3) and dihomo-γ-linolenic (DGLA, 20:3 n-6) acids without increasing the concentrations of arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4 n-6). GLA is commonly associated with the anti-inflammatory effects of oils such as evening primrose oil and borage oil. Supplementation with GLA can markedly increase serum AA with subsequent pro-inflammatory effects. The presence of stearidonic acid in echium oil prevents the accumulation of serum AA and AA-derived eicosanoids without preventing the accumulation of DGLA which is the real n-6 precursor of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. SDA is an intermediate in the biosynthetic conversion of ALA to EPA. As SDA is the product of the rate-limiting ∆6-desaturase step and due the efficiency of the elongase and ∆5-desaturase steps, SDA is readily converted to EPA. SDA has the physiologic benefits of EPA, for instance, lowering the serum triglycerides in hypertriglyceridemic subjects. Therefore echium oil is a true alternative for vegetarians or those who do not eat fish, to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 and omega-6 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Key words: echium oil / vegetable oil / omega-3 / omega-6 / stearidonic / gamma-linolenic
© John Libbey Eurotext 2008
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