The potential health benefits of adding more Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet has become the focus of a great deal of scientific research. This includes the role of Omega-3s in reducing heart and vascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and the neuropsychiatric pathologies of depression and anxiety, cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

We have previously pointed to a recent study by researchers at the University of Eastern Finland that favourably compares camelina with fish oil in reducing blood cholesterol levels in humans.

As well as this important ongoing Finnish work on ALA and Camelina, a team of Egyptian researchers summarized several studies on the cholesterol reducing effects of Camelina in the human diet.

“The high contents of a-linolenic acid (ALA), tocopherols (Vitamin E) and other antioxidants make Camelina oil nutritionally very attractive," the study said.

"Besides being a substrate in human metabolism, ALA is capable of improving the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio in food."

The reported study went like this: a mixed fat product of butter fat and Camelina oil (1:1), was tested by mildly hypercholesterolemic subjects. Volunteers aged 25-75 years (14 males and 31 females) ate 50-60 g/d of the mixed fat over a period of four weeks. Their usual eating habits were maintained but fats (butter, margarine, oil) were substituted with the tested product. Blood analyses were performed during morning hours every two weeks.

After two weeks on the diet the volunteers showed lower cholesterol levels and by the end of the trial, their cholesterol in blood serum was reduced to 5.8 ± 0.23 mmol/L.

A similar cholesterol reducing effect of Camelina oil was achieved in a second test with mildly and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects. The volunteers consumed 33 mL Camelina oil per day during 6 weeks. Their total cholesterol in blood serum was reduced from 5.9 to 5.6 mmol/L and LDL (low density lipoprotein) decreased by 12.2 percent."

If you're interested in learning more about Camelina, why not sign up to become a Member of our Camelina Community to gain access to Smart Earth's online library? There, you'll find summaries of hundreds of research papers on Camelina and human health, on the biology of the plant, on Camelina agronomy and much more. Sign up HERE.