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Pharmacist Doug: The Scoop on Omega-7
Omega-7 or Palmitoleic acid is not brand new, but researchers are only recently starting to pay attention to it. Mainly because there have been other more interesting fatty acids like omega-3 and 9s (Mediterranean diet), and there are approximately 150 fatty acids and they all have unique individual functions.
Omega-7 is not your typical fatty acid. Scientists at Harvard in 2008 discovered it plays an important role in metabolism. The scientists claimed that omega-7 is the first fatty acid found to act as a hormone in the body and coined the term lipokine to describe a completely new class of hormones.
One of the main benefits, like other good fatty acids is that it decreases inflammation. Also, it seems to keep triglycerides low, supports healthy sugar metabolism and has shown some promise in helping with supporting a healthy weight. These are mostly animal studies. There are some human studies, but more are needed.
Like anything else, when you get a room of experts together they are not going to agree on everything. Mainly, right now the experts are disagreeing on the best source of the omega-7. One source believes a purified form that has undergone a process to purify it is the best, while another group thinks a whole food form is best.
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