By now, you should be familiar with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. They are notorious for their role in a healthy diet. And if you missed it, we even wrote an article about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids.
But have you heard about Omega-7?
First off, Omega-7 fatty acids are a class of unsaturated fatty acids. The two most common forms that exist in nature are palmitoleic and vaccenic acids.
One of the great things about this fat is that you can get it from your diet because there are a bunch of incredible Omega-7 foods. The main food sources with high content of this fatty acid are sea buckthorn and macadamia nuts.
If you are not getting enough from your diet, there are a variety of supplements in the form of oils that can help you increase your levels. Some of these include sea buckthorn oil and fish oil. Also, some Omega-3 supplements contain it as well!
How Can Omega-7 Effect Your Health
The benefits of this fatty acid can help improve a wide range of health conditions and issues. That makes this fat a powerhouse. So, pay close attention to the following list because it may be helpful for you.
Most of the research has been done on palmitoleic acid. Although there are some studies on the benefits of vaccenic acid, most of the data is inconclusive. Therefore, it needs to be studied more.
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1. Promotes Heart Health
Sea buckthorn can increase cardiovascular health in a multitude of ways.
First off, in animal studies, diets high in palmitoleic acid have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol while simultaneously increasing HDL cholesterol. That means that by adding Omega-7 into your daily regimen that you can lower your bad cholesterol while increasing the good one.
Secondly, in human and animal studies, supplementing with palmitoleic acid has also helped to lower triglycerides. High triglycerides are a known risk factor for heart disease and strokes. In one particular research group, adults reduced their blood levels from 40.2 to 25.3 mg/dL after taking 220.5 mg of palmitoleic acid for 30 days. (1)
Finally, Omega-7 also helps with weight loss, fat loss, and reducing Body Mass Index (BMI). These are all factors that are directly related to cardiovascular health. (2)
2. Reduces Inflammation
Chronic inflammation contributes to a long list of devastating health issues.
In studies on obese mice, the administration of palmitoleic acid was able to reduce a variety of inflammation markers. Some of these include the inflammation causing adipocytokines and interleukin levels. (2)
Also, in various studies, patients displayed a significant reduction of C-reactive protein when given palmitoleic acid supplements. C-reactive protein is a crucial measure of inflammation in the body. (1)
Although more research needs to be done on humans, there appears to be hope in reducing inflammation with the supplementation of Omega-7 fatty acids.
3. Helps Your Body With Hydration
Our body needs to stay hydrated to function properly. If our levels of moisture decrease, we can experience various adverse effects.
Omega-7 fatty acid comes in handy when trying to reverse various forms of dehydration.
First off, it has shown to be effective in improving vaginal dryness. Secondly, it also helps to promote eye health by improving dry, itchy, and red eyes. Next, it also can be effective at increasing saliva production to alleviate symptoms of dry mouth. And finally, it can also help with dry skin. (3)
So, if you are having hydration issues in your body, you may be deficient in this fatty acid.
4. Improves Skin Quality
We have already found out that taking Omega-7 can help keep our skin moisturized. That is very important to skin health, but the benefits do not stop there.
First, this fatty acid can also help with collagen production, which is a crucial protein in the skin that keeps it healthy and youthful. Collagen production is also associated with firmer skin and can even reduce wrinkles.
Also, they can help to fight skin issues like eczema, rosacea, sunburn, dermatitis, and psoriasis. (3) (4)
To get better looking and healthy skin, you can take Omega-7 orally or even use it topically.
5. Gastrointestinal Health
Taking Omega-7 can help with gastrointestinal issues such as stomach ulcers and Ulcerative Colitis.
A study of 20 patients treated for 8 weeks with palmitoleic acid measured its effect on inflammatory markers in Ulcerative Colitis. At the end of the study, there was a decrease in these markers, which means that it could potentially help people affected by this disease. (5)
6. Helps Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
Omega-7 is also great for its anti-diabetic effects. It appears to affect this condition in two ways.
First, it has shown to have an impact on Beta-cell proliferation and apoptosis in the pancreas. These cells produce insulin when there are elevated blood sugar levels. Beta-cells treated with palmitoleic acid we protected from dying and were observed dividing and increasing in quantity.
Secondly, Omega-7 has also shown to improve insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance. Obese sheep and mice that were treated with palmitoleic acid displayed reduced insulin levels and dramatically improved their diabetic condition. (2)
Although scientists need to conduct more research on the effects of palmitoleic and vaccenic acids on humans, it appears that these fats have a lot of potential to improve health.
From improving skin quality to helping with diabetes, there are many reasons to supplement with Omega-7. It is meant to be taken along with Omega-3 fatty acids, not to replace it.
Aside from having high amounts of Omega-7, sea buckthorn oil and sea buckthorn berries are great for your health. So, incorporating them into your nutrition plan can be a smart approach to increase your overall health.
Has supplementing with Omega-7 fatty acid helped you? Tell us about it in the comments.
(1) Purified palmitoleic acid for the reduction of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and serum lipids: A double-blinded, randomized, placebo controlled study
(2) Lipid-lowering and anti-inflammatory effects of palmitoleic acid: Evidence from preclinical and epidemiological studies. Lipid Technology. May 2015, Vol. 27, No. 5. Nancy Morse.
(3) From itchy eyes to vaginal dryness – the 5 signs you are deficient in the little-known nutrient omega 7
(4) Song, In-Bong & Gu, Hyejung & Han, Hye-Ju & Lee, Na-Young & Cha, Ji-Yun & Son, Yeon-Kyong & Kwon, Jungkee. (2018). Omega-7 inhibits inflammation and promotes collagen synthesis through SIRT1 activation. Applied Biological Chemistry. 61. 10.1007/s13765-018-0377-1.
(5) Effect of Cis-palmitoleic acid supplementation on inflammation and expression of HNF4γ, HNF4α and IL6 in patients with ulcerative colitis.
My passion for health and wellness started in 2009. My personal mission is to help inspire and guide people on their health journey. I am currently a NASM certified nutrition coach.