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|Scott Greenberg, NatureCity author & contributor|
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland found that rapeseed oil may reduce the risk of heart disease. Rapeseed oil is made from the seeds of the rape plant and is used to make canola oil. It is a light to medium yellow color and has a subtle, slightly nutty flavor.
The results of the study were published in the October 2010 issue of the journal Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids.
For this study, the effect of rapeseed oil consumption on various markers of cardiovascular disease was observed among 42 participants. The participants were asked to replace 1/4th of the fat consumption in their diet (margarine, butter, cheese) with rapeseed oil for 6 weeks.
At the end of the study period, the researchers observed a 30% reduction in blood levels of plasma fibrinogen. High levels of fibrinogen promote thrombosis and inflammation and have been linked to an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
High fibrinogen levels are believed to be the results of an imbalance of essential fats in the diet, which rapeseed oil can help correct.
The researchers also observed a decrease in cholesterol levels, which led them to conclude that rapeseed oil could be a great substitute for fat in our diet.
Previous studies have found that rapeseed oil may also be effective for lowering blood pressure and improving glucose tolerance.
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