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‘Intriguing’ study shows heart health benefits of omega-3-rich yogurt

By Stephen DANIELLS , 07-Jan-2013
Last updated on 11-Jan-2013 at 20:19 GMT

"The results may intrigue CPG companies to begin or continue their formulation efforts" - Dr Harry Rice, GOED.

Daily consumption of omega-3-fortified yogurt may help boost heart health, says a new study that may ‘intrigue CPG companies to begin or continue their formulation efforts’.

Ten weeks of consuming the omega-3-rich yogurt were associated with significant improvements in levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, according to findings published in Clinical Nutrition .

Intriguing for CPG companies

Harry Rice, PhD, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs for GOED, the omega-3 trade association, described the findings as ‘intriguing’.

While it's always exciting to read about corroborating evidence (e.g. omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) decrease triglycerides, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease), what intrigued me most about this study was the delivery vehicle (i.e. yogurt) for the omega-3 LCPUFAs,” he said.

“Today, there are not many applications that can deliver n-3 LCPUFAs at the dose used in the present study. This could be good news for individuals looking for an alternative to taking a supplement every day.

“Also, the results may intrigue CPG companies to begin or continue their formulation efforts in order to enter the market with a functional food formulated with n-3 LCPUFAs.”

Study details

Researchers from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena and the Leibniz Institute for Age Research in Germany, and the University of Bradford in the UK recruited 53 people with mildly elevated triglyceride blood levels to participate in their randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel designed study.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive either a control yoghurt with no added omega-3, or omega-3-enricged yoghurt providing daily omega-3 doses of either 0.8 grams or 3 grams for 10 weeks.

The study products were formulated by the Herzgut creamery and the company funded the study. The omega-3 used in the study was described as a “special fish oil”, by the researchers, and was supplied by Imperial Oel Import , Germany, containing between 13 and 15% EPA and 13 and 15% DHA as triacylgycerides.

Results showed that blood levels of compounds derived from EPA increased, with the high dose yogurt providing the greatest increases.

In addition, “cardiovascular risk factors such as HDL, TAG, AA/EPA ratio, and n-3 index were improved”, they said.

“Overall, the findings of this trial indicated a reduction of cardiovascular risk factors such as blood lipids and inflammatory mediators with respect to the dose of the dietary intervention with n-3 LC-PUFA,” concluded the researchers.

Source: Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.12.010
“Randomized placebo-controlled intervention with n-3 LC-PUFA-supplemented yoghurt: Effects on circulating eicosanoids and cardiovascular risk factors”
Authors:  C. Dawczynski, K.A. Massey, C. Ness, M. Kiehntopf, S. Stepanow, M. Platzer, M. Grun, A. Nicolaou, G. Jahreis

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