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Hempseed oil has healthy potential: study.

ISLAMABAD -- ,,, With an ideal ratio of omega-6 and -3 fatty acids and some plant chemicals thought to lower high blood pressure, hempseed oil has potential as part of a heart-healthy diet, according to Spanish researchers.

They analyzed the makeup of oil extracted from Cannabis sativa, often called industrial hemp, which is a cousin of marijuana but with very low levels of the chemical in pot that provides a high, Daily Science reported.

"This is an interesting study that gives new information on the bioactive compounds found in hempseed that may potentially lower blood cholesterol levels and have an anti-atherogenic action," said Grant Pierce, executive director of research at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

"C. sativa L., an annual herbaceous plant, is known by its long, thin flowers and spiky leaves. The plant is considered to be native of western and central Asia and has also been cultivated commercially in Europe and in parts of China, Japan, Canada, and the United States," write Maria Angeles Fern ndez-Arche, a pharmacology researcher at the University of Seville, and her colleagues.

In addition to a 3,000-year track record in the manufacture of cloth and paper, hemp has long history as a food and folk medicine, they point out in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Hempseed is known to have high levels of vitamins A, C and E, minerals and fiber, the researchers say. But they wanted to analyze hempseed oil to better understand its potential for modern food and medicine.

Hempseed oil has a very interesting polyunsaturated fatty acid composition, said Fern ndez-Arche, because it has an optimal omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of about 3 to 1.

Her main area of research is natural products and the bioactive compounds they contain.

The researchers examined the fatty acid profile of hempseed oil and found that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) made up about 75 percent of the oil. PUFAs include omega-6 and omega-3, the fatty acids found in some meats as well as flax and fish oils.

The high amounts of one omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, "may have favourable nutritional implications and beneficial physiological effects on the prevention of coronary heart disease and cancer," the authors write.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Feb 15, 2014
Words:368
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