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Plans to engineer Omega 3 into Vegetable Oils

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  • Plans to engineer Omega 3 into Vegetable Oils

    Found this paper searching around, its from the 4th International Crop Science Congress
    Well worth a read, this is what the Industry already knows
    Crop Science - ICSC2004

    Some highlights that caught my eye.
    Nevertheless, despite these selections and modifications, the lipid composition of humans is strongly influenced by the fatty acid composition present in the diets. One example of how the composition of human storage and membrane lipids is influenced by the diet is shown in Figure 4 where the distribution of double bond positions of trans isomers in humans clearly reflects the distribution found in dietary hydrogenated vegetable oils
    Says it all above, you are what you eat, particularly in regard to PUFA's

    Because different human populations have very different diets, and because these same populations have very different causes of mortality, some members of the medical research community conclude that dietary fatty acids have a major impact on diseases (e.g. Wolfram, 2003). For decades, an emphasis on risks associated with saturated fatty acids and its relation to cholesterol metabolism has encouraged the consumption of more vegetable oil rather than animal fats. More recently, concern has increased about the role of the trans fatty acid isomers which are produced during the hydrogenation of vegetable oils and may have negative consequences. Also, in recent years evidence has accumulated that the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids in diets influences a wide range of human physiological responses including coronary heart disease (CHD). The dominance of plant oils with high omega-6 18:2 in many diets (e.g. U.S.) has led to omega-6/omega-3 consumption ratios near 10:1 in many western diets whereas populations which consume ratios near 1:1 (e.g. Greenland, Japan) have strikingly lower incidence of CHD. Possibly these different fatty acid compositions in diets may in part be causally related to the very different CHD levels shown in Table 1.

    Table 1. Deaths due to cardiovascular disease in populations with different omega-6/omega-3 content of diets.
    Cardiovascular Deaths per 100,000

    U.S. 200
    Mediterranean 90
    Japan 50
    Greenland 20

    One explanation offered for the strikingly different CHD mortality associated with high omega-6/omega-3 consumption ratios is the different fates of these structures in the biosynthetic pathways leading to prostaglandins and other eicosenoids. The omega-6 fatty acids are precursors to arachidonic acid which in turn produces prostaglandins and thromboxanes which promote blood clotting. In contrast, the omega-3 fatty acids are poor substrates for prostaglandin biosynthesis and act as competitive inhibitors of the arachidonic pathway.
    In their own words paraphrased, looks like we are killing off the market population, it could likely be the O6:O3 ratio.

    The vegetable oils produced by soybean, palm, canola and other crops provide approximately 25% of the calories consumed by industrial nations. In addition to their dietary significance, vegetable oils are a major agricultural commodity, with worldwide production of 90 billion pounds, worth nearly $50 billion per year. This large market size and the fact that the fatty acid composition of vegetable oils influences both their physical properties and nutritional characteristics has attracted considerable interest toward modifying plant fatty acid production for both food and non-food uses. Many successes have already been achieved in altering the chain length and saturated/unsaturated fatty acid content of dietary plant oils by transgenic methods. Future efforts will lead to plant oils rich in omega-3 structures found in fish oils. Genomic approaches, including EST sequencing, microarrays and bioinformatics are now contributing greater understanding of the underlying metabolism of oilseeds and the regulatory networks that determine the quality and quantity of oils produced.
    We've captured 25% of their mouths and it's making us $50,000,000,000 p/a, dont want to loose that so we better genetically engineer Omega 3 into the product before they realise what's wrong with them.
    "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

  • #2
    Thanks for posting. I find the way they look at the "big picture" about food interesting.
    Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.