魚油在最近的十年來受到醫學界相當大的注意,美國醫學雜誌日前就公佈一項新研究,發現每天服用少量的魚油,再配合運動,就可以有效減少體脂肪,降低膽固醇,對於想進行體重管理的人來說,是一項好消息。

魚油也能減肥嗎?美國研究人員將75位過胖的成人分為四組做實驗,第一組每天服用六公克的魚油,第二組服用魚油並配合每周三天45分鐘的散步,第三組則是服用葵花子油後運動,第四組只服用葵花子油。實驗三個月後顯示,前兩組有服用魚油的人,血液中的壞膽固醇三酸甘油脂不但降低,體脂肪也明顯減少,而好膽固醇則增加。

這篇報告在五月號的美國臨床營養學期刊(American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)發表:
Effects of fish-oil supplementation on myocardial fatty acids in humans作者為:Robert G Metcalf, Michael J James, Robert A Gibson, James RM Edwards, John Stubberfield, Robert Stuklis, Kurt Roberts-Thomson, Glenn D Young and Leslie G Cleland 

所謂魚油,是指魚類身上的油脂,主要成份是一種稱為EPA和DHA多元不飽和酸,通常深海魚類,如鮭魚、鱈魚、沙丁魚等,才含有這種不飽和酸,可以將血液裡過多的膽固醇帶走,降低動脈硬化的風險。

英國一所女子高中甚至提供魚油讓學生增加腦細胞活力,希望藉此提高學生的學習能力。

此外,曾經有媒體報導一名體重高達110公斤的台灣人,以魚油配上紅酒,六年甩掉32公斤。

原文摘要如下:
Background: Increased fish or fish-oil consumption is associated with reduced risk of cardiac mortality, especially sudden death. This benefit putatively arises from the incorporation of the long-chain n–3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) into cardiomyocyte phospholipids.

Objective: The study examined the kinetics of incorporation of n–3 fatty acids into human myocardial membrane phospholipids during supplementation with fish oil and {alpha}-linolenic acid–rich flaxseed oil.

Design: Patients with low self-reported fish intake (<1 fish meal/wk and no oil supplements) accepted for elective cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass were randomly allocated to 1 of 6 groups: no supplement; fish oil (6 g EPA+DHA/d) for either 7, 14, or 21 d before surgery; flaxseed oil; or olive oil (both 10 mL/d for 21 d before surgery). Right atrial appendage tissue removed during surgery and blood collected at enrollment and before surgery were analyzed for phospholipid fatty acids.

Results: Surgery rescheduling resulted in a range of treatment times from 7 to 118 d. In the fish-oil-treated subjects, accumulation of EPA and DHA in the right atrium was curvilinear with time and reached a maximum at {approx}30 d of treatment and displaced mainly arachidonic acid. Flaxseed oil supplementation yielded a small increase in atrial EPA but not DHA, whereas olive oil did not significantly change atrial n–3 fatty acids.

Conclusion: The results of the present study show that dietary n–3 fatty acids are rapidly incorporated into human myocardial phospholipids at the expense of arachidonic acid during high-dose fish-oil supplementation.

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