Study supports safety & efficacy of NuSeed’s canola-derived omega-3 oil

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Nutriterra is derived from canola genetically engineered to produce higher levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.   Image © S847 / Getty Images
Nutriterra is derived from canola genetically engineered to produce higher levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Image © S847 / Getty Images

Related tags transgenic Genetically modified organism Canola oil omega-3 Omega-3 fatty acids

The safety and efficacy of NuSeed’s transgenic long-chain omega-3-rich canola oil are supported by data from a newly published randomized, placebo-controlled, seamless phase I/II study.

Nuseed Nutritional welcomed the study’s findings as a validation of the oil, which is marketed as Nutriterra, as a sustainable, non-marine source of essential fatty acids.

“This study confirms Nutriterra’s efficacy without compromise to nutrition or safety. Plant-based is the fastest growing segment in the omega-3 category, and this new option meets consumer demand for a sustainable alternative to marine oils with DHA, EPA, and ALA.” ​said Benita Boettner, Nuseed Nutritional General Manager.

Plant-derived alternative

The oil is derived from canola genetically engineered to produce higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, C22:6 n-3).

As demand for omega-3s continues to rise and pressures on fish stocks increase, alternative sources are being explored from algae to copepods and genetically engineered oil seed crops, such as canola and camelina.

Nuseed has previously estimated​ that one hectare of its omega-3 canola has the potential to provide the omega-3 yield from 10,000 kgs of wild caught fish.

Study details

Scientists from Nutrasource and the University of Guelph performed the phase I/II study with 33 healthy adults. Participants were randomly assigned to receive 285 mg (low dose), 570 mg (mid dose), or 1,140 mg (high dose) or the Nutriterra canola oil or placebo for 16 weeks.

The data revealed that the oil exhibited safety and an excellent tolerability profile.

In addition, omega-3 DHA, EPA and ALA from the oil were readily absorbed and incorporated into blood lipids, said the scientists.

Both mid and high-doses were also found to increase omega-3 score and omega-3 index after only four weeks, they added.

“This study demonstrated the ability of this LC-omega-3-rich canola oil to increase circulating LC-omega-3 PUFA (i.e., omega-3 whole blood score and omega-3 index) to an extent that may support cardiovascular and cognitive health, after 4 weeks of daily supplementation,”​ wrote the scientists.

“Given its sustainable and scalable production, good safety profile and consumer acceptability, and the ability to improve blood omega-3 profile in the generally healthy population presented herein, this LC-omega-3-rich canola oil is a highly promising source to help fill the omega-3 nutrient gap in the U.S. and globally.”

What it means

Commenting on the implications of the new study, NuSeed Nutritional’s Barbara Davis, PhD, RD, stated in a post on the company’s site​: “Simply put, this first-in-humans clinical trial demonstrates that, just like other omega-3 sources, Nutriterra has a beneficial effect on omega-3 status in healthy adults. 

“When you consume Nutriterra, not only can you feel good about the fact that it is a sustainable source of plant-based nutrition, but you can feel confident that your body is using these fatty acids to improve your omega-3 status.”

Source:Frontiers in Nutrition
Published online, doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.847114
“Transgenic Canola Oil Improved Blood Omega-3 Profiles: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Healthy Adults”
Authors: Xinjie Lois Lin et al.

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