Omega 7 fatty acids, or palmitoleic acids, are beneficial to our health for a variety of reasons. These include lowering cholesterol, preventing type 2 diabetes, improving skin health, and even weight loss. Research has shown that palmitoleic acid may help increase weight loss by helping build enzymes that burn fat.
Omega 7 is most commonly found in sea buckthorn berries, macademia nuts, and in lower amounts in fish and dairy products. You can find more information about the best sources of omega 7 by reading this article. Long story short, sea buckthorn oil is the most potent plant source of Omega 7 available and also host to many other nutrients the body can benefit from. Most studies on Omega 7 fatty acids ARE using sea buckthorn oil. The second best source is macademia nuts but they don’t contain as many nutrients as sea buckthorn. Also, they’re very dense in calories so losing weight with them is an exercise in futility.
What’s all this Omega 7 weight loss talk?
Omega 7 and EFA’s may be used by enzymes that affect how our body oxidizes fat stores. This led to a study in 1995 where Australian researchers investigated Palmitoleic acid as a treatment for obesity. The report received national attention in Australia and discussed the possibilities that high Omega 7 content oils could be used to combat obesity. Unfortunately it didn’t make its way to the United States and remained relatively unknown here for more than a decade.
In 2011 Dr. Mehemet Oz featured sea buckthorn oil on his very popular health and wellness television show. There he featured a study conducted showing that sea buckthorn oil could help you maintain your weight. Two mice were on a high fat diet. Unhealthy by most standards and prone to gaining fat. One of the mice was supplemented with sea buckthorn oil, the other with not. By the study’s end the sea buckthorn mouse had maintained his normal, healthy weight. The non-sea buckthorn mouse had blown up to obese proportions. He was overweight, unhealthy, and his health markers were very poor. The scientists explained that somehow sea buckthorn oil triggered the mice to stop storing excess calories as fat. Most believe Omega 7 is the fatty acid responsible for this. Overall the sea buckthorn supplementation suppressed body weight gain and significantly reduced visceral fat, plasma levels of leptin, triglyceride, and total cholesterol levels.
This study was using a high-fat diet so it opens up implications on the importance of where you get your fats from. It’s already well known that polyunsaturated fats are ideal, followed my monounsatured and saturated fats. It’s possible that a low-carb diet supplemented with sea buckthorn oil or omega 7 can rapidly increase your fat burning potential. Remember, these mice were on the SAME diet that was mostly fat based. One had a healthy fat added from sea buckthorn oil, the other went without. The results were significantly different.
Omega 7 or Sea Buckthorn?
So what provided this weight loss benefit? Omega 7 palmitoleic acid or sea buckthorn? It’s up in the air for the time being. The majority of weight loss studies with Omega 7 have used sea buckthorn oil as the source leaving us to wonder. Sea buckthorn is the most potent natural source of Omega 7 available. However, it’s not just pure omega 7. Depending on whether you’re using the berry or seed it has omega 3, 6, 9, 7, over 190 phytonutrients, a ton of vitamins, minerals, impressive antioxidants, and a host of other nutrients. We do know that research is using sea buckthorn and indicating weight loss as a benefit. Until further information is known we’d recommend supplementing with sea buckthorn oil for weight loss and to avoid storing fat. Using other sources of Omega 7 may leave you in the dark if we find out later there was another reason responsible for the significant weight management benefits.