Canola Council of Canada builds science behind healthy canola oil

    WINNIPEG, Oct. 30 /CNW/ - The Canola Council of Canada has collaborated
with canola industry partners to establish a major fund to support innovative
research linking canola oil to improving the health of all Canadians.
    The Canola Product Research Fund is backed by the Canola Council, the
three prairie canola grower associations, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences
Canada, Monsanto Canada and Pioneer Hi-Bred.
    Council president JoAnne Buth says the new Fund "will focus on supporting
leading edge research on the role of canola oil in reducing the risk of major
health conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease."
    "We look on the Canola Product Research Fund as essential seed money to
build the science behind what we already know about the healthy properties of
canola oil," Buth says. "Over the next few months, we would hope to see even
more financial support from both inside and outside the canola industry".
    Buth explains that the funds committed so far will be allocated to three
major projects involving clinical trials on human nutrition and canola oil.
    Two studies will begin this fall, focusing on 1) the efficacy of canola
oil in the management of high cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors
and 2) the impact of canola oil on insulin resistance in adults at risk of
type 2 diabetes. A third study approved for funding will examine the effect of
canola oil on blood sugar control and heart disease risk factors in adults
with type 2 diabetes.
    As well as substantiating and reinforcing the heart-healthy position of
canola oil, Buth expects the project results "may also provide new research
data in the field of diabetes that can be used to further market canola oil".
    The Canola Council is also partnering with Syngenta and with the Natural
Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to fund a research
initiative at the University of Manitoba designed to investigate minor
components in canola oil and meal with enhanced nutraceutical properties.
    See the Canola Product Research Fund BACKGROUND INFORMATION for project


    In the first study, Dr. Peter Jones and colleagues at the Richardson
Centre for Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals at the University of Manitoba,
will conduct a trial with people with borderline high cholesterol levels. A
diet containing canola oil (70% of total fat) will be compared to a control
diet comprised of largely saturated and omega-6 fatty acids.
    The results are expected to demonstrate the positive effects of
alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the omega-3 fatty acid found in canola oil and
oleic acid (a monounsaturated fatty acid found at very high levels in canola
oil) on several indicators of inflammation and blood vessel cell dysfunction
characteristic of coronary heart disease.

    The second study will look at the potential beneficial effects of a diet
high in monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids from canola oil in overweight
women at risk for type 2 diabetes.
    Dr. Sheila Innis of the Faculty of Medicine Pediatrics, University of
British Columbia, and research associates will reduce saturated and omega-6
fatty acid intake in the subjects and increase their consumption of
monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids through a diet high in canola oil.
    The study is expected to show that monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty
acids have a positive health impact, especially on measures of inflammation
believed to be a determinant for onset and progression in both diabetes and
cardiovascular disease (CVD).

    The third study approved for funding will be undertaken by Dr. David
Jenkins of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto once matching
research funds are found. Jenkins will study the impact of canola oil on blood
sugar control and heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.
    The study is expected to show that subjects who consume canola oil will
have better blood glucose control, blood lipid profiles, and reduced
indicators of inflammation associated with heart disease and diabetes compared
to subjects consuming diets low in ALA.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Diane Wreford, cell (204)

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