Healthy Fat Related to Bowel Disease

A dietary intake of a lot of polyunsaturated fat, whilst healthy for the heart, can trigger inflammatory bowel disease, so say researchers.
Experts consider that a high intake of linoleic acid, found in foods like “healthy” margarines, are implicated in a third of ulcerative colitis cases.
The researchers have based their findings, about to be published in Gut, on the food diaries of 200,000 plus people.
Should there be a correlation, it would be advisable for certain people to change their diet .
There is considerable biological plausibility as to why linoleic acid can cause inflamation, with Western diets being excessive in this type of fat .
The research also discovered that a diet rich in another type of fat, omega 3 fatty acid found in oily fish, such as, salmon and herring, lowered the chance of developing ulcerative colitis by 77%.
Linoleic acid is a natural essential fatty acid, present in lots of foods, including the oils of nuts and seeds such as, safflower, corn seeds, sunflower or walnut oils.
The multinational team that worked on EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition ) study stated that there is a plausible biological mechanism which could explain why linoleic acid is related to this bowel condition.
Once it is in the body, linoleic acid converts to arachidonic acid, a component of the cell membranes in the bowel.
Arachidonic acid can then be transformed into different inflammatory chemicals, high levels of which are found in the bowel tissue of patients with ulcerative colitis.
In the UK, on average we eat around 10g per day of linoleic acid, in about 9 level teaspoons of polyunsaturated margarine or 3 teaspoons of sunflower oil.
In this research study, those who ate the most linoleic acid ate around three times or more that amount.

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