LAS VEGAS, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Valensa International (Eustis, FL USA) announced today that it has launched a new high-quality, supercritical CO2 extract of perilla as part of its expanding line of Omega-3 ingredients. Called Omega Joe(TM) ALA, the new ingredient is made from select grade seeds of the Asian Perilla frutescens plant and is extracted using Valensa's proprietary Deep Extract(R) extraction process. Omega Joe ALA has the highest ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids of any known seed oil -- an astounding 6:1 -- and typically a 50-60% alpha linolenic acid (ALA) content. The new ingredient has been launched to help people lower their Omega-6 to Omega-3 (linoleic acid to alpha linolenic acid) from the typical Western unhealthy level of 30:1 or higher down to a targeted and healthier 4:1 ratio. There is increasing awareness of the ability of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids to address cardiovascular health and other conditions related to chronic inflammation resulting from the over consumption of Omega-6 fatty acids. The new ingredient is called "Omega Joe" because it is designed to be taken daily -- to offset the large amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids Westerners consume via meats and refined vegetable oils, such as corn and soy, that are used in most of the snack foods, cookies, crackers, and in other processed foods. The new Omega Joe ALA is a premium ingredient that features Valensa's potent O2B(R) peroxidation blocker technology, meaning it has an extended shelf life compared to other similar extracts -- up to two years.
According to Dr. Rudi E. Moerck, President and CEO of Valensa, research shows that inflammation resulting from a high linoleic acid to alpha linoleic acid ratio (LA to ALA) from dietary sources is the cause of many of the health conditions that cost society billions of dollars to treat. "Studies on the ratio of LA to ALA in diets show dramatic evidence that the nations where that ratio is high have much greater incidence of mortality from cardiovascular disease. Research also suggests that a number of health conditions that are prevalent in Western nations such as diabetes, asthma, and certain forms of cancer, obesity and even mental health are believed to stem from inflammation in the body related to 'modern' eating habits. This suggests that regular supplementation with a plant-based Omega-3 such as chia, flax or Omega Joe ALA should start in early years and become a lifelong routine for people having 'typical' Western diets," he said. "On the cardiovascular health front alone, low levels of ALA consumption have been reported to have profound effects either before or after myocardial infarction (MI). The scientific literature indicates that ALA is itself a very potent down-regulator of the LA-AA pro-inflammatory cascade. Published biological rate studies indicate that ALA, as a substrate for the key rate limiting step in the shared biological cascade, is actually four times faster than LA conversion. We think this research is too important to be ignored by the natural products industry," he added.
Plant-based Omega-3s and Cardiovascular Health
A new study published in the Journal of Lipid Research in July 2010 showed that that continuous exposure to a high-fat diet combined with a high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio over generations triggers a discrete and steady increase in inflammatory stimuli that lead to chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, accompanied by enhancement of fat mass -- or obesity. Previous studies have shown:
- A 16% reduction in the risk of CVD for every 1 gm/day increase in dietary ALA in a study of 45,000 men over a 14 year period.
- A 45% reduction in the risk of CVD in a study of 76,000 women over a 10 yr period that compared a group that received 1.4 gm/day of ALA compared to the control group at 0.7 gm/d of ALA.
- Several controlled clinical trials found that increased ALA intake decreased serum concentrations of C-reactive protein, a marker strongly associated with risk of CV events such as MI or Stroke.
- Another study that showed that the addition of ALA to a Mediterranean diet following an initial MI decreased mortality by 70%.
The Plant-based versus Animal-based Omega-3 Controversy
Research that has been done to date on the health benefits of Omega-3s is both remarkable and extensive. Publicity, however, has been primarily focused on fish oil that contains triacylglyceride-bound EPA and DHA, in spite of the fact that ALA is the only Omega-3 with an established Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) value. Instead, there has been a good deal of publicity that has cast doubt about the health benefits of ALA -- citing its inefficient conversion into DHA and EPA. According to Moerck, this is simply not true by scientific standards. "Solid studies have shown excellent conversion of ALA from seed oil to EPA and DPA, the immediate precursor to DHA. Clearly then, this explains why people who have not been exposed to fatty fish containing EPA and DHA have fully functional immune systems, balanced innate and adaptive immune systems, functional brains, nerve systems and eyes despite the lack of food-based EPA and DHA where DHA and EPA play major roles at the cellular membrane level. This is why the Institute of Medicine publishes an RDI for ALA and LA as essential fatty acids but has not published RDIs for EPA and DHA," he said.
Valensa offers one of the broadest plant-based Omega-3 portfolios on the market. These products are differentiated to target different health benefits and differing requirements by marketers in both the supplement and functional food areas. Today, Valensa Omega-3 brands and offerings include Omega Joe ALA(R) Perilla Extract, Tresalbio(TM) Supercritical Chia Seed Extract, ChiaGold(TM) Stabilized Chia Seed Oil, ChiaMax(TM) Low-Fat Whole Grain, Z-Omega(TM)3-6-9, Cranberol(R) Cranberry Seed Extract and AstaCran(R) Astaxanthin-Cranberry Seed Extract. The new Omega Joe ALA(R) Perilla seed extract focuses on the delivery of high quality ALA efficiently in a form that can become a part of a daily supplementation routine because it offers higher levels of ALA than either chia or flax. Says Moerck, "Today, we have the chance for a daily 'cup of joe' -- Omega Joe ALA -- to counteract the issues stemming from our fast-food Western diet."
According to Moerck, it is time for ALA from plant-based Omega-3s to take its position alongside DHA and EPA as an extremely important opportunity to improve human health. "Beyond a broad range of demonstrable health benefits, plant-based Omega-3s are inherently lower in heavy metals and are sustainable -- while conventional fish oils are problematic. They offer better consumer compliance from a taste and ingestion standpoint. They have the potential to be lower in cost and can be provided to a broader section of the population. Most importantly, they potentially offer support for some of the chronic health issues we associate with the Western lifestyle," he said. "Michael Pollan, in The Omnivore's Dilemma, points out the effects of corn monoculture on the Western diet and related health issues. This stems, he says, directly from the lack of balance between ingested Omega-3s and Omega-6s. It would not be unfair to say that the day a child has their first Happy Meal(R) is the day they should start supplementing with plant-based Omega-3," he added. For more information on Omega Joe ALA, visit http://www.valensa.com.
For further information contact:
Dr. Rudi Moerck, President & CEO
Voice: 352-357-2004 ext. 701
SOURCE Valensa International