The effects of hempseed oil and hulled hempseed on health biomarkers
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Diet is a critical preventative measure for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Previous research has found that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been shown to reduce risk factors for CVD (Gavel et al., 2011, Gillingham et al. 2011, Kaul et al., 2008, Lemke et al., 2015, Mozaffarian and Wu., 2011, Rodriguez-Leyva et al., 2010., Schwab et al. 2006.). Hemp has an excellent nutritional composition and contains high levels of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), stearidonic acid (SDA), alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA) (Rodriguez-Leyva et al., 2010). Currently, limited research is available on hemp seed and oil consumption. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of the omega-3 fatty acids contained in hempseed oil and hulled hempseed in 30 healthy, overweight individuals ages 18-65 yr. The study was a randomized, double-blinded with control, crossover human intervention trial. Results found that both ALA (P = 0.01) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) (P = 0.02) concentrations were significantly higher after the consumption of the hemp treatment in the RBC. Plasma ALA (P < 0.05) and n-6 PUFAs (P = 0.03) concentrations were significantly higher after the consumption of the hemp treatment. However, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and total omega-3 PUFAs did not show a significant difference between treatments, nor did serum lipids, glucose metabolism or blood pressure. There were no improvements seen in participants’ blood pressure or degree of arterial stiffness. The DEXA scans revealed no effect of treatment on body composition over the course of the trial. Overall, results of the study suggest that the consumption of hemp led to a significant improvement in the fatty acid profile in the RBC and plasma. The clinical implications of these findings suggest that hemp consumption may help CVD risk factors through the improvement of the fatty acid profiles.