Stearidonic acid-enhanced soybean oil: A plant-based source of (n-3) fatty acids for foods

William S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids have been reported to have a variety of cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric benefits. Although obtaining the preformed fatty acids EPA and DHA from their traditional source (fish) is optimal, such an approach may not be realistic formeeting the world's growing demand for (n-3) fatty acids; therefore, amore sustainable and dependable source is needed. Stearidonic acid (SDA) is a metabolic precursor of EPA that can be provided by SDA-enhanced soybean oil. Such a product can provide a sustainable source of (n-3) fatty acids that does not endanger fish stocks. Two clinical trials have demonstrated that SDA-enhanced soybean oil can significantly improve an emerging marker of cardiovascular health, the omega-3 index (RBC EPA+DHA). The increase in the Index seen in these trials was used to estimate the potential clinical benefit of SDA consumption based on prior prospective cohort studies. In this analysis, risk for sudden cardiac death and the rate of cellular agingwould both theoretically be reduced. The lower risk for major cardiac events seen in the Japan EPA Lipid Intervention Study (which used EPA supplementation) suggests that raising EPA tissue levels, independent of changes in DHA, can have clinical benefit. Thus, the consumption of foods containing SDA-enhanced soybean oil may be both a practical and sustainable approach to enriching tissues with beneficial (n-3) fatty acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600S-604S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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