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June 2008 Issue

Grapeseed Oil: Dubious Distinction for Heart Health

Made from the seeds of grapes—a byproduct of winemaking—grapeseed oil contains about 70% linoleic acid, an essential omega-6 fatty acid. That’s good...up to a point. Many experts believe Americans consume far too many omega-6s (about 10 times more than we need) and entirely too few omega-3s. Other common sources of linoleic acid are sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed and soybean oils. Some proponents suggest that unlike these other polyunsaturated fats, which tend to lower HDLs (high-density lipoproteins, the "good" cholesterol), grapeseed oil may offer an additional benefit by raising HDLs. However, there’s very little research to support that contention.

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