Do You Need Omega-7 Fats?

What are Omega-7 fats and how do you know if you're getting enough? Nutrition Diva explains.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
2-minute read

Q.  I generally eat fish 5-7 times a week. After reading your article on whether it's possible to get too much omega-3, I have stopped taking fish oil supplements. Instead I'm taking an omega-7 supplement. What's your opinion of this product?

A.  I think an omega-7 supplement is probably unnecessary.

Omega-7 fats are a sub-category of monounsaturated fats found in both plants and animals.  You'll find relatively high concentrations in cow's milk and macadamia nuts as well as in the fruit of the sea buckthorn, a shrub that's not generally part of the (human) food supply.  Your body can can also convert other fats into omega-7s. There's no recommended intake for this nutrient and no known risks associated with omega-7 deficiency.  In other words, if your diet contains a reasonable variety of whole foods, you're probably getting (or making) all the omega-7 you need.

That said, researchers are investigating whether concentrated dosages of omega-7s might have unique therapeutic properties. Preliminary findings in lab rats suggest that it might help control appetite and/or lower cholesterol. But we're a long way from documenting such benefits in humans. For now, I don't think the research justifies spending money on a special supplement. Just because someone puts it in a bottle, doesn't mean we need it!

Update: Timing of Probiotics and Antibiotics

A glitch in last week's newsletter prevented some of you from accessing my tip on the best timing when taking probiotics and antibiotics. Here's a fresh link, with our apologies!  What's the Best Timing for Taking Probiotics with Antibiotics?

Fish supplements photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show. 

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