Omega-3 fortified milk may help heart

Nov. 30, 2012 at 5:11 PM
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BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 30 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say they developed an omega-3 delivery system to incorporate fish oil into milk and dairy beverages in sufficient amounts to help heart health.

The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fatty fish per week because research showed omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of potentially fatal heart arrhythmias, decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth of atherosclerotic plaque and slightly lower blood pressure.

Susan E. Duncan, a professor of food science and technology of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech said 25 volunteers evaluated 1-ounce cups of standard 2 percent milk alongside samples of skim milk containing 78 parts butter oil to 22 parts fish oil in institutionally approved study conditions.

"We couldn't find any aroma differences," Duncan said in a statement. "We were concerned the fish oil would undergo a chemical process called oxidation, which would shorten the milk's shelf life, or the milk would acquire a cardboard or paint flavor by reacting with the fish oil. It appears we have a product that is stable, with no chemical taste or smell issues."

The study, published in the Journal of Dairy Science, found the aroma-free formulation delivered 432 milligrams of heart-healthy fatty acids per cup, nearly the 500 mg daily target for healthy people suggested by a broad range of health studies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests daily consumption of 250 mg per day in healthy adults, Duncan said.

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