4 Signs you might be deficient in omega-7

You’ve probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids, but have you heard of omega-7? These are unsaturated fatty acids which are rarely talked about but are really important to your health. This type of fatty acids can be found in certain fish, such as salmon and anchovy, and oils like olive and macadamia. The greatest source of omega-7 is sea buckthorn oil, which comes from a shrub that grows in sandy coasts.

Even if you don’t realize it, you may be suffering from an omega-7 deficiency. Here are four warning signs you should be aware of. (h/t to Healthista.com.)

  1. When you have dry or red eyes – You may have experienced having dry eyes at some point in your life, especially if you use computers, smartphones, tablets, and TVs frequently, as they have blue-light-emitting screens. Contact lens can also contribute to dry eyes. However, dry eyes may also indicate that you need omega-7. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition looked at the effect of omega-7 supplementation in people with dry eye symptoms, such as soreness, dryness, blurred vision, burning, redness, and watery eyes. It was found that the study participants who took four capsules of omega-7 supplements daily for three months experienced significant reductions in eye redness and burning symptoms compared to those who took the placebo. In addition, those who wear contact lens and took the omega-7 supplement reported lesser overall eye symptoms.
  2. When your skin is dry – Like omega-3, omega-7 is essential to the production of collagen. Topically apply sea buckthorn, which is rich in omega-7 and omega-3 fatty acids, to help your skin re-hydrate. Sea buckthorn oil can also help improve skin conditions, such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and eczema. It is also recommended for red skin conditions, such as rosacea and sunburn. Since it also supports the mucous membranes, it could help lessen mouth ulcers. Studies also suggested that it could help skin dryness due to radiotherapy.
  3. When you experience vaginal dryness – Omega-7 is also important to intimate lubrication. Vaginal dryness is a sign of menopause. Supplementation of sea buckthorn can help with the feeling of dryness and irritation of the urinary system and genitals as well. A study published in the journal Maturitas looked at the effect of omega-7 supplementation on women experiencing vaginal dryness, itching, or burning. Results showed that those who took omega-7 supplements for three months reported an overall improvement in vaginal lubrication and overall vaginal health. The study researchers suggested that it could be an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
  4. When your mouth is dry – Approximately 40 percent of adults, primarily women and the elderly, experience dry mouth. It can be a symptom of a salivary gland dysfunction and a side effect of stress and some medications. Moreover, saliva is important for cleaning the mouth, and a prolonged dry mouth can cause food debris accumulation, increased dental plaque, and greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Research has shown that sea buckthorn can improve the symptoms of dry mouth.

Although sea buckthorn contains many of the omega fatty acids, it is more commonly known for its omega-7 content. Also known as palmitoleic acid, omega-7 is rarer than most of the others. The only plant sources of this fatty acid are macadamia oil and sea buckthorn. The concentration of omega-7 in sea buckthorn is up to 40 percent, which is more than twice that of macadamia oil. Because of this, sea buckthorn is considered as an ample, efficient source of this omega fatty acid. (Related: Sea buckthorn protects your heart, offers antioxidant health benefits.)

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