Oil Research Projects

Research continues to document and expand canola oil's importance to human nutrition. Projects now underway are increasing our knowledge of how canola can help to improve heart health and manage problems like diabetes and obesity.

Current and recently completed projects

See the Canola Oil Research Directory

 

Nutrigenetics, canola oil, and blood glucose levels: Does SCD1 genotype modulate a person’s response to canola oil?

Objective: Increased consumption of canola oil has been linked to various health benefits that includes improved blood lipids, reduced platelet aggregation, and increased glucose tolerance. However, not everyone experiences these benefits to the same extent. The overall objective of this project is to investigate if the health benefits associated with canola oil are influenced by a person's genotype. For this initial proof-of-principle study, the research group will use samples previously collected during the “Canola Oil Multi-center Intervention Trial II” (COMIT II) to examine if differences in the stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD1) gene influences blood glucose regulation following the consumption of canola oil.

Research team: David Mutch (University of Guelph)- Project leader, Peter Jones (University of Manitoba)

This study was funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canola Council of Canada, and SaskCanola, Alberta Canola and MCGA.


>Canola-Enriched, Mediterranean-Type Weight Loss Diet in Type 2 Diabetes

Objective: To assess whether a Mediterranean-type weight-loss diet, enriched with canola oil, high in plant protein, and low in carbohydrates will produce blood sugar control, reduce coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors and maximize weight loss, better than conventional higher carbohydrate diets in overweight diabetic patients.

Research team: Dr. David Jenkins (University of Toronto) - Project Leader; Dr. Cyril Kendall (University of Toronto)

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02245399

This study was funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canola Council of Canada, and SaskCanola, Alberta Canola and MCGA.

Canola Oil Multi-Centre Intervention Trial II (COMIT II)

Objective: To examine the health benefits of dietary canola oils on body composition, specifically on android fat, and weight management. COMIT II will also include analysis of fatty acid ethanolamides (FAEs) to elucidate the mechanisms by which canola oil may be modifying body composition. Measurement of endothelial function, inflammatory, adiposity, and insulin sensitivity biomarkers will be done to determine the positive health impact of the changes in body composition achieved through canola oil consumption.

Research team: Dr. Peter Jones (University of Manitoba) - Project Leader; Dr. David Jenkins (University of Toronto); Dr. Benoit Lamarche (Laval University); Drs. Penny-Kris-Etherton and Sheila West (Penn State University); Dr. Todd Rideout (University at Buffalo); Dr. Carla Taylor (Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine)

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02029833

This study was funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canola Council of Canada, Dow Agrosciences and SaskCanola, Alberta Canola and MCGA.

 

Effect of Canola Oil on Vascular and Metabolic Parameters in Individuals with Metabolic Syndrome

Objective: Metabolic syndrome is an early stage of cardiovascular disease and is an appropriate target for dietary interventions. Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of risk factors (abdominal obesity, elevated serum triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, hypertension, elevated fasting blood glucose) accompanied by low grade chronic inflammation, hepatic steatosis (fatty liver) and reduced vascular function.

This study will investigate the effect of a 12 week intervention with canola oil versus the typical fat mixture in the Western diet on blood lipids, blood vessel function and metabolic syndrome parameters. Cardiovascular disease risk will be assessed based on the profile of lipids and other factors in the blood as well using specialized equipment for non-invasive monitoring of blood vessel function.

Research team: Dr. Carla Taylor and Dr. Peter Zahradka (Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine)

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01890330

Funded by the Canola Council of Canada, Alberta Canola and Alberta Innovates.

 

Canola Oil Multicentre Intervention Trial (COMIT)

Objective: To examine how the consumption of different dietary oil varieties affects a broad range of metabolic responses that are important in the development of cardiovascular diseases. This study will examine the relationship between dietary oil consumption and arterial function, blood fat content, and blood markers of cardiovascular disease risk. Additionally, the efficiency of the body in converting fat from dietary oils into other specific fat compounds with know health benefits will be examined. Also, the correlation between psychosocial parameters and vascular function will be studied.

Research team: Drs. Peter Jones (University of Manitoba) - Project Leaders; Dr. David Jenkins (University of Toronto); Dr. Benoit Lamarche (Laval University); Drs. Penny-Kris-Etherton and Sheila West (Penn State University)

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01351012

Publications:

1. Baril-Gravel, L., M. E. Labonte, P. Couture, M. C. Vohl, A. Charest, V. Guay, D. A. Jenkins, P. W. Connelly, S. West, P. M. Kris-Etherton, P. J. Jones, J. A. Fleming and B. Lamarche (2015). "Docosahexaenoic acid-enriched canola oil increases adiponectin concentrations: a randomized crossover controlled intervention trial." Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 25(1): 52-59.

2. Jones, P. J., D. S. MacKay, V. K. Senanayake, S. Pu, D. J. Jenkins, P. W. Connelly, B. Lamarche, P., Couture, P. M. Kris-Etherton, S. G. West, X. Liu, J. A. Fleming, R. R. Hantgan and L. L. Rudel (2015). "High-oleic canola oil consumption enriches LDL particle cholesteryl oleate content and reduces LDL proteoglycan binding in humans." Atherosclerosis 238(2): 231-238.

3. Jones, P. J., V. K. Senanayake, S. Pu, D. J. Jenkins, P. W. Connelly, B. Lamarche, P. Couture, A. Charest, L. Baril-Gravel, S. G. West, X. Liu, J. A. Fleming, C. E. McCrea and P. M. Kris-Etherton (2014). "DHA-enriched high-oleic acid canola oil improves lipid profile and lowers predicted cardiovascular disease risk in the canola oil multicenter randomized controlled trial." Am J Clin Nutr 100(1): 88-97.

4. Pu, S., P. Eck, D. J. Jenkins, P. W. Connelly, B. Lamarche, P. M. Kris-Etherton, S. G. West, X. Liu and P. J. Jones (2016). "Interactions between dietary oil treatments and genetic variants modulate fatty acid ethanolamides in plasma and body weight composition." Br J Nutr: 1-12.

5. Pu, S., Rodriguez-Perez, C., Ramprasath, V. R., Segura-Carretero, A., and Jones, P. J. (2016). ²Dietary high oleic canola oil supplemented with docosahexaenoic acid attenuates plasma proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) levels in participants with cardiovascular disease risk: A randomized control trial.² Vascul Pharmacol: 87:60-65.

6. Rodriguez-Perez, C., V. R. Ramprasath, S. Pu, A. Sabra, R. Quirantes-Pine, A. Segura-Carretero and P. J. Jones (2016). "Docosahexaenoic acid attenuates cardiovascular risk factors via a decline in proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) plasma levels." Lipids 51(1): 75-83.

7. Senanayake, V. K., S. Pu, D. A. Jenkins, B. Lamarche, P. M. Kris-Etherton, S. G. West, J. A. Fleming, X. Liu, C. E. McCrea and P. J. Jones (2014). "Plasma fatty acid changes following consumption of dietary oils containing n-3, n-6, and n-9 fatty acids at different proportions: preliminary findings of the Canola Oil Multicenter Intervention Trial (COMIT)." Trials 15: 136.

8. Liu X, Kris-Etherton PM, West SG, Lamarche B, Jenkins DJ, Fleming JA, McCrea CE, Pu S, Couture P, Connelly PW and Jones PJ. "Effects of canola and high-oleic-acid canola oils on abdominal fat mass in individuals with central obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Nov;24(11):2261-2268.

9. Pu S, Khazanehei H, Jones PJ, Khafipour E. Interactions between obesity status and dietary intake of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils on human gut microbiome profiles in the canola oil multicenter intervention trial (COMIT). Front Microbiol. 2016 Oct 10;7:1612. eCollection 2016.

10. Liu X., Garban J., Jones PJ., Vanden Heuvel, J., Lamarche B., Jenkins DJ., Connelly PW., Couture P.,  Pu S.,  Fleming  JA.,  West  SG. Diets low in saturated fat with different unsaturated fatty acid profiles similarly increase serum-mediated cholesterol efflux from THP-1 macrophages in a population with or at risk for metabolic syndrome: The Canola Oil Multicenter Intervention Trial  J Nutr 2018:148(5):721-728.

Funded through the Canola/Flax Canadian Agri-Science Cluster, a joint initiative of AAFC and the industry with funding from the Canola Council of Canada, SaskCanola, Alberta Canola, MCGA, Flax Council of Canada, and Dow AgroSciences.

 

Effect of Canola Oil as part of a Low Glycemic Load Diet on Glucose Control and Coronary Heart Disease Risk factors in Type 2 Diabetes

Objective: To determine whether canola oil improves glycemic control in non-insulin dependent diabetes, as assessed by HbA1c and fasting blood glucose, and to assess whether these outcomes relate to improvements in cardiovascular health, i.e. plasma lipids, measures of oxidative stress, FMD and inflammatory biomarkers including C-reactive protein. If successful, this research will support scientific data on the utility of low glycemic load diets in improving glycemic control and reducing cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetes.  Positive results would also establish canola oil as a healthy dietary component and help to shape public opinion on its health benefits and influence food choices in Canada and abroad.

Research team: Dr. David Jenkins (University of Toronto) - Project Leader; Dr. Cyril Kendall (University of Toronto); Dr. Sheila West (Penn State University)

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01348568

Publications:

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Vuksan V, Faulkner D, Augustin LS, Mitchell S, Ireland C, Srichaikul K, Mirrahimi A, Chiavaroli L, Blanco Mejia S, Nishi S, Sahye-Pudaruth S, Patel D, Bashyam B, Vidgen E, de Souza RJ, Sievenpiper JL, Coveney J, Josse RG, Leiter LA.  Effect of lowering the glycemic load with canola oil on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors: A randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care 2014; 37 (7):1806-14

Funded through the Canola/Flax Canadian Agri-Science Cluster, a joint initiative of AAFC, Canola Council of Canada, SaskCanola, Alberta Canola and MCGA.

 

Effects of Canola Oil on Blood Vessel Function in Peripheral Arterial Disease

Objective: To rank various oils/fatty acid compositions with respect to post-prandial vascular activity. To establish whether canola has positive effects on blood vessel function by measuring true clinical endpoints such as arterial stiffness and flow-mediated dilatation as well as the ankle-brachial index, the gold standard for human trials of this nature. As reduced blood flow contributes to cognitive impairment, the study will also investigate whether improvements in blood vessel function are also associated with improvements in cognitive function.

Research team: Dr. Carla Taylor (University of Manitoba) - Project Leader; Drs. Peter Zahradka and Randy Guzman (St. Boniface General Hospital Research Centre)

ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01250275

Funded through the Canola/Flax Canadian Agri-Science Cluster, a joint initiative of AAFC, Canola Council of Canada, SaskCanola, Alberta Canola and MCGA