Mustard Oil : A perfect blend of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids
Mustard oil in addition to being an important oil is superior also because of its balanced fatty acids profile in terms of SFA, MUFA, Linoleic and alpha linolenic acid in comparison to other oils like palm oil, red palm oil, sunflower, safflower, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, ghee, vanaspati and corn oil etc.
Some of the PUFA are required in small quantities for normal health and a prolonged absence of any of them in diet leads to specific deficiency diseases. On the other hand it is very important to note that the ratio of n-3 and n-6 is very essential for healthy heart. Mustard oil has a lower amount of SFA i.e. 8% which is good and prescribed clinically for healthy heart.
Mustard oil contains a higher amount of MUFA as compared to its PUFA and SFA content with a desired ratio of n-6:n-3 fatty acids which is desirable quality for any of the edible oil to be recommended to consumers. Current evidence suggests that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA confer cardio-protective effects beyond these that can be ascribed to improvements in blood lipids. The predominant beneficial effects include reduction in sudden death, deceased risk of arrhythmia and a reduced blood clotting tendency. Epidemiological studies also suggest n-3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid reduces risk of myocardial infraction and fatal coronary heart disease in women. Coronary mortality and morbidity has also been shown to be reduced by n-3 fatty acids. The rich sources of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are mustard oil. Monounsaturated fatty acids found chiefly in mustard oil and is cardio-protective and alter lipids favorably.
The ratio of omega fatty acids, n-6:n-3 is present within desirable proportion only in mustard oil: Omega-3 fatty acid (linolenic acid) which is an essential fatty acid and very good for heart is present in mustard oil only, no other edible oil contains such limit. Omega (n-3 and n-6) fatty acids are potent inhibitors of cancer. These may also lessen the severity of some auto-immune diseases. The omega (n-6 and n-3) fatty acids when substituted for saturated fatty acid lower serum, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. These also lower serum triglycerides. In addition to this, these have an anti-oxidant activity that fends off artery damage from LDL cholesterol, thus benefiting the arteries. It is, therefore, uses as a biological marker for healthy heart. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids show platelets aggregation. Oils with Omega or n-3 PUFA reduce plasma triglycerides and increase blood-clotting time.
A ratio of n-6:n-3(4:5.5) is effective in reducing the risk of heart diseases and this ratio may be met through mustard oil only.
The American Heart Association has suggested that the ratio of monounsaturated fatty acids to polyunsaturated fatty acids should be 1.5, only mustard oil adheres to this ratio.