Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Widely consumed soybean oil not only leads to obesity and diabetes but may also affect neurological conditions like autism, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and depression, report researchers from University of California Riverside, including one of Indian origin.
In a study conducted on mice, the scientists found pronounced effects of the soybean oil on the hypothalamus where a number of critical processes take place.
The research team discovered nearly 100 genes – including the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin produced in hypothalamus — affected by the soybean oil diet.
“The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress,” said Margarita Curras-Collazo, an associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study published in the journal Endocrinology.
The research team has not yet isolated which chemicals in the oil are responsible for the changes they found in the hypothalamus.
“But they have ruled out two candidates. It is not linoleic acid, since the modified oil also produced genetic disruptions; nor is it stigmasterol, a cholesterol-like chemical found naturally in soybean oil,” the study noted.
Identifying the compounds responsible for the negative effects is an important area for the team’s future research.
“This could help design healthier dietary oils in the future,” said Poonamjot Deol, first author on the study.
“If there’s one message I want people to take away, it’s this: reduce consumption of soybean oil,” Deol added.
The team compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil.
They believe this discovery could have ramifications not just for energy metabolism,but also for proper brain function and diseases such as autism or Parkinson’s disease.
“However, it is important to note there is no proof the oil causes these diseases,” the authors wrote.
Te same research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Then in a 2017 study, the same group learned that if soybean oil is engineered to be low in linoleic acid, it induces less obesity and insulin resistance.
The team said the findings only apply to soybean oil — not to other soy products or to other vegetable oils.
“Do not throw out your tofu, soymilk, edamame, or soy sauce,” said Frances Sladek, a UCR toxicologist and professor of cell biology.
“Many soy products only contain small amounts of the oil, and large amounts of healthful compounds such as essential fatty acids and proteins”.
Also Read- Excessive Cardio Can Make you Gain Weight
This study utilized male mice. Because oxytocin is so important for maternal health and promotes mother-child bonding, similar studies need to be performed using female mice.
Coconut oil, which contains saturated fats, produced very few changes in the hypothalamic genes, said the researchers. (IANS)
Kerala to launch Aggressive Campaign to counter “smear” campaign that has taken sheen away from Coconut Oil
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 2, 2016: An aggressive campaign based on scientific studies will be launched to counter a smear campaign that has taken the sheen away from coconut oil, a Kerala Minister said on Friday.
State Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of an agriculture fair being held here that there was a systematic and organised campaign — involving a section of medical professionals also — against edible coconut oil.
NewsGram brings to you latest new stories in India.
“We are going to immediately organise a sustained campaign with the help of solid scientific studies proving that coconut oil is the best oil for cooking. In the past, a smear campaign against our own coconut oil affected it so much and many thought it was not healthy and stopped using it,” Sunil Kumar said.
He said the campaign will be part of the policy document which will come out soon.
“In countries like Indonesia, coconut oil is being used to prepare salads and even poured into coffee and tea. We have lost so badly and hence various other cooking oils have penetrated into our kitchen,” said Sunil Kumar.
Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues
The smear campaign against coconut oil began about two decades ago with reports that the regular use of it could lead to developing heart disease.
“The Americans who wanted to promote their soybean oil were behind this campaign along with some medical professionals here and today virgin coconut oil is the most sought after oil in the US,” the Minister added.
Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.
Meanwhile, with the production and productivity of coconut in Kerala declining, newer varieties of coconuts have been developed and will be sold in large numbers across the state, he said.
“We will promote coconut clusters in villages where land will be pooled and the most modern scientific methods of farming will be introduced. There will be a number of agro-processing food parks which will be set up with the sole aim of producing value-added agriculture products from coconut, jackfruit, bananas and other products,” the Minister said. (IANS)