Soybean oil is one of the most popular vegetable oils in the world. It is extremely popular in the United States, where it accounts for more than half of total oil consumption. For a long time, it was thought that it is unhealthy, but because of its relatively low price, soybean oil is often used in fast-food restaurants, frozen semi-prepared foods, and even animal feed.
Is soybean oil healthy?
A new study from the University of California, published in Endocrinology, shows that soy oil is definitely not healthy. At least for mice. Previously, the same team of scientists had proven that soybean oil promotes mouse obesity, diabetes, liver fat accumulation, and insulin resistance. However, scientists later found that soybean oil with lower levels of linoleic acid had less negative properties.
For this reason, scientists have decided to find out how soybean oil affects the brain. They divided the laboratory mice into three groups. The first group of mice ate food which had a lot of regular soybean oil. The second group ate similar food, but this time it was modified soybean oil with less linoleic acid. Finally, the third group of mice had a completely different diet, replacing soybean oil with coconut oil.
Scientists have observed that soy oil causes major changes in the mouse hypothalamus. This area of the brain is a very important part of the central nervous system that controls many processes including behavior, fatigue, sleep, circadian rhythms, thirst, hunger, body temperature, and some hormonal balance. The hypothalamus is also important for bodyweight control as it helps regulate metabolism.
In all groups where mice ate soybean oil, scientists have observed more than 100 gene changes. One of the most striking changes in the drop in oxytocin levels. Although soybean oil can not be said that it might cause Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, autism, depression, and other disorders, but the changes observed are often associated with them.
Here are some important facts to note about the soybean oil:
- The study has only been conducted on male mice – oxytocin is very important for females and further studies will be required;
- The results observed in mouse studies can not be automatically applied to humans;
- Scientists emphasize that soybean oil can not be said to cause neurological disorders – we do not yet know it, although the changes observed have been linked to such health problems. None of the mice used in the study had these disorders and did not even have time to develop them;
- There is relatively little oil in conventional soy products.
There is no reason to start to worry about it. Scientists will continue to research and isolate the chemicals that cause these changes. Since no difference is observed between the first and second group, it is probably not linoleic acid.
Health Benefits of Soybean oil if you are not abusing it
- The main benefit is from vitamin K which helps to reduce heart attacks and stroke chance.
- Heals the bones or stimulates bone development, helps to prevent osteoporosis.
- It has Omega-3 fatty acids which improve better vision.
- Vitamin E – helps the immune system: reduces heart diseases and cancer, improves skincare.
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