Almond Seed Oil Increases Insulin Sensitivity

June 18, 2012

2 Min Read
Almond Seed Oil Increases Insulin Sensitivity

ROLLA, Mo.Adding wild almond seed oil to the diets of obese laboratory mice improved glucose tolerance and increased sensitivity to insulin in a study presented June 18 at the American Society for Microbiologys general meeting in San Francisco.

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology  noted this was due to the oils effect on three types of microorganismsActinobacteria, Bacilli and Erysipelotrichiathat live in the guts of the mice.

The study examined 28 male mice14 of them obese and 14 normal, and each of them five weeks old at the beginning of the study. The mice were separated into four groups, and for nine weeks, fed a standard diet to one group of obese mice and one group of non-obese mice. Over the same period, researchers fed the same diet, supplemented with 0.5 percent of sterculic oil, to one group of obese mice and one group of non-obese mice.

After the nine weeks, results from a DNA analysis confirmed correlations between the diet, improved glucose tolerance and groups of microbes. Even though the mice fed a diet with sterculic oil did not experience weight loss, the researchers said they  believe their findings could lead to new insights into controlling diabetes and weight gain.

This  builds upon previous studies conducted at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In those studies, sterculic oil was found to suppress the bodily enzyme stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1). SCD1 is associated with insulin resistance, a condition that can lead to diabetes and obesity. A 2010 study reported adding almonds to the died improved markers of insulin sensitivity and yielded clinically significant improvements in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in adults with prediabetes. The randomized parallel-group trial was conducted on 65 adult participants with prediabetes, including 16 weeks of dietary modification featuring an ADA diet containing 20 percent of energy from almonds (approximately 2 oz/d).

Other studies have shown obese mice deficient in the hormone leptin have a different composition of gut microbiota" than do lean mice.  Leptin helps regulate metabolism, and a deficiency of the hormone can contribute to obesity, said Oerther, the John and Susan Mathes Chair of Environmental Engineering at Missouri S&T.

Sterculic oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild almond tree known as Sterculia foetida.

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