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Another source of obesity

Soybean oil: possible cause of weight gain in an experiment with laboratory animals

Eduardo CesarSoybean oil: possible cause of weight gain in an experiment with laboratory animalsEduardo Cesar

Doctors already had a low opinion of soybean oil.  Its reputation may now have suffered a further blow.  A diet rich in soybean oil may cause more obesity and diabetes than a diet rich in fructose, a type of sugar commonly found in soft drinks and processed foods, according to a study conducted at the University of California, Riverside, in the United States (PLOS ONE, July 22, 2015). The researchers came to this conclusion after feeding four groups of mice different types of diets, each one containing 40% fat, similarly to the typical American diet.  The first group of mice consumed only coconut oil, which consists essentially of saturated fats. The second group was fed soybean oil, which contains mainly polyunsaturated fats – and is also widely consumed in Brazil.  To the other two diets, each containing one of these oils, fructose was added in the proportion typically consumed by Americans.  All four diets had the same total number of calories.  The mice that ate soybean oil gained 25% and 9% more weight than those who were fed coconut oil or fructose-enriched diets, respectively.  The soybean oil group also exhibited localized fat deposits and signs of liver damage, diabetes, and insulin resistance. The researchers also saw that the metabolic damage caused by fructose-enriched diets was less severe than that observed in the other groups.  In an additional test, a diet rich in corn oil resulted in more weight gain than a diet based on coconut oil, but not as much as the gain caused by soybean oil.