IFLScience: The use of soybean oil has increased dramatically over the last few decades, to the extent that is has become the most widely consumed edible oil in the US and other Western nations. However, its rise has coincided with an alarming escalation in metabolic conditions like diabetes, insulin resistance, and obesity, and a new study indicates that this may be down to the way that soybean oil causes genetic changes in the brain.
Previous research has shown that mice fed a diet that is high in soybean oil are much more likely to develop these conditions than rodents fed on other fats like coconut oil. Further studies hinted that the culprit may be linoleic acid, as mice that consumed soybean oil that had been modified to lack this key ingredient were spared many of these harmful effects.
To better understand how soybean oil produces these negative consequences, scientists decided to investigate its impact on the expression of genes in the hypothalamus, a brain region that regulates metabolism and a range of other essential processes.
Mice were split into groups, of which one received a diet that was high in normal soybean oil, another consumed a diet high in soybean oil that lacked linoleic acid, and another was fed on a diet rich in coconut oil.
Writing in the journal Endocrinology, the study authors explain that soybean oil was found to modify the expression of around 100 different genes in the hypothalamus, affecting processes such as metabolism, neurological disease, and inflammation. read more
h/t Yes, It’s Butter.