GMO v. Non-GMO Study Reveals Surprising Results
When it comes to “good for you,” a chronic condition can change everything you thought you knew about nutrition and food-supported health.
For example, consuming oils should mean greater risk of weight gain, and an overweight condition is linked to a variety of health conditions. Yet certain oils may actually help reverse illness when taken in specific quantities.
But now a new element has been added to the equation. We’ve all heard the ongoing (and frequently fiery) debate about genetically modified organisms (GMO) and how consuming GMO plants may be harming us more than we yet know.
Now a study has pinpointed GM soybean oil as potentially healthier when it comes to NAFLD, an often silent but potentially dangerous condition that’s growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S. and across the globe. And the claims are raising more than a few eyebrows.
UC Riverside, California scientists took three fat sources – coconut oil, conventional soybean oil and GM (genetically modified) source soybean oil – and added them to the diets of mice in standard U.S. adult consumption proportions (40% of the total diet calories). They then stacked the results against one another for comparison.
The results were, at least compared to conventional organic and health food wisdom, surprising.
In the study, the GMO oil produced less obesity and insulin resistance than either the coconut oil or the non-GMO soybean oil. Even more counterintuitively, the coconut oil – which is higher in saturated fats than soybean oil, GMO or not – actually caused the lowest incidence of metabolic side-effects, such as pre-diabetes.
The study has individuals and organizations alike up in arms…from both sides of the health v. non-GMO equation.
Caution is Warranted
However, the oils did all appear to have a role in negative metabolic issues, suggesting that no matter what, balance is in order with food choices.
The 40% fat from calories diet appeared to affect all the mice negatively, increasing insulin resistance and pre-diabetes or diabetic conditions, researchers noted.
This would suggest that the least of three evils, so to speak, may indeed still be that: an evil.
But the study did show some rethinking of conventional wisdom, including that of “healthy” oils, is in order.
“We found all three oils raised the cholesterol levels in the liver and blood, dispelling the popular myth that soybean oil reduces cholesterol levels,” said Frances M. Sladek, Ph.D, co-leader of the study.
The paper in its entirety can be read here.
“The take-home message is that it is best not to depend on just one oil source,” Dr. Saldek told news sources. “Different dietary oils have far-reaching and complex effects on metabolism that require additional investigation.”