A new study suggests that replacing normal cooking oils with a sesame oil and rice bran oil blend can offer important benefits for type 2 diabetes patients
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes and the associated risks to cardiovascular health are major concerns for populations around the world. Research clearly confirms that both conditions are significantly related to lifestyle factors such as obesity, poor diet, and lack of physical activity. Considerable effort has therefore been invested in identifying dietary interventions that can play a role in preventing and managing these conditions.
In a recent study, researchers examined the effect of using sesame oil and rice bran oil, in place of other cooking oils, on blood sugar and cholesterol levels. These oils were chosen because they are a rich source of antioxidants, as well as mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids, and are therefore likely to offer benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes and associated cardiovascular risk factors. It was also hypothesized that a blend of the two oils could produce different effects than when used individually.
The study followed 300 patients with type 2 diabetes and 100 non-diabetic patients, who were divided into four groups:
- non-diabetic patients given a sesame oil/rice bran oil blend;
- diabetes patients given a sesame oil/rice bran oil blend;
- diabetes patients treated with glibenclamide (an antidiabetic drug);
- diabetes patients treated with glibenclamide and given a sesame oil/rice bran oil blend (n=100).
Patients who were given the sesame/rice bran oil blend were instructed to use it in place of other cooking oils for a period of 8 weeks. Fasting and post-prandial (after eating) glucose levels were measured for all subjects at three points: i) at the start of the study; ii) 4 weeks into the study; and iii) at the end of the study. Lipid profiles, showing cholesterol levels, as well as HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) measurements, were also taken at the start and end of the study .
At both 4 and 8 weeks, the diabetes patients using the sesame/rice bran oil blend, either with or without the antidiabetic medication, had significantly lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels compared to levels at the start of the study. Reduced blood glucose and cholesterol levels were also observed among the patients treated with glibenclamide alone, but the reductions were not as pronounced as for those who also used the oil blend along with the medication. Interestingly, no significant changes in any of these measures were observed in the non-diabetic patients.
The results of the study suggest that incorporating sesame oil and rice bran oil into diet, in place of other cooking oils, can contribute to lowered blood glucose and cholesterol levels in type 2 diabetes patients, whether used with or without antidiabetic medication.
Written By: Linda Jensen