Sesame oil may provide a number of important health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes, research has shown.
Sesame oil is a popular ingredient in many cuisines, particularly across Asia and the Middle East. It is high in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, both of which have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and improve heart health. It is also high in vitamin E and other antioxidants, including lignans. All of these are important benefits for type 2 diabetics, who often suffer from poor cardiovascular health, and whose disease can be caused or worsened by the free radicals that antioxidants help remove.
In 2006, a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food explored the benefits of sesame oil for diabetics. The study was conducted on 40 people suffering from both diabetes and high blood pressure, all of whom were taking the blood pressure drugs atenolol and glibenclamide. The participants were assigned to switch to using sesame oil in their cooking for 45 days, then to switch to palm or peanut oils for another 45 days.
The researchers found that while cooking with sesame oil, “systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased remarkably. When oil substitution was withdrawn, blood pressure values rose again.” While cooking with sesame oil, patients also experienced significant decreases in weight, body mass index, and waist and hip girth. Their levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol all decreased.
Further study confirms benefits
This was followed by another study, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition in 2010. In this study, which was also open label, 60 participants with type 2 diabetes (mild to moderate) were assigned either to use 35 g per day of sesame oil in cooking or on salads, take 5 mg per day orally of the anti-diabetic drugs glibenclamide, or to combine both interventions.
After 60 days, levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides decreased significantly among both the participants taking the sesame oil and those taking sesame oil together with drugs.
Likewise, levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and activity of both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants increased in the sesame oil group. Overall levels of antioxidants including a vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and glutathione all rose between 25 and 50 percent. In contrast, participants in the drugs-only group experienced only an eight to 12 percent increase in antioxidant levels.
Not just for diabetics
While researchers remain unsure exactly why sesame oil provides these powerful health benefits, it may have to do with the oil’s high levels of antioxidant lignans and healthy fatty acids, which are believed to improve the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and fats.
For this reason, sesame oil can improve the heart health of non-diabetics as well. In addition, it is rich in iron, calcium and magnesium. Sesame oil may also improve cognitive ability, tooth and bone strength, bone and dental health and even mood. It is also believed to help protect the kidneys from damage.
(Natural News Science)
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