American biologists have found that eating a lot of soybean oil disrupts the work of a hundred genes in brain cells. This can contribute to the development of autism, Alzheimer's disease and mental disorders. The scientists published the results of their work in the scientific journal Endocrinology. The press service of the University of California at Riverside writes briefly about this.
“All of this does not mean that all stocks of tofu, soy milk, cheese or sauce should be thrown away immediately. Many soy-based products contain only small amounts of oil and many nutrients such as proteins and fatty acids,” explained Frances Sladek, one of the from the authors of the work.
Soybean oil may be a major contributor to the obesity epidemic in the United States and other industrialized countries. It has become popular since the last third of the last century after doctors discovered evidence that animal fats and traditional types of vegetable oils contribute to the development of obesity.
As a result, both ordinary consumers and industrialists abandoned them in favor of soybean oil, whose production then began to gain momentum. As a result, soybean oil accounts for about 60% of the total oil consumed in the United States today. According to scientists, the growth in the share of soybean oil in the food industry coincided almost perfectly with the rate of the obesity epidemic.
Soy and the brain
Sladek and her colleagues discovered another negative property of soybean oil. They studied how the addition of soybean oil, made from conventional and genetically modified raw materials, affected the health and function of all organs in the mice. Scientists were initially interested in whether new varieties of GMO soybeans, which contain reduced amounts of the main component of this oil, linoleic acid, would be healthier than conventional varieties of this plant.
Having revealed some of the positive and negative properties of new varieties of GMO soybeans associated with the development of obesity and diabetes, Californian biologists studied how its use affects the functioning of the brain of rodents, including the hypothalamus, the most important hormonal center of the body.
As it turned out, all types of soybean oil disrupted the work of about a hundred genes that are active in the cells of the hypothalamus. Some of them have been linked to the cycle of oxytocin, the "happiness hormone", as well as other important signaling molecules and gene chains that affect brain function and are directly linked to the development of autism and a number of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
At the same time, violations were not associated with the presence of linoleic acid and stigmasterol - fatty molecules that scientists previously considered two of the most harmful components of soybean oil. In other words, the reason for the appearance of failures in the work of genes is still unknown, so it is still difficult to assess the consequences of them and look for methods of struggle.
On the other hand, California biologists still recommend avoiding or minimizing soybean oil, given its more obvious and already proven link to other diseases, including obesity and diabetes.