Researchers have indicated that a possible development for the combating of obesity could come from an extract of oil derived from the seeds of wild almond trees.
A science team based at the Missouri University of Science and Technology have identified a substance within almond oil which can control the level of obesity and also help to off-set diabetes.
According to the Universality’s research brief, the substance identified was sterculic oil. To show the beneficial effects of the oil, the oil was added to the diets of obese laboratory mice which increased their sensitivity to insulin. This was due to the oil's effect on three types of microorganisms that live in the guts of the mice. Studies have shown that the types of bacteria present in the human gut affect the level of weight, and can trigger, depending upon the lifestyle and food consumption levels, obesity.
Sterculic oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild almond tree known as Sterculia foetida.
For the experiment, as E-Science summarizes, 28 male mice were studied. Of these, 14 mice were obese and 14 of a normal weight. , Each of the mice was five weeks old at the beginning of the study.
The mice were divided into four groups and for nine weeks a standard diet was fed to one group of obese mice and one group of non-obese mice. Over the same period, to the other groups, the food fed to the mice was supplemented with 0.5 percent of sterculic oil. The weights, food consumption and glucose levels of the mice were recorded during the nine-week period.
After the nine weeks, the researchers conducted a DNA analysis of the bacteria found in the guts of the mice. The results showed that mice which had sterculic oil added to their diets had a different bacterial profile and did not gain weight, for either the obese or normal population, whereas the group without the addition of the almond oil extract saw a weight gain.
The findings have implications for the development of a possible new range of anti-obesity drugs.