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Tree oil may combat obesity, diabetes, S&T research suggests

A future weapon in the battle against obesity and diabetes could come in the form of an oil derived from the seeds of wild almond trees, according to researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The key to the oil's potential lies in its ability to affect certain microorganisms living in our bellies.

In a study presented today (Monday, June 18, 2012) at the American Society for Microbiology's general meeting in San Francisco, Missouri S&T researchers reported that adding sterculic oil to the diets of obese laboratory mice 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.

As a result, the researchers saw a "statistically significant improvement in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in the obese mice," says Shreya Ghosh, a Ph.D. student in environmental engineering at Missouri S&T. The sterculic oil had no adverse affects on lean mice fed the same diet.

Sterculic oil is extracted from the seeds of the wild almond tree known as Sterculia foetida.
 
 

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