Various types of vegetable oil produced in Ghana have potential to manage diabetes in human beings.
That’s according to scientists at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology following successful experiment on mice.
Findings of the research are published in the Global Journal BMC Nutrition.
Palm oil, recently, came under public scrutiny after Sudan IV dye was detected in samples on the market.
Now, together with groundnut and coconut oils, scientists say they have found managing power against diabetes in it.
“Science has shown intake of oils seems to have some cardiovascular effect and high fats interfere with insulin action so it is feared that if diabetics take these oils it will make treatment of diabetes more difficult.”
That is the basis for study, according to Dr. Robert Ngala, lead researcher of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Molecular Medicine Department said,
“I wanted to find whether our traditional oils have a beneficial or negative effect on diabetes treatment.
For the research, scientists obtained diabetic mice from Nougouchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
The test diets were prepared by mixing 10g vegetable oils with 90g normal commercial rodent food to obtain 10% by weight of vegetable oils.
The mice were then divided into eight groups of six animals.
A control group fed with the normal rodent diet.
Diet of Group two was modified with 10% palm oil, third with 10% groundnut oil and fourth with 10% coconut oil.
Another group treated with the food plus the anti- diabetic drug Glibenclamide. Scientists, again, created a parallel group which fed on the oils plus the drug.
After four weeks of continuous treatment, scientists found the group on normal rodent diet had high blood sugar like in humans.
The group that fed on normal diet combined with anti-diabetic drug had a low sugar level.
Significantly, the group on palm, groundnut and coconut oil diet had a drop in blood sugar level. Yet another group which fed on the oils and drug dropped in blood sugar level.
However, the combination of coconut oil and anti-diabetic drug failed to bring down glucose level as compared to those treated on the drug alone.
Dr. Ngala suspects a reaction between substances in the coconut oil and the drug. The scientists are looking forward to additional funding to replicate the study on humans.
Until then they advise diabetics to embrace traditional vegetable oils.
“We are not expecting a very big difference, though in certain cases rodent metabolism are quite different from humans,” he said.