JEFFREY H. TONEY
College of Natural, Applied and Health Sciences
DIABETES: STUDYING THE EFFECT OF DIETARY OILS ON INSULIN SECRETION
What is the mechanism of prevention of onset of type 2 diabetes in subjects consuming peanuts?
A study at the Harvard School of Public Health (see: Harvard Study Shows Half Serving of Peanut Butter or Full Serving of Peanuts Eaten Daily Significantly Cuts Risk of Type 2 Diabetes), it was reported that women who consumed at least five ounces of peanuts and peanut butter a week reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 21% compared to those who rarely consumed peanuts (control group). Another clinical study with high oleic acid peanuts (HOPs, another variety of peanut which has a higher ratio of oleic to linoleic acid), showed improvement of serum lipo-protein profile thereby reducing risk of cardiovascular disease by 14% compared to control. Peanuts are part of the legume family and contain a relatively large amount of healthy types of fat (high in unsaturated fatty acid, approximately 80%, and low in saturated fatty acid, less than 20% and no trans fat) some proteins, antioxidants (e.g., vitamin E, resveratrol), magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phytosterols which could either individually or in combination contribute to the beneficial effects of peanuts. We are addressing the hypothesis of whether components of peanut oil can affect insulin secretion and/or glucose metabolism to explain the clinical benefits of peanuts using both in vitro and in vivo models of diabetes. This study is currently supported by a Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation (see:.Stipends Available to Study Type 2 Diabetes with NAHS Dean Toney for Summer 2009).
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