Biotech Updates

GM Soybean Oil Identical to Conventional Soybean Oil

March 11, 2015

Research conducted by scientists at the University of California Riverside (UCR) revealed that genetically modified (GM) soybean oil, made from seeds of GM soybean plants, is identical to conventional soybean oil, with one advantage: it does not cause insulin resistance, the inability to efficiently use the hormone insulin.

Scientists from UCR and their colleagues at the University of California, Davis compared the effects of both oils in experiments performed in the lab on mice. They found that the GM soybean oil is just as unhealthy as regular soybean oil in that it also induces obesity, diabetes and fatty liver. Vegetable oils were once thought to be healthier as they are naturally high in unsaturated fats, and were hydrogenated to increase their shelf-life and temperature stability. The hydrogenation, however, generated trans fats, which is widely recognized as being unhealthy.

To determine if linoleic acid was responsible for the metabolic effects of soybean oil, the researchers designed a parallel diet where regular soybean oil was replaced with GM soybean oil. The team found that the parallel diet with GM soybean oil induced weight gain and fatty liver, identical to that of a diet with regular soybean oil, with the exception that the mice remained insulin sensitive and had somewhat less adipose (fat) tissue.

For more details about this study, read the news release at the UCR website.