Doctors and scientists have known for a long time that the amount of abdominal fat present in a person’s body is directly proportional to the likelihood of that person to suffer from heart attack, high blood pressure, hypertension, and other health problems. Now, a research reveals a plant oil contains a compound that may be able to fight against belly fat accumulation, and obesity in general.
Dr. James Perfield, assistant professor of food science in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), of the University of Michigan found that sterculic oil, extracted from the seeds of the Sterculia Foetida tree, can reduce the amount of fat formed in the abdominal area of rats. The oil contains certain fatty acids that have been known to suppress a body enzyme connected to insulin resistance. This could then indirectly help in reducing belly fat.
“This research paves the way for potential use in humans,” Dr. Perfield said. “Reducing belly fat is a key to reducing the incidence of serious disease, and this oil could have a future as a nutritional supplement.”
In the study, Dr. Perfield added a small amount of sterculic oil (akin to giving 3 grams of the oil to a 250 pound person) to the feed of rats that were genetically pre-disposed to accumulate a high amount of abdominal fat. He then tested the rats during a 13 week period, where he found that rats supplemented with sterulic oil have less belly fat than those than those that were just given feeds. They were also observed to be less likely to develop diabetes as well.
There are no studies yet conducted on humans, but there are plans to do so. With commercial interest piqued by the possibilities of sterculic oil, researchers are now working on other research studies about the oil. Dr. Perfield even added that another study, with entirely different research parameters, is about to wrap up. The results would then be announced in the near future.