Researchers have found a link between the fatty acids in olive oil and hunger reduction according to a new study.
Oleic acid, a fatty acid found in olive oil, is at the heart of the new findings. Researchers injected the oleic acid into mice and essentially the acid reacted in the body in a satiating manner. The mice ate less and appeared fuller for a longer period of time.
The oleic acid converts in the body into OEA, oleoylethanolamide. OEA is a fat messenger. In order to test whether the oleic acid or the OEA was the root cause of the hunger reduction, the researchers took the study one step further and injected mice genetically altered to produce no OEA with the oleic acid. These mice did not experience a reduction in hunger.
Researchers are hoping the results of this study can one day lead to medications to aid in weight loss or weight gain as needed by the patient.
The doctors associated with the study noted that increasing the daily intake of olive oil in order to curb hunger may not be the best idea. Olive oil contains just as much fat and calories as traditional oils and those calories can add up quickly to produce weight gain not weight loss.
Better Blood Sugar Control
Studies in diabetic patients have shown that healthy meals that contained some olive oil had better effects on blood sugar even than healthy meals that were low in fat. When olive oil is used to enhance a low-saturated fat, high carbohydrate diabetic diet, the diet still has beneficial effects on blood sugar control. In addition to this, a good diabetic diet with some olive oil added helps to keep triglyceride levels low. Triglyceride levels tend to be high in diabetic patients, which is a problem since high levels also contribute to the development of heart disease. So a high carbohydrate, healthy diabetic diet with some olive oil added in can help for several reasons.