Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol are three of the most prevalent medical conditions today. That’s why drugs that treat these three conditions sell in the multiple billions every year.
Yet research has confirmed a number of natural strategies that can help treat these conditions. I have discussed several of these strategies in some of my books and articles.
To these we can add another strategy: Instead of using other cooking oils – using a blend of virgin, unfiltered sesame oil and rice bran oil. Or just using sesame oil and eating whole brown rice.
Why are these foods so special? First, let’s discuss the evidence.
Sesame and rice bran oil tested on diabetics
Researchers from Japan’s Fukuoka University and India’s Council of Medical Research tested 300 type 2 diabetes patients along with 100 healthy people. The study lasted eight weeks. The subjects were divided into four groups:
1) 100 healthy people were given a blend of virgin sesame oil and rice bran oil. They were told to replace their cooking oil with this prepared oil blend.
2) 100 type 2 diabetes patients were treated with the sesame/rice bran oil blend
3) 100 type 2 diabetes patients were treated with the diabetes drug glibenclamide (Glynase in the U.S.) at five milligrams per day.
4) 100 type 2 diabetes patients were treated with a combination of the glibenclamide drug at five mg per day along with the sesame/rice bran oil blend
Before the study began, after four weeks and eight weeks, each patient was tested with a 12-hour fasting blood glucose test and a postprandial (after-meal) blood glucose test.
The researchers also tested all the groups at the start and after eight weeks with a full panel of cholesterol testing and a HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) test.
After both four and eight weeks, the researchers found that those diabetes patients using the oil blend had a significant reduction of both the fasting and post-meal blood glucose levels.
In addition, levels of HbA1c, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c – the “bad” cholesterol lipid), and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (all considered “not good”) were all significantly lower among the diabetes patients.
In addition, the diabetes patients who consumed the oil blend had high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c – the “good” cholesterol lipid) significantly higher after eight weeks.
In comparison, the group given the diabetes drug without the cooking oil blend did not show any improvement in their fasting or post-meal glucose levels. Nor did they have any cholesterol benefits.
The only benefit these diabetes patients had was a reduction in their HbA1c levels. That was the only benefit. That is, not counting the possible adverse side effects – which includes the possibility of hypoglycemia, sulfonylureas, haemolysis and even jaundice in some cases.
Sesame and rice bran oil reduce blood pressure and cholesterol
Another 2016 study, conducted by some of the same researchers, also studied 300 patients with high blood pressure along with 100 healthy people. The study methods were very similar, with four groups being treated:
1) 100 healthy people were given the same blend of sesame oil and rice bran oil.
2) 100 hypertensive patients were treated with the sesame/rice bran oil blend.
3) 100 hypertensive patients were treated with a calcium channel blocker (nifedipine).
4) 100 hypertensive patients were treated with a combination of the drug along with the sesame/rice bran oil blend.
The researchers found that the sesame oil blend significantly reduced blood pressure, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. It also significantly increased HDL-cholesterol levels. The combination of the drug plus the sesame oil blend reduced blood pressure more than those who only took the oil. But the sesame oil blend alone also did the trick.
Sesame oil benefits found in other research
One of the reasons this article emphasizes the sesame oil portion of the blend of oils is because other research confirms these same benefits for those who consume sesame oil.
For example, research from the University of Central Florida in 2015 showed that sesame oil was anti-inflammatory, reduced LDL-cholesterol and reversed the development of atherosclerosis.
A 2012 study from Iran’s Tabriz University found that eating 40 grams of sesame seeds per day significantly decreased LCL-c levels and reduced rates of lipid peroxidation. This causes free radicals that damage our blood vessels.
In a 2012 study from India, researchers tested 38 patients with high blood pressure along with 14 healthy subjects. They used sesame oil as their only oil for 45 days. After the period, the researchers found that those taking the sesame oil had significantly lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol (except for HDL-c) and had reduced lipid peroxidation levels.
Rice bran oil also has heart-healthy benefits
One reason why rice bran oil is used to blend with sesame oil is because rice bran oil has a higher smoke point. This means that the rice bran improves sesame oil’s ability to be used as a cooking oil. Sesame oil alone has a smoke point of 410 degrees F (210 degrees C) and rice bran oil has a smoke point of 490 degrees F (254 degrees C). Yes, sesame oil can be used as a cooking oil. But the heats can’t go as high as rice bran oil.
Another reason to blend the two is because rice bran oil is much cheaper to produce than sesame oil. The rice bran is a byproduct of white rice production. After the bran is removed from the rice, it is crushed into the oil. The oil is a component of the bran.
But there are also similar health-healthy benefits of rice bran oil. This includes stabilizing blood glucose levels and reducing bad cholesterol lipids.
Much of this benefit comes from a compound called γ-oryzanol. Because of this compound – along with others such as ferulic acid and phytosterols – rice bran and rice bran oil have been shown in other research to reduce bad cholesterol and improve glucose metabolism.
For these reasons, it makes obvious sense to blend sesame oil with rice bran oil.
One caveat to mention here is that the removal of the bran from rice is what makes brown rice become white rice. White rice, as we’ve discussed, actually helps cause type-2 diabetes. This is because without the bran, rice’s carbohydrates are converted too quickly to glucose, pushing insulin and blood sugar levels up.
Brown rice doesn’t cause these problems because of the presence of the bran. This is because those components of the bran such as oryzanol effectively balance blood glucose levels, and help balance lipid levels.
I hope you see the irony in the rice bran oil part of this. My recommendation is to skip the rice bran oil and just go with the sesame
This is a perfect example of how nature – before we mess with it – helps keep us healthy.
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Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and diplomas in Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies.