Soybean oil may promote neurological disorders. Scientific study


Consumption of soybean oil may promote the onset of some neurological disorders such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease anxiety, depression. This is the finding of a clinical study in rats, conducted by researchers at the University of California Riverside (UCR), just published in Endocrinology. (1)

Soybean oil, the clinical study in mice

UCR researchers subjected three groups of mice to a diet rich in vegetable fats. By giving each group soybean oil, GMO linoleic acid-reduced soybean oil, coconut oil, respectively.

In the two groups fed conventional and GMO soybean oil, a hundred genetic alterations of the hypothalamus, a brain structure that regulates metabolism and body temperature, emerged. As well as contributing to the regulation-along with the pituitary gland-of the endocrine and nervous systems. With implications for, among other things, reproduction, physical growth, and stress response.

Among the genes compromised by the administration of soybean oil was the one that produces oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone,’ was identified. The fallout-according to the researchers-could have negative consequences on energy metabolism and brain function, promoting the onset of neurological diseases.

The risks of consuming soybean oil

The same research group had already established in 2015 that soybean oil consumption causes obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. (2) Evidence related to the obesity epidemic plaguing the population in the US.

Soybean oil, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been the most widely used fat in the country for about half a century. In fact, it is used in fast food for frying, although the high amount of polyunsaturated fat it contains degrades rapidly at high temperatures. As well as being added in margarines and numerous ultra-processed foods.

The gut microbiota, in a previous randomized clinical trial of healthy young adults, was also found to suffer adverse reactions following consumption of soybean oil. With negative impact also on fecal metabolomic profiles and plasma proinflammatory factors, and possible long-term negative health consequences. (3)

In contrast, other soy products, such as tofu and plant-based beverages, are unrelated to the health risks described. Precisely in that they contain small amounts of oil and conversely abound in protein and trace elements, such as isoflavones, which are considered to be health-promoting. (4)


(1) Poonamjot Deol, Elena Kozlova, Matthew Valdez, Catherine Ho, Ei-Wen Yang, Holly Richardson, Gwendolyn Gonzalez, Edward Truong, Jack Reid, Joseph Valdez, Jonathan R Deans, Jose Martinez-Lomeli, Jane R Evans, Tao Jiang, Frances M Sladek, Margarita C Curras-Collazo. (2020). Dysregulation of Hypothalamic Gene Expression and the Oxytocinergic System by Soybean Oil Diets in Male Mice, Endocrinology,

(2) Poonamjot Deol, Jane R. Evans, Joseph Dhahbi, Karthikeyani Chellappa, Diana S. Han, Stephen Spindler, Frances M. Sladek. (2015) Soybean Oil Is More Obesogenic and Diabetogenic than Coconut Oil and Fructose in Mouse: Potential Role for the Liver. Plos One

(3) Jim Mann, Yi Wan, Andrew Sinclair, et al. (2019). Effects of dietary fat on gut microbiota and faecal metabolites, and their relationship with cardiometabolic risk factors: a 6-month randomized controlled-feeding trial. Gut Microbiota; 0 :1-13,

(4) Zhou T, Meng C, He P. (2019). Soy Isoflavones and their Effects on Xenobiotic Metabolism. Curr Drug Metab. 2019;20(1):46-53. doi:10.2174/138920021966618042717021

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