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Soybean oil has previously been linked to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. A new California study now blames this oil for promoting ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease.

soybean oil is a vegetable oil, carrier of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These help to reduce the bad cholesterolwhich is why it is sometimes recommended to reduce cardiovascular disorders.

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Several studies however, have already accused this oil of being linked to risks of overweightdiabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. A new California study published on July 3, 2023 and led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside has just made the link between soybean oil and the appearance of ulcerative colitis. It is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Scientists examined the intestine of mouse fed regularly with soybean oil for 24 weeks in laboratory. They found a decrease in beneficial bacteria and an increase in harmful bacteria (especially adherent invasive Escherichia coli), conditions that can lead to colitis.

It’s the linoleic acid in soybean oil that can be a problem.

Our work challenges the decades-old idea that many chronic diseases stem from the consumption of excess saturated fats from animal products and that, conversely, unsaturated fats from plant sources are healthier. said Poonamjot Deol, assistant researcher in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology and co-author of the study.

According to the researcher, it is the linoleic acid present in soybean oil that can pose a problem.

While our bodies need 1-2% linoleic acid daily, Americans today get 8-10% of their energy from linoleic acid daily, with most of it coming from soybean oil.she added. However, excessive linoleic acid negatively affects the intestinal microbiome “.

Soybean oil: it encourages the growth of E. package

Remember that your intestinal microbiota is home to no less than 1013 microorganisms, or as many as the number of cells that make up our body. ” This set of bacteria, viruses, parasites and non-pathogenic fungi constitutes the intestinal microbiota (or intestinal flora) “, describes Inserm. These “good” bacteria will have a protective function.

Your microbiota has an impact on your digestive, metabolic, immune and neurological functions. If it is unbalanced, it will be conducive to pathologies, in particular autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

According to scientists, a diet rich in soybean oil encourages growth of E. coli invasive adherent in the intestine. However, many beneficial bacteria in the intestine are not able to resist linoleic acid and die, which leads to the proliferation of harmful bacteria. E. coli bacteria have been identified in humans as the cause of inflammatory bowel disease.

The death of good bacteria makes the gut more susceptible to inflammation

It’s the combination of good bacteria dying and harmful bacteria growing that makes the gut more susceptible to inflammation.said the scientist. In addition, linoleic acid makes the intestinal epithelial barrier porous “.

The barrier function of the intestinal epithelium is essential for maintaining a healthy gut; when he is disturbedit may cause an increase in the permeability or leaks. Toxins can then escape from the gut and enter the bloodstream, greatly increasing the risk infections and chronic inflammatory diseases, such as colitis.

Since studies have shown that saturated fats can be unhealthy, we assumed that all unsaturated fats were healthy. There are different types of unsaturated fats, some of which are healthy. For exemple, unsaturated fatty fish oil is well known to have many beneficial health effects. So people assumed that soybean oil was perfectly safe and healthy too.

The researchers therefore call for caution and recommend not to always use soybean oil in cooking. They suggest varying with other healthy options for cooking, like coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil. They cautioned, however, that corn oil contains the same amount of linoleic acid as soybean oil.

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