New Research By Oregon State University Shows That Watermelon Supplements Might Have Health Benefits To Obese Individuals
in the form of powdered supplements
helped adult obese mice avoid some detrimental health
effects of an unhealthy diet, according to a new Oregon State University study.
The new study was published in the Journal of Nutrition
An important next step in this research would be a human clinical trial, said study co-author Dr Neil Shay, professor of food science in OSU's College of Agricultural Sciences.
For the study, 10-week-old male laboratory mice were fed either a low-fat or high-fat diet over a 10-week period.
Study groups of high-fat-fed mice were given watermelon supplements
in the form of a powder made from a freeze-dried process. The amount of watermelon
was equivalent to 1½ human servings a day, and the skin and rind supplement
were equivalent to the amount in a typical dietary fiber supplement
The researchers at the beginning and end of the trial, recorded the body weight and glucose tolerance of each mouse. Mice that were fed a high-fat diet supplemented
products had significantly better blood glucose levels than the mice on the high-fat-only diet.
A moderately elevated blood-glucose level may be an indicator of Type 2 diabetes, a disease in which the body doesn't make enough or properly use insulin, a hormone that turns food into energy. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes in the United States.
The medical researchers also saw a significant increase in the family of beneficial bacteria in the mice that were given powder supplements
, Dr Shay said.
Dr Shay told Thailand Medical
News, "Even though the two groups of mice were eating the same amount of fat and sugar, that consumption of 1½ servings of watermelon
flesh or 2% of high-fiber rind or skin products had significant effects."
The research study was funded by the National Watermelon
Promotion Board, an industry group that is seeking new ways to use byproducts such as skin and rind that end up as food waste.
Global production of watermelon
topped 117 million metric tons in 2016. In Oregon, watermelon is a multimillion industry in the lower Umatilla basin near Hermiston. Despite all that fruit, there hasn't been much research into the health
impacts of watermelon
, said Dr Shay, who studies the compounds of fruits and vegetables and their influence on heart disease and diabetes.
The OSU study led by Dr Shay was the latest that revealed health
benefits of certain foods in laboratory mice. One study showed that walnuts helped improve metabolism and another showed that raspberries curbed weight gain even when they were fed a
Reference : Alexandra R Becraft et al, Intake of Watermelon or Its Byproducts Alters Glucose Metabolism, the Microbiome, and Hepatic Proinflammatory Metabolites in High-Fat–Fed Male C57BL/6 J Mice, The Journal of Nutrition (2019). DOI: 10.1093/jn/nxz267