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Sesame, an unexpected ally against obesity

Sesame, an unexpected ally against obesity

June 03, 2021
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Sesame is antioxidant, rich in nutrients and cholesterol-lowering. Not only that, from today we also know that sesame can help fight obesity thanks to a substance, sesamol, which induces changes in the adipose tissue to stimulate it to consume more energy. This emerges from a recent scientific research published in the Food and Nutrition Research journal (Lit et al, FNR, 2021).

Adipose tissue is not all the same

On the basis of the most recent scientific researches, adipose tissue is not all the same but is divided into white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue. The white adipose tissue is responsible for storing fat as a reserve while the brown one is used to initiate thermogenesis, which is the production of heat from the fat contained in these tissues. Promoting the browning of white adipocytes and thus increasing energy consumption seems a very promising treatment against obesity, as evidenced by recent research. White adipocytes can turn brown in response to external stimuli, such as exercise but also, as we will see, with the intake of particular foods, such as sesame.

How sesame can counteract obesity

Sesame, when subjected to heat, as in the case of toasted sesame, develops a substance called sesamol. Well, it is believed that sesamol can stimulate the browning of white adipocytes. To prove this hypothesis, the researchers of the study we are talking about today have carried out an experiment.

The experiment to evaluate the action of sesame in obesity

In particular, mice were given a diet rich in fat for eight weeks. One half of the mouse population was also given 100 mg sesamol per kg of body weight every day. At the end of the experiment, the blood of the mice was analyzed in order to study any changes in triglycerides and cholesterol, their body weight was measured and in vitro studies were performed to define the type of fat, namely whether white adipocytes or brown adipocytes.

Sesame against fat accumulation, conclusions

What emerged is that sesamol reduced the presence of body fat, the accumulation of lipids, triglycerides and cholesterol despite the high-fat diet. At the molecular level, the researchers were able to demonstrate that sesamol stimulates the transformation of white adipocytes into browns, thus increasing energy consumption, hence the lower fat accumulation.

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