Research that is being supported by the Northern Canola Growers Association is now under way at Texas A&M University to look at the effects of canola oil in the diabetic diet and the relationship of fatty acids in their role on glucose uptake on cell membranes.

This is the first segment of a three-year study to be completed. The first year will be at the cellular level, the second year on live rats, followed by human subjects.

“Currently we are growing muscle cells to 60 percent confluency. After cells are grown, we will transfer them to a differentiating media. My first project in the next two weeks would be to evaluate whether changing cell membrane composition would impact glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in muscle cells. I anticipate changing cell membrane composition will impact glucose uptake in the presence of varied dosage of insulin. Further, I anticipate canola oil will prevent cell membrane oxidation.

“Based on the current research, I would like to evaluate the effect of canola oil on obese-type II diabetic rats. Assuming that we can replicate the cell culture data in live animal studies, canola oil has the potential to revolutionize the vegetable oil industry,” states Farzad Deyhim, lead researcher conducting the study.

“With the high rate of diabetes in our area … I look forward to the results of Dr. Deyhim's study and seeing the many benefits of canola oil in the diet.”