Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sesame oil may be some kind of cure-all!

This just in from my favorite naturopath, Dr. Jacob Schor. This news is particularly important for persons who are hypertensive, have high cholesterol, are diabetic, carry weight around their middle, or travel that overweight road to all of the above.

According to an article penned by Dr. Schor in the current issue of Natural Medicine Journal (1), just a spoonful of sesame oil (actually 2.4 tablespoonfuls/day) makes the blood pressure/cholesterol levels/blood sugar/waistline go down. He cites results from a group of scientists from India's Vinayaka Missions University about the remarkable results of daily sesame oil use in a group of 60 diabetics followed over 2 months. One third downed oil alone, one third used oil plus a diabetic medication called glyburide, and the remaining subjects took glyburide alone.

While those on drugs plus oil did best of all, the oil-alone group fared fairly well as well. The glucose-lowering effects of combo therapy were downright remarkable with blood sugar dropping by 36% and HbA1c (a value that reflects an averaged blood sugar over the prior three months) by 43%! All oil-users also had significant drops in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides plus a bonus rise in HDL-cholesterol.

The Vinayaka group conducted a similar study on locals with high blood pressure who took one of two commonly used anti-hypertensive drugs--hydrochlorothiazide or atenolol. Over a study period of 45 days, the subjects used sesame oil for all their cooking needs and blood pressures dropped to normal. The next 45 days were spent sans sesame supplementation, and blood pressures rose to pre-study levels. Body weight, body mass index, and waistline measurements dropped as well.

I plan to recommend this strategy to my patients willing to give it a try; I'll let you know what results we get. I personally have used sesame oil each a.m. for almost two years in an ayurvedic quest for oral health(4). That morning spoonful theoretically draws out nasty toxins and is meant to be spit out post-pull. Perhaps thereafter, I should consider actually swallowing a swig for the rest of me.
(2) Sankar, D et al. Sesame oil exhibits synergistic effect with anti-diabetic medication in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]
(3) Sankar, D et al. Effect of sesame oil on diuretics or Beta-blockers in the modulation of blood pressure, anthropometry, lipid profile, and redox status. Yale J Biol Med. 2006 Mar;79(1):19-26.
(4) Asokan S. Oil pulling therapy. Indian J Dent Res 2008;19:169