Have you eaten edamame (boiled green soybeans) lately? How about soy milk? If you haven’t dined on any obviously GMO-contaminated soy products, you likely have inadvertently consumed a few since they are lurking in hundreds of foods. Unfortunately, these GMO soy products may be causing some bodily harm. Have no fear, though. Researchers say that organic extra virgin olive oil may just be able to reduce the DNA damage caused by eating genetically modified foods.
A team of researchers from the UK, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, conducted research on rodents who were given both genetically modified soybeans and olive oil. They found that rodents who ate olive oil along with their GMO diet experienced less DNA damage in the spleen, compared with rodents who ate only GMO soy.
These results were obvious with soy specifically, but could possibly apply to almost any GMO crop grown. Both GMO corn and soy have been linked to numerous health problems including cancer, infertility, and premature death.
The study abstract reads:
“We investigated the effect of extra virgin (EV) olive oil and genetically modified (GM) soybean on DNA, cytogenicity and some antioxidant enzymes in rodents. Forty adult male albino rats were used in this study and divided into four groups. The control group of rodents was fed basal ration only. The second group was given basal ration mixed with EV olive oil (30%). The third group was fed basal ration mixed with GM (15%), and the fourth group survived on a combination of EV olive oil, GM and the basal ration for 65 consecutive days.
On day 65, blood samples were collected from each rat for antioxidant enzyme analysis. In the group fed on basal ration mixed with GM soyabean (15%), there was a significant increase in serum level of lipid peroxidation, while glutathione transferase decreased significantly. Interestingly, GM soyabean increased not only the percentage of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (MPCE), but also the ratio of polychromatic erythrocytes to normochromatic erythrocytes (PEC/NEC); however, the amount of DNA and NCE were significantly decreased.
Importantly, the combination of EV olive oil and GM soyabean significantly altered the tested parameters towards normal levels. This may suggest an important role for EV olive oil on rodents’ organs and warrants further investigation in humans.”
Another effect observed was the normalization of normochromatic erythrocytes altered by GM soybean when olive oil was added to the rodents’ diet.
The researchers concluded:
“We can conclude that adding EV [extra virgin] olive oil to the diet of rats appears effective in inhibiting oxidative damage and may act as a protective agent against chronic diseases such as liver fibrosis, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. In addition, EV olive oil may also have a protective function against carcinogenic processes. Further clinical studies are therefore required to determine whether the observations observed in our study translate to human conditions and illnesses.”
The study was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research (DSR) at King Abdulaziz University. This study could help spur others, since similar research has been concducted on how GMOs affect human DNA.
Studies in the UK, for example, have shown that pesticides produced by GM crops survive the digestion process in humans. A large 2012 Chinese study found that not only does plant microRNA survive, it causes human cell apoptosis. The genetic code for microRNA has been linked to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes for over a decade.