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Study: watermelon preparations bring health benefits
Watermelons are not only extremely tasty, they are also very healthy. They are low in calories and rich in valuable vitamins and minerals. Health benefits are also associated with the consumption of food supplements made from watermelons, as a new study has now shown.
According to a new study, eating watermelons in the form of nutritional supplement powders helps with obesity (obesity) to avoid some adverse effects of an unhealthy diet. Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) found this out when they examined obese mice.
Food supplements made from watermelon meat and peel
As stated in a statement from the university, the study fed ten-week-old male laboratory mice either low-fat or high-fat over a period of ten weeks.
Groups of mice on a high-fat diet received watermelon supplements in the form of a powder made by freeze-drying. The amount of watermelon meat supplement corresponded to one and a half human servings per day, and the watermelon rind supplement corresponded to the amount in a typical dietary fiber supplement.
At the beginning and end of the study, the researchers recorded the body weight and glucose tolerance of each mouse.
Significantly better blood sugar level
It was shown that mice, which were given a high-fat food with watermelon supplementation, had a significantly better blood sugar level than the animals, which received only high-fat food.
Elevated blood sugar levels can be an indicator of type 2 diabetes, a disease in which the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin that converts food into energy. Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes (not only) in the United States.
The scientists also observed a significant increase in beneficial bacteria in the mice that were given powder additives, said study co-author Neil Shay, professor of food science at the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences.
The study results were published in the journal "Journal of Nutrition".
Health effects little researched
"Although the two groups of mice ate the same amount of fat and sugar, eating 1½ servings of watermelon meat or two percent high-fiber husk products had a significant impact," said Shay. An important next step in this research would be a human clinical trial, the scientist said.
Although millions of tons of watermelons are produced worldwide, the effects of fruit on health have so far hardly been researched, said Shay, who studies the connections of fruits and vegetables and their effects on heart disease and diabetes.
However, it is known that watermelons are very low in calories: 100 grams of the fruit contain only 38 kcal. In addition, these melons are rich in many vitamins and minerals. Valuable ingredients include provitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, sodium and magnesium. The kernels are also very healthy and should ideally be chewed to avoid the risk of inflammation of the intestine.
Health benefits of certain foods
The study of the effects of watermelon supplementation is the latest Shay-led OSU study to determine the health benefits of certain foods in laboratory mice. A previous study showed that walnuts help improve metabolism, and another that raspberries slowed down weight gain even when the animals were fed high-fat foods. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Oregon State University: Watermelon supplements bring health benefits to obese mice, (accessed: December 25, 2019), Oregon State University
- Journal of Nutrition: Intake of Watermelon or Its Byproducts Alters Glucose Metabolism, the Microbiome, and Hepatic Proinflammatory Metabolites in High-Fat – Fed Male C57BL / 6 J Mice, (accessed: December 25, 2019), Journal of Nutrition