A recent study from the University of Bologna thought about the benefits of this cereal
The 8 oil seeds against diabetes and heart disease
The rice-based diet, an approach to nutrition typical of many countries in the Far East, would have had as a consequence real genetic adaptations with positive repercussions for the purpose of weight control and reduction of the risk of diabetes.
This is the conclusion of a scientific study that involved a team from the University of Bologna. Details of their work have been published on the pages of Evolutionary Application magazine. The team that conducted the study, to confirm the hypothesis concerning the role of cereals such as rice in maintaining the ability of glucose homeostasis by many Asian populations, analyzed the genome of 2,379 people belonging to 124 populations of the South and East Asia.
Professor Marco Sazzini, senior author of the study and professor at the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Emilia, commented on the results achieved. The expert, as can be read in the Bologna university magazine, calls into question a particular hypothesis.
According to what his working group discovered, it is plausible that in those Asian populations who started adopting a rice-based diet several thousand years ago, genomic adaptations have developed that can mitigate the damage of the westernization of global eating habits, a change that has brought to our table an excessive amount of foods characterized by the presence of refined sugars.
Among the questions that arise spontaneously when it comes to rice-based diets in Asian populations are the questions related to the low incidence of diabetes and obesity in countries where a food with a high carbohydrate content and glycemic index is consumed with high frequency. certainly not low.
To clarify this issue, the scholars have referred to various archaeobotanical evidence, coming to discover that, in the Indian subcontinent, about 4,000 years ago, a process of domestication of the cereal began which led to the selection of a variety of rice with a higher GI. low compared to that of other parts of Asia.
Returning for a moment to the genomic adaptations mentioned above, we point out that they have been identified by observing ethnic Chinese populations from Korea and Japan. The researchers compared their situation with that of subjects from Bangladesh, various regions of India, Vietnam and Myanmar.
In the first group, considered experimental as it has been used to eating rice for the longest time, genomic adaptations have been identified that can favor the maintenance of a healthy BMI and the decrease in cardiovascular risk. The benefit just mentioned is due to a process of reducing the conversion of ingested carbohydrates into cholesterol and fatty acids.
This study, as always highlighted by Sazzini, is a clear demonstration of the usefulness of the evolutionary approach in studying the susceptibility of various human populations to diseases that are increasingly present today, such as those that involve being overweight, obesity and diabetes.
We conclude by pointing out that, as regards the introduction of rice in the diet (quantity, frequency of intake, etc.), it is good to clarify everything with your doctor.