- The 10-week study exclusively used male mice that were 10 weeks old
- Author Neil Shay has also studied the effects of raspberries and walnuts on weight loss and gains, as well as the benefits of watermelon.
Watermelon is a delicious and water-rich source of nutrients that many people enjoy throughout the year, especially in the summertime. However, there may be more to gain from this fruit than what people typically expect, as the Journal of Nutrition shared a recent report titled ‘Intake of Watermelon or Its Byproducts Alters Glucose Metabolism, the Microbiome, and Hepatic Proinflammatory Metabolites in High-Fat–Fed Male Mice‘ which an article from ScienceDaily on December 19th had more elaborate break downs on how watermelon intake helped regulate blood pressure and body weight. The recent study at Oregon State University revealed the use of powdered watermelon supplements may offer some health effects in adult obese mice's body weight and blood glucose levels.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Nutrition, used 10-week old male lab mice to test over the course of 10 weeks, giving some of the mice a diet high in fat while others had a low-fat diet. The high-fat group of mice was given a watermelon-based powdered-form supplement, which included enough watermelon-flesh of 1.5 servings for a human adult.
Upon testing the blood glucose levels of both groups when the trial was concluded, they found that the mice that had both supplement and were fed a diet with high fat, were the ones with the best levels in glucose. Having a high level of blood glucose could signal Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body is unable to make or use enough insulin, and is also the most typical type of diabetes found in the US. The Journal of Nutrition results conclusion, summed up their analysis quite well in saying:
supplementation with each of the watermelon products to an HF diet improved fasting blood glucose, circulating serum insulin concentrations, and changes in hepatic metabolite accumulation. At a modest level of supplementation to an HF diet, fiber-rich additives made from WR and WS further improved glucose metabolism and energy efficiency and shifted the microbiome composition.
In 2016 alone, over 117 million metric tons of watermelon were produced around the world, and it has become a multi million-dollar industry in the lower basin of Oregon particularly in Umatilla. However, despite being plentiful, there’s been almost no research done on the health benefits that watermelon can offer, according to a professor of food science at Oregon State University, Mr. Shay is also the co-author of the study. Shay has studied multiple foods for their health benefits, including a study on improving metabolism with walnuts. Another study involved raspberries to help reduce weight gain. In addition, common sense says watermelons in general are a high-on-the-list of when it comes to which wholesome foods to eat daily or weekly minimum. As one of the most water-dense foods on the planet, it seems the powdered watermelon product market may have a bright future ahead as the science advances and literature is released.
The National Watermelon Promotion Board, an industry group that looks for ways to use parts of the fruit that typically wind up being wasted food, funded this study.