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Grapefruit’s Bitter-Sweet Secret
February 2011
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This Fruit Helps Diabetes Patientsgrapefruit

Grapefruit’s piquant combination of sweet and slightly bitter tastes comes with a newly discovered benefit. Researchers have discovered that naringenin, an antioxidant derived from the bitter flavor of grapefruit and other citrus, may be of help to people with diabetes.

Naringenin, the researchers explain, causes the liver to break down fats instead of storing them, while increasing insulin sensitivity, two processes that naturally occur during long periods of fasting. The natural compound, the scientists suggest, seems to mimic some lipid-lowering and anti-diabetics drugs; it holds promise for aiding weight control, as well as regulation of blood-sugar levels, both vital components in treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

“It is a process that is similar to the Atkins diet, without many of the side effects,” notes Martin L. Yarmush, Ph.D., a physician who is the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine and a study author. Earlier evidence has shown that naringenin also has cholesterol-lowering properties and may ameliorate some of the symptoms associated with diabetes.


Source: Public Library of Science