Posts Tagged ‘grapefruit’
There is an increased need for individuals to eat grapefruit currently in season as experts have found that the bitter flavour in the grapefruit, which is called, naringenin, is an antioxidant that can treat diabetes and high blood cholesterol level, reports Sade Oguntola.
The health benefits of grapefruit seem to be endless ranging from alleviating insomnia, loosing weight to warding off the common cold. But that is not all, grapefruit can also treat unhealthy cholesterol levels, fight metabolic syndrome and improve glucose levels, so putting off diabetes.
Although, regular exercise, acquiring certain lifestyle and dietary changes can help to control the level of blood sugar, hence reducing the reducing the risk of contacting diabetes, experts have suggested that consuming grapefruit and other citrus fruits can help fight diabetes as well.
Type 2 Diabetes develops when insulin resistance sets in and then causes problems in delivering the glucose in the bloodstream to the cells for energy.
Scientists pointing to yet another sweet side of grape fruit in the journal PLoS ONE, said the antioxidant that give grapefruit its bitter taste can do the same job as two separate drugs currently used to treat type- two- diabetes after it was tried out on human and rat liver cells in the laboratory.
If you ever wandered why grapefruit is bitter, know that it is because of the presence of the flavonoid naringin, which the intestines break down into naringenin.
They declared that the way it works is a process similar to the Atkins Diet, although without many of the side effects. The antioxidant helps increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps patients maintain a healthy weight by encouraging the liver to burn fat instead of storing it. The grapefruit amazingly breaks down fatty acids in the same way the body does during fasting.
The grapefruit, a somewhat “new” addition to the citrus family and a natural cross–breeding between an orange and pomelo, they declared, when extended to human patients and similar results are achieved, could turn naringenin, the antioxidant it contains to a dietary supplement in the treatment of high blood cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and perhaps metabolic syndrome.
But to get the best from this grapefruit, when eating or juicing grapefruit, peel off the skin while leaving as much of the albedo (the white matter under the skin) intact as much as possible because it contains the highest amount of valuable bioflavonoids and other anti–disease agents.
Until clinical trials are carried out in humans, it is not possible to say whether the bitter constituents in grapefruit, naringenin, might be an effective medical treatment for diabetes or whether it carries side effects. So, diabetics or other individuals taking medications should not attempt to replace or supplement their prescribed medication with grapefruit.
Grapefruit can negatively interact with other prescription medications such as blood pressure medications. While grapefruit juice contains many nutrients, including vitamin c, potassium and lycopene, there are chemicals in the juice and pulp that interfere with the enzymes that break down various drugs in the digestive system.
Nevertheless, adding a little more grapefruit to your diet maybe a good idea if you are a diabetic or at risk for diabetes.
In order to control the development of diabetes, as well as, prevent the disease completely, a study also revealed the food items that individuals should consume to avoid diabetes.
While the experts in the study suggested that consuming white rice may increase the risk of contracting diabetes, as it causes a sharp increase in glucose levels, they highlighted that wholegrain products were better because they release glucose more slowly as compared to their white counterparts.
Other food items suggested by experts that control the disease are onions, citrus fruits and cinnamon, which have the ability to regulate insulin activity. In addition, to the list was oatmeal cereal, which helps to control the level of blood sugar,
In addition, increasing intakes of green leafy vegetables such as spinach may reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by about 15 per cent. According to a meta-analysis of six studies, the benefits of green vegetables like spinach in protecting against diabetes may be linked to their antioxidant content– beta-carotene, vitamin C, polyphenols and magnesium.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, the researchers declaring that ‘foods’ rather than isolated components such as antioxidants are beneficial for health, stated that there is a growing body of evidence that lifestyle modification is an important factor in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
The findings, a useful reminder that giving dietary advice may be just as good, if not better, than prescribing drugs also draws attention to the potential benefits of green leafy vegetables, which could be incorporated as one of the five recommended portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Nonetheless, drugs or dietary supplements that could potentially lower the production of bad cholesterol known as LDL, in addition to treating some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes could therefore have a dramatic effect on healthcare expenditures and public health.
The potential of using a naturally occurring dietary supplement to regulate lipid metabolism is appealing as this by-product of the grapefruit juice and vegetables like spinach is non-toxic, cheap, and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.
Naringenin, an antioxidant derived from the bitter flavor of grapefruits and other citrus fruits, may cause the liver to break down fat while increasing insulin sensitivity, a process that naturally occurs during long periods of fasting.
Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report that naringenin activates a family of small proteins, called nuclear receptors, causing the liver to break down fatty acids.
In fact, the compound seems to mimic the actions of other drugs, such as the lipid-lowering Fenofibrate and the anti-diabetic Rosiglitazone, offering the advantages of both.
If the results of this study extend to human patients, this dietary supplement could become a staple in the treatment of hyperlipidemia, type-2 diabetes, and perhaps metabolic syndrome.
“It is a fascinating find. We show the mechanism by which naringenin increases two important pharmaceutical targets, PPARa and PPAR?, while blocking a third, LXRa. The results are similar to those induced by long periods of fasting,” said Yaakov Nahmias, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem the paper’s senior author.