WASHINGTON - A new study on mice, conducted by University of Western Ontario researchers, has shown that grapefruit contains a substance that’s a natural fat fighter.
Derived from citrus fruit, particularly grapefruit, the substance has shown it can reduce weight gain and fatty particles in the body, Murray Huff of UWO’s Robarts Research Institute said.
The substance, a flavonoid - a bioactive molecule - called naringenin, shows promise as an inhibitor of conditions associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, he said.
In the study, one group of mice was fed a high-fat diet to induce the symptoms of metabolic syndrome. A second group was fed the exact same diet and treated with naringenin.
Naringenin corrected the elevations in triglyceride and cholesterol, prevented the development of insulin resistance and completely normalized glucose metabolism.
The researchers found it worked by genetically reprogramming the liver to burn up excess fat, rather than store it.
“Furthermore, the marked obesity that develops in these mice was completely prevented by naringenin,” said Huff.
“What was unique about the study was that the effects were independent of caloric intake, meaning the mice ate exactly the same amount of food and the same amount of fat. There was no suppression of appetite or decreased food intake, which are often the basis of strategies to reduce weight gain and its metabolic consequences,” Huff added.
This study investigated naringenin’s preventative properties, but Huff is also investigating whether it can treat obesity and other existing metabolic problems.
The findings are published online in the journal Diabetes. (ANI)