King of Citrus: Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a well-known health food. It contains high amounts of vitamin C, which helps keep your immune system strong, and it often appears in fad diets as a weight loss enhancer. However, is there any truth to these claims?
Researchers at UC Berkeley found that mice drinking sweetened grapefruit juice gained less weight on a high fat diet compared to mice on the same diet drinking sweetened water. The mice drinking the grapefruit juice also had better measures of metabolic health (including insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels, and triglyceride levels in their livers).
Some drawbacks of the study include the fact that the California Grapefruit Growers Cooperative funded the research. This is also a study done on MICE, not humans; so don’t go overboard with a high fat diet and grapefruit juice just yet. The sample size of mice within the groups was also very small (only six mice per group).
Researchers believe that the grapefruit juice contains something that reduces the production of a protein involved in regulating metabolism. This may lead to changes in the way your body makes or stores fat. One concern is that grapefruit and its juice may interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize certain prescription drugs (i.e. drugs that control cholesterol, blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, allergies, and anxiety). More studies need to be performed in order to find the true effects of grapefruit when it comes to weight loss.
Other benefits of the paradise citrus:
Grapefruit is very low in calories and high in sources of flavonoids, water soluble fibers, potassium, folic acid, and of course vitamin C. It has phytochemicals including: liminoids, flavonoids, lycopene, and glucarates.
Other studies have shown that the pectin in grapefruit may contribute to a lowering of cholesterol and it may also help normalize hematocrit levels (percent of red blood cells). Additionally, it may be able to fight heart disease, and some forms of cancers.
More Health Related Information:
This information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.
“Adding weight to Juicy Strategy” – LA Times
The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods