Grapefruit: active ingredient against diabetes and heart attacks
Grapefruit is healthy -. But now researchers have discovered that an ingredient in grapefruit (and also in other citrus fruits) can significantly reduce blood lipid levels. What that is how it works. The bitter substance naringin is found in ripe grapefruit and also in other citrus fruits (but not to such a large extent there). A recently published study has shown that this bitter substance improves insulin sensitivity and can significantly reduce blood lipid levels. Naringin is similar in its effects to diabetes medications and cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed by doctors.
The narinigin of grapefruit has an antioxidant effect. That means: It protects the cells from aggressive oxygen molecules, the free radicals. In the body, this active ingredient is also converted into naringenin. In animal experiments, researchers from the University of Jerusalem have shown that this active ingredient stimulates the breakdown of fat in the liver – just like a strict diet would “defat” the liver. At the same time, it increases the cells’ sensitivity to the blood sugar lowering hormone insulin. This active ingredient from the grapefruit lowers the same mechanism as various metabolic drugs. Now the researchers hope to be able to develop drugs based on the active ingredient of grapefruit that are effective against diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
The metabolic syndrome
The metabolic syndrome is a combination of several health problems that can ultimately lead to a heart attack:
- High blood pressure
- Insulin resistance
- Increased blood sugar
- Abnormal fat storage (especially in the abdominal area)
- Increased blood lipids
- Vascular disease