GrapeFruit Health Benefits
When it comes to a triple serving of health benefits, grapefruit packs a tri-power punch that’s hard to beat.
Researchers in Israel recently found that red and white grapefruit contain powerful antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists found that serving heart by-pass patients the equivalent of one grapefruit a day significantly reduced cholesterol levels. The study included 57 patients, both men and women, who recently had coronary bypass surgery and failed to respond to cholesterol-lowering medication. Red grapefruit was especially effective, reducing cholesterol by 15 per cent and triglycerides (a type of fat that increases the risk of heart disease) by 17 per cent.
Another recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that Naringenin, a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit, helped repair damaged genetic material (DNA) in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying. The research was published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Scientists noted that DNA repair by Naringenin might contribute to the cancer-fighting effects associated with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
An even more recent study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food supports the long-held belief that grapefruit is useful in the battle of the bulge. Dr. Ken Fujioka from Scripps Clinic in San Diego conducted a 12-week study of 100 obese men and women and found that consuming one-half grapefruit before meals resulted in an average weight loss of 3.6 pounds with some participants losing up to 10 pounds. Individuals who ate the grapefruit had significantly lower levels of insulin in their blood, which the researchers speculate resulted in the weight loss. The smaller the amount of insulin in the blood after a meal, the more efficiently the body uses food for energy rather than storing it as fat. The researchers further speculated that a natural plant compound in grapefruit, not the fiber content, was responsible for the weight loss since those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight despite the lack of fiber.