The 5 health benefits of eating oranges you never knew
We often hear that orange is the best citrus fruit to boost vitamin C levels, but there are other health benefits of eating oranges, which are mostly because of a plant molecule called hesperidin, which is abundantly found in orange fruit. So, below are some scientific studies on the 5 health benefits of eating oranges you never knew.
Orange fruit has anticancer properties
Recently, it has been reported that because orange fruit is rich in a plant flavanone called hesperidin, it exerts anticancer activities against at least 3 types of cancer, namely: colon cancer, bladder cancer and lung cancer. The hesperidin molecule, is one the most important flavanone in oranges, and it is mostly found in the peel and inner white pulp of the orange, rather than in its liquid orange center.
Orange juice may benefit people with type 2 diabetes
Scientists investigated the effects of hesperidin supplementation on indices of glycemic control, insulin resistance, lipid profile, and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes. In this study 45 patients with type 2 diabetes were recruited in a randomized double-blind controlled clinical trial design. Subjects consumed 500 mg/d hesperidin supplement in the intervention group (n=23) and 500 mg/d placebo in the control group (n=22), for 8 weeks. It was observed that hesperidin supplementation lowered the plasma level of TC and improved glycemic control and insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes.
orange juice prevents kidney stones
In yet another study to compare the effects of orange juice with those of lemonade on acid-base profile and urinary stone risks, it was observed that the consumption of orange juice could result in biochemical modification of stone risk factors, and the reason for that is, because the citrate, found in orange juice, helps block stone formation.
The Harvard medical school advises that to prevent kidney stones, a person should drink enough fluids to pass 2 litres of urine a day, which is roughly eight standard 8-ounce cups, and include some citrus beverages, like lemonade and orange juice.
Orange fruit is cardioprotective
Researchers investigated the effect of hesperidin in cardiac ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury in diabetic rats. Hesperidin pretreatment significantly improved mean arterial pressure, reduced left ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and improved both inotropic and lusitropic function of the heart as compared to IR-control. Furthermore, hesperidin treatment significantly decreased the level of thiobarbituric acid (TA) reactive substances and reversed the activity of lactate dehydrogenase LD towards normal value. Note that LD is an enzyme that helps turn sugar into energy for your cells. High LDH levels could indicate cell damage, and TA is a biomarkers for heart disease.
Orange fruit can lower cholesterol
A study evaluated the interactive effect of hesperidin and vitamin E with respect to cholesterol metabolism and the antioxidant status. They concluded that hesperidin lowers the concentration of plasma cholesterol and the hepatic triglyceride content, regardless of the dietary vitamin E level.
According to examine.com, in regards to food products, the lowest known beneficial dose of hesperidin in rodent studies is around 25mg/kg oral intake daily. This is approximately 4mg/kg oral intake for an adult human which may be a bit too high to consume via orange juice products (in optimal conditions, a 150lb man would need to consume 1,800mL) and orange fruits (1,800g of the fresh fruit).
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