Citrus Fruits A Natural Way to Protect Your Health
Adding a serving of citrus fruits to your diet may help prevent the harmful negative effects of obesity, find researchers at the American Chemical Society.
Health experts recommend that each American strive for at least two servings of fruit per day – equally about 2 cups. New research shows the benefits of making sure that at least one of those servings are oranges, grapefruit or other citrus fruits, especially if you are overweight or your overall diet is less than ideal.
Obesity in the United States is Known to Increase Disease Risk
More than one-third of adults in the US are obese, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Carrying excess weight increases the risk of heart disease, liver disease and diabetes, among other conditions. The most likely reason – oxidative stress and inflammation.
Enlarged fat cells in particular produce excessive reactive oxygen species, which damage cells.
How Citrus Fruits Can Help
Citrus fruits contain flavanones, a class of antioxidants, which may help prevent or delay chronic disease caused by obesity, says Paula S. Ferreira, a graduate student on the Brazilian research team that presented the findings at the 252nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The flavonones most noted for benefits were hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol. These are particularly found in oranges, limes and lemons. These flavonones were found to decrease levels of cell-damage markers called thiobarbituric acid reactive substances or TBARS by as much as 64%. In addition, the study subjects (mice) had reduced fat accumulation and damage in the liver.
"Our studies did not show any weight loss due to the citrus flavanones," says Thais B. Cesar, Ph.D. "However, even without helping the mice lose weight, they made them healthier with lower oxidative stress, less liver damage, lower blood lipids and lower blood glucose."
American Chemical Society. "Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity-related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes." ScienceDaily, 21 August 2016.
Photo Credit: By Nina Matthews from Australia (Oranges and Lemons) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons