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Grapefruit Compound Induces Metabolism Of Fatty Acids In The Liver

August 25, 2010: 07:21 PM EST
U.S. and Israeli researchers have found that the antioxidant naringenin that is derived from the bitter flavor of grapefruits and other citrus fruits may help the liver metabolize fat while boosting insulin sensitivity. Naringenin activates small proteins called nuclear receptors that prompt the liver to break down fatty acids, a process that happens naturally during extended periods of fasting. The researchers say the compound offers the same benefits as the lipid-lowering drug Fenofibrate and the anti-diabetic drug Rosiglitazone. If the findings can be repeated in human trials, the compound could become a treatment for hyperlipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. The process induced by naringenin – breaking down fatty acids in the liver – “is similar to the Atkins diet, without many of the side effects," one researcher says.
Jonathan Goldwasser, Pazit Y. Cohen, Eric Yang, Patrick Balaguer, Martin L. Yarmush, Yaakov Nahmias, "Transcriptional Regulation of Human and Rat Hepatic Lipid Metabolism by the Grapefruit Flavonoid Naringenin: Role of PPARa, PPAR? and LXRa", PlosOne, August 25, 2010, © Open Access
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