Scientists believe naringenin, a flavonoid derived from citrus fruit, may be useful in preventing weight gain and the onset of metabolic syndrome.
Both of these conditions are believed to be strong contributing factors to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which in addition to their individual impact also carry significant public health costs.
In the study, researchers at the Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario found that naringenin supplements lowered triglyceride and cholesterol levels, prevented the development of insulin resistance and normalized glucose metabolism in animal models.
“What was unique about the study was that the mice ate exactly the same amount of food and the same amount of fat,” explains Murray Huff, director of the Vascular Biology Research Group at Robarts.
“There was no suppression of appetite or decreased food intake, which are often the basis of strategies to reduce weight gain,” he adds.
While some medical conditions may cause obesity, poor diet is frequently responsible for the condition and is remediable. In particular, health experts have suggested that the alkaline diet rich in citrus fruits, vegetables, tubers, nuts and legumes may also boost bone health into old age.