Citrus Fruits May Be the Secret Weapon against Lifestyle Diseases

Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and citrons hailed for thier immunity-boosting abilities may also have the powers to expel obesity-related complication.

Obesity is a major lifestyle disease that paves the way for various life-threatening conditions in humans.

Citrus fruits isolated on white

How Deadly is Obesity?

In this fast world, many are getting addicted to the western lifestyle. They splurge on precooked, packaged, processed and canned foods. Western diet is rich in fats, carbohydrates and calories.

 The consequences of eating a high-fat diet are excess weight and obesity.  Children, adolescents, teenagers, adults and elders are facing problems due to obesity. Storage of excess fat in the body can lead to many chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular events, liver failure, kidney problems, arthritis, etc. Being overweight or obese can have a negative effect on all parts of the body. Obesity can be lethal.

What’s Special about Citrus Fruits?

Studies have shown that hitting the gym, eating a healthy diet and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle can help you lose weight. But a new study by Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in Brazil found that citrus fruits can fight against damage caused by excessive fat stored in the body. Accumulated fat can damage cells by producing reactive oxygen species and the process is termed as oxidative stress.

Citrus fruits are rich in a type of antioxidants called flavanones which can counteract this process and lower the effects of reactive oxygen species in the body. The effect of flavanones against oxidative stress was already proved by the team of researchers. So, they further tested flavanones in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Effect of Citrus Fruits on Lifestyle Diseases      

The study included two groups of mice, where one half was given a high-fat diet along three flavanones namely hesperidia, eriocitrin and eriodictyol. The other group of mice was fed a high-fat diet but no flavanones.

In mice on a high-fat diet without the flavanones, cell damage markers called thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) increased in the blood by 80% and in the liver by 50%.

Citrus Fruits against Lifestyle Diseases

But in mice on a high-fat diet along with flavanones; hesperidia, eriocitrin and eriodictyol, there was a remarkable decrease in the TBARS. The cell damage markers were decreased by 50% in the liver and blood. Hesperidin and eriodictyol also reduced fat accumulation and liver damage in mice.

The authors reported that flavanones did not reduce the weight of the mice but instead showed a significant effect on the weight by lowering oxidative stress, blood sugar levels, lipid levels and liver damage.

They suggested that regular consumption of citrus fruits may not help in weight loss but will definitely prevent obesity-related complications such as insulin resistance, liver damage and cardiovascular events.

Author: Don James

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