Once-Skeptical Researchers Now Sing Praises of the Grapefruit Diet

(Wikimedia commons)
(Wikimedia commons)

The Grapefruit Diet, which is also known as the Hollywood Diet, has been making the rounds since the 1930s. Advocates swear it helps them lose weight, and claim that grapefruit has a fat-burning enzyme.

Most health experts have disagreed, calling the diet a fad, and saying there’s no indication grapefruit burns fat. A new study, however, shows that not only does grapefruit help dieters lose weight, it may be as good as prescription drugs in controlling blood sugar levels.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, found that mice that ate a high-fat diet for three months gained 18 percent less weight when they drank grapefruit juice than a control group that drank water. In addition, the mice in the grapefruit group had improved levels of glucose, insulin and triacylglycerol, a type of fat.

Mice were divided into six groups. One group drank only water, and the other five groups drank grapefruit juice diluted with water at different concentrations with a bit of saccharin to counteract the grapefruit’s bitterness. The water of the control group had glucose and saccharin added to match the calorie and saccharin content of the grapefruit groups.

At the end of the study, mice that drank grapefruit juice gained 18 percent less weight than mice in the control group, and their blood glucose levels decreased by 13 to 17 percent.

The scientists also tested a flavonoid in grapefruit called naringin, which experts believe is a key to weight loss. While one group of mice was given naringin, another group was given metformin, a drug often given to Type 2 diabetics to lower glucose levels. Members of the two groups were fed a diet that was either 60 percent fat or 10 percent fat for 100 days.

“The grapefruit juice lowered blood glucose to the same degree as metformin,” said co-researcher Joseph Napoli, professor and chair of nutritional sciences and toxicology. “That means a natural fruit drink lowered glucose levels as effectively as a prescription drug.”

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SOURCE: Newsmax Health
Sylvia Booth Hubbard

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