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Grapefruit May Aid Weight Loss

Eating half a grapefruit with each meal helped weight loss in obese patients finds a study conducted by the Scripps Clinic in California, USA

Eating half a grapefruit with each meal helped weight loss in obese patients finds a study conducted by the Scripps Clinic in California, USA. The findings also suggest for the first time that grapefruit may lower insulin levels, claim the researchers.

The 12-week pilot study led by Dr. Ken Fujioka, monitored weight and metabolic factors, such as insulin secretion, in 100 obese men and women who weighed an average 218 pounds. They were divided into 3 groups, one group ate half a grapefruit before each meal, the second group drank a glass of grapefruit juice before each meal and the third ate no grapefruit. Apart from the addition of grapefruit or its juice, the participants ate their usual diet. On average, participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank a serving of grapefruit juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds. The control group lost only 0.5 pounds. In addition the researchers noticed lower insulin and glucose levels in the grapefruit consumers after meals.

"For years people have talked about the grapefruit diet, and some even swear by it, but now, we have data that grapefruit helps weight loss," said Dr. Fujioka, principal researcher at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic. "Our study participants maintained their daily eating habits and slightly enhanced their exercise routine; the only dietary change was the intake of Florida grapefruit and grapefruit juice."

Additionally, the research indicates a physiological link between grapefruit and insulin, as it relates to weight management. The researchers speculate that the chemical properties of grapefruit reduce insulin levels and encourage weight loss. The importance of this link lies with the hormone’s weight management function. While not its primary function, insulin assists with the regulation of fat metabolism. Therefore, the smaller the insulin spike after a meal, the more efficiently the body processes food for use as energy and the less it’s stored as fat in the body. Grapefruit may possess unique chemical properties that reduce insulin levels which promotes weight loss.

The researchers will do a larger study to confirm their findings. The study is reported in the magazine Chemistry & Industry.

Obesity continues to plague the American public and the health system. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of U.S. adults are considered overweight or obese. Overweight or obese people stand a greater likelihood of developing life-altering and/or life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, arthritis, liver problems, and many others.

Contact: Dr Ken Fujioka, Scripps Clinic - Del Mar, 12395 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130, USA
Tel: +1 858 794 0160
Fax: +1 858 794 1237

Article details

  • Date
  • 02 February 2004
  • Subject(s)
  • Awaiting Classification (11)