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Citrus peel

Citrus peel extract shown to reduce insulin resistance; may help diabetics, says research

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: citrus peel, insulin resistance, insulin sensitivity


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New research indicates that citrus peel extract containing polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) may help prevent diabetes. In a study published in the journal of "Life Sciences" (Vol. 79, pp. 365-373), lead author Rachel Li reports that the extract significantly reduced serum triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol levels in hamsters. Since high cholesterol and TG are known to contribute to inflammatory disorders including obesity and diabetes, the results suggest that a daily supplement of citrus peel extract could improve insulin sensitivity in people.

Previous studies have shown PMFs to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels, but this is the first study to specifically analyze the impact on inflammatory cytokine levels. To determine the efficacy of PMFs, researchers fed 28 hamsters a high-fructose diet for two weeks to induce hypertriglyceridimia and insulin resistance. The animals were then divided into four groups with each group being fed a separate diet: chow; control fructose diet; fructose plus low dose PMF (62.5 mg/kg body weight per day); or fructose plus high dose PMF (125 mg/kg/day). At the end the four-week test, animals in both PMF groups showed significant improvement in TG and cholesterol levels.

The study, funded by the American Heart Association of Hawaii and the NIH-National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, adds to growing evidence that citrus fruits provide important health benefits. The primary PMFs in the extracts used in this study are tangeretin and nobiletin, in addition to a small amount of synephrine. Other plant pigments found in citrus have been shown to offer protection against cancer, heart disease and inflammation.

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