Antioxidants in Citrus Fruits May Ward off Health Issues Caused by Obesity

According to a new research, a type of antioxidants identified in citrus fruits like lemon, limes and oranges may assist  to avoid the harmful consequences of obesity in mice provided a Western higher fat diet.

Citrus fruits consist of various antioxidants that may avoid a range of health issues. As reported in a latest article discovering the health advantages of popular foods, citrus fruits may decrease ischemic stroke risk, manage blood pressure, and help cardiac health.

Vegetables and fruits consist of antioxidants known as flavonoids, which are the major group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) with over 6,000 kinds. Phytonutrients together with carotenoids are accountable for the vibrant colors of fruits and veggies.

There are various categories of flavonoids, which includes flavanols, flavanones,flavones,isoflavones and anthocyanidins.  Flavanones, like as eriocitrin, eriodictyol and hesperidin are numerous in citrus fruits and have been related with decreasing oxidative stress in vitro and animal models.

Paula S. Ferreira, a graduate student with the study team states that

“Our outcomes suggest that in the future we can utilize citrus flavanones, a type of antioxidants, to avoid or postpone chronic diseases triggered by obesity in human beings.”

The researchers are presenting the outcomes of the research at the 252nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Oxidative stress leads to chronic illness in obese people

With respect to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 30 % of all adults in the US are obese. Obesity is a major factor in raising the risk of developing cardiovascular related problems, liver problems, and type 2 diabetes, possibly due to oxidative stress and inflammation.

Taking a high fat diet results in a deposition of fat in the human body.  Fat cells produce too much reactive oxygen species, which can harm cells.

While the human body can fight off oxidative stress molecules with antioxidants, obese sufferers have bigger fat cells, which can result in greater levels of oxidative stress that overcomes the body’s capability to deal with them.

Ferreira and colleagues targeted to notice the outcomes of citrus flavanones on mice with no genetic alterations that were provided a high fat diet.

The research team, at Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in Brazil, handled 50 mice with flavanones (eriocitrin, eriodictyol and hesperidin, which are available in lemons,limes and oranges).

The mice were divided into groups, and during the period of a month, mice were provided a regular diet, a high fat diet, a high fat diet as well as hesperidin, eriocitrin, eriodictyol.

Flavanones decreased cell damage markers in liver, blood

In comparison with the regular diet, the high fat non-flavanone diet increased levels of cell-damage markers – thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) – by 80 % in the blood and 57% in the liver of the mice.

On the other hand, eriocitrin, eriodictyol and hesperidin, , and  reduced levels of TBARS in the liver by  57%, 64% and 50%, respectively, in comparison with the high fat non-flavanone diet. Mice dealt with  hesperidin and eriodictyol also had decreased fat deposition and damage in the liver.

As with the outcomes in the liver, eriocitrin and eriodictyol decreased TBARS levels in the blood by 48 % and 47 %, accordingly, in mice on the high fat non-flavanone diet.

Research lead Thais B. Cesar says,

“Our research did not demonstrate any weight loss because of the citrus flavanones”. “However, even devoid of assisting the mice lose weight, they made them much healthier with reduced oxidative stress, significantly less liver harm, reduced blood lipids and decreased blood glucose.”

“This research also indicates that taking citrus fruits possibly could have valuable effects for individuals who are not obese, but have diets rich in fats, placing them at risk of developing heart disease, insulin resistance, and abdominal obesity.”

Further studies will discover the most effective ways to provide the flavanones comparing delivery through fruit juice, taking fruits, or developing an antioxidant pill. The study team also thinks to go forward from animal studies to human studies.