As I trawl science and health research I’ve begun to notice that “Western Diet” is really shorthand for “Fatty crap that will kill you real quick”.
However researchers may have found a way of combating at least one aspect of our self destructive diet. The American Chemical Society has found that they can possibly use antioxidants from citrus to counteract the harmful effects of obesity.
“Our results indicate that in the future we can use citrus flavanones, a class of antioxidants, to prevent or delay chronic diseases caused by obesity in humans,” says Paula S. Ferreira, a graduate student with the research team.
At a time where one-third of adults in the states are obese these sort of research couldn’t come any sooner to save lives. With our fatty diets we build up fat cells which in turn overproduce oxygen species which damage our other cells with what’s called oxidative stress. We can normally fight these things off easily enough with antioxidants, but people who suffer from obesity can’t keep up with the huge amount of reactive oxygen species assaulting their body.
This study also suggests that consuming citrus fruits probably could have beneficial effects for people who are not obese, but have diets rich in fats, putting them at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and abdominal obesity.
The team, at Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP) in Brazil, conducted experiments on 50 mice on different diets and giving them flavanones found in oranges, limes and lemons.
“Our studies did not show any weight loss due to the citrus flavanones,” says Thais B. Cesar, Ph.D., who leads the team. “However, even without helping the mice lose weight, they made them healthier with lower oxidative stress, less liver damage, lower blood lipids and lower blood glucose.”
Ferreira adds, “This study also suggests that consuming citrus fruits probably could have beneficial effects for people who are not obese, but have diets rich in fats, putting them at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and abdominal obesity.”
Next up for the team is to see how to properly administer the flavanones optimally, whether it’s an increase of fruit in the diet, or the production of a pill.