Grapefruit shows promise in treating diabetes

Thursday, August 26, 2010

LONDON - Grapefruit has shown promise in the treatment of diabetes, thanks to the presence of an antioxidant in it.

Naringenin, which gives grapefruit its bitter taste, can do the same job as two separate drugs used in managing Type 2 diabetes, scientists said.

Diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to properly regulate blood-sugar levels, reports the Daily Mail.

Naringenin helps to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. It also helps sufferers maintain a healthy weight, which is a vital part of diabetes treatment.

The blood is flushed with sugars after a meal, causing the liver to create fatty acids, or lipids, for long-term storage, according to the journal PLoS One.

Weight gain puts diabetics at risk of health problems and reduces the effectiveness of insulin.

Scientists found that naringenin makes the liver burn fat instead of storing it. They said its effect mimics the action of fenofibrate and rosiglitazone, two lipid-lowering drugs used to control Type-2 diabetes.

Researcher Martin Yarmush Remarka said: “The liver behaves as if fasting, breaking down fatty acids instead of carbohydrates.”

Study author Yaakov Nahmias from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem hailed naringenin as a “remarkable” treatment for diabetes.

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