All oranges have amazing health benefits. Tangerines are a particularly popular orange and a handy treat. Research shows tangerines may also have potent health effects in a wide range of chronic conditions from obesity to cancer.
According to researchers from The University of Western Ontario, tangerines contain a substance that not only helps prevent obesity, but also protects against type 2 diabetes. This compound even combats atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes.
Their research, published in the journal Diabetes, reveals that tangerines contain a powerful flavonoid known as nobiletin.
To study the effects of nobiletin on metabolic syndrome in humans, researchers fed mice a Western diet high in bad fats and simple sugars. One group of mice became obese. They showed all the signs associated with metabolic syndrome. They developed elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood levels of insulin and glucose, and a fatty liver. Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
The second group of mice ate the exact same diet but researchers added nobiletin. Those mice experienced no rise in their levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin or glucose, and gained weight normally. In addition, the mice became much more sensitive to the effects of insulin.
According to the researchers, nobiletin was shown to prevent the buildup of fat in the liver by stimulating the expression of genes involved in burning excess fat, and inhibiting the genes responsible for manufacturing fat.
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