Friday, September 5, 2014

Grapefruit and helichrysum extract combat diabetes and obesity

In the Nutrition Department at the University of Navarra in Spain, Professor Alfredo Martinez and lecturer Fermin Milagro made a clinical breakthrough. They found out that both grapefruit and helichrysum extract can effectively combat diabetes and obesity. The work was presented by Ana Laura de la Garza in a PhD thesis titled "Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic properties of two natural extracts rich in flavonoids (Helichrysum and Grapefruit): physiological and molecular

The research, carried out in three models -- in vitro, ex vivo and in animals -- has drawn three major conclusions about the natural flavonoid-rich extracts. For one, they both exhibit hypoglycemic properties in the intestines. Secondly, they efficiently regulate glucose metabolism in the liver, improving hyperglycemia. Lastly, they both give the body anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers to protect against diabetes and obesity. The research was the first of its kind to investigate the physiological and molecular mechanisms of the popular Mediterranean fruit and plant, and the findings were additionally published in both the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and Food & Function. 

How grapefruit and helichrysum extract can improve diabetes and obesity

When investigating the extracts' properties, De la Garza began giving them to test rats as she studied their effects on treating hyperglycemia. Right away, she noticed that both grapefruit and helichrysum halted two enzymes (alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. By stopping these enzymes, the extracts altered carbohydrate digestion, reducing the absorption of glucose into the intestine.

Taking it a step further, she investigated the extracts' effect on the animals' livers. She quickly recognized that liver glucose (glucokinase) was now being properly metabolized and regulated in the presence of grapefruit and helichrysum extract. This also reduced inflammation in the liver while reducing adipose tissue. Subsequently, the animal's metabolism went into a state of equilibrium. The animals naturally started to eat fewer calories and began using energy more efficiently.

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