Researchers in Israel recently found that red and white grapefruit both contain powerful antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Published in an issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists found that serving heart by-pass patients the equivalent of one grapefruit a day significantly reduced cholesterol levels.
The study included 57 patients, both men and women, who recently had coronary bypass surgery and failed to respond to cholesterol-lowering medication. Red grapefruit was especially effective, reducing cholesterol by 15 per cent and triglycerides (a type of fat that increases the risk of heart disease) by 17 per cent.
Another recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that Naringenin, a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit, helped repair damaged genetic material (DNA) in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying. The research was published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Scientists noted that DNA repair by Naringenin might contribute to the cancer-fighting effects associated with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
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