Womens Health

Grapefruit And Diabetes

With one in five Americans at risk for developing diabetes with the accompanying risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, anything that may help the situation needs serious consideration. Latest research conducted in Jerusalem and Massachusetts indicates that grapefruit may help the liver to break down fats and increase its sensitivity to insulin.

Latest Research

This cutting edge research was published in the online journal Plos ONE in August 2010. The research reveals that naringenin, an antioxidant in grapefruit, and one of the compounds that make it taste bitter, allows the liver to behave as it does when the body is fasting. This process also enables the liver to increase its sensitivity to insulin. This is similar to the way that two drugs normally prescribed for diabetes work - lipid-lowering Fenofibrate and the anti-diabetic Rosiglitazone. So if you are taking those drugs you should be careful about eating grapefruit.

Effect On Medications

Grapefruit has been known for a long time to interact with medications that lower cholesterol and control blood pressure. Doctors normally tell patients taking these types of statin medications to avoid grapefruit because it causes these drugs to be absorbed more quickly into the system and thus can have toxic side effects.

On the other hand some doctors prefer to have patients eat grapefruit to try to reduce cholesterol levels before prescribing statins. Red grapefruit in particular seems to be the most beneficial. Now it seems that not only can grapefruit, or even grapefruit juice, help to control heart disease, but it may help to control or even prevent the development of type two diabetes.

Nevertheless because grapefruit is known to have negative absorption effects for another variety of drugs you shouldn't consider eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice without consulting your physician. These are drugs like beta blockers, anti-cancer medications, and antibiotics which are less absorbed in the body when consuming grapefruit and grapefruit products. So even though eating grapefruit may prove to be beneficial in preventing the development of diabetes it may prevent other medications you are taking from working properly.

Losing Weight

And remember if you are suffering from diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes and are overweight it is very important that you lose weight. Many dieters have for years used grapefruit as part of their weight loss program because of its fat burning qualities. In fact there was even a popular diet some years ago called "The Grapefruit Diet". Also grapefruit because of its bitter taste can help people to reeducate their taste buds ridding them of their love affair with sugar. There is an obesity epidemic in America and obesity is one of the triggers for diabetes. So by losing weight you can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

However, since grapefruit helps reduce blood pressure, if you have low blood pressure you should make sure to avoid this fruit. And of course you must eat it plain without sugar or other sweeteners on the top otherwise it will be counterproductive!


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