Health benefits of citrus topic at American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia

s found in the peels of oranges and tangerines have the potential to lower cholesterol, according to a joint study by the USDA and KGK Synergize, a Canadian nutraceutical company. The compounds are called polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs). Using animal models for high cholesterol, the researchers showed that feeding them food containing 1 percent PMFs lowered levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol by 32 percent to 40 percent. (AGFD 140, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 8:35 a.m.)

Grapefruit promotes weight loss, human study confirms Fans of the once trendy grapefruit diet may now have reason to celebrate again. Researchers at Scripps Clinic in San Diego say that grapefruit may work by lowering insulin levels, an excess of which is linked to weight gain. Earlier this year, these same researchers announced that they had confirmed for the first time in controlled human studies that grapefruit actually does promote weight loss. Their study, which involved 100 men and women, showed that participants who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost 3.6 pounds, while those who drank the juice three times a day lost 3.3 pounds, with some losing more than 10 pounds. (AGFD 141, Wednesday, Aug. 25, 9:05 a.m.)

Compounds in grapefruit may yield super-pill that cuts cost of prescription drugs Researchers have known for some time that grapefruit contains compounds that can cause interactions with certain prescription drugs, particularly heart and blood pressure medications, by increasing their levels in the blood. Now, scientists at Texas A&M Citrus Center are aiming to turn this interaction into an advantage. They have identified three compounds belonging to a class called furocoumarins that are responsible for inhibiting a key enzyme, CYP3A4, that metabolizes and regulates certain drugs involved in the grapefruit-drug interaction. The researchers hope that these enzyme-blockers can eventually be developed into a super


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