Are Oranges and Grapes Key to Fighting the Flab?
Oranges and grapes could hold the key to fighting the obesity crisis, it has emerged. Chemicals in the two humble fruits could also, when combined together, help combat diabetes and heart disease, experts have revealed. Warwick University researchers have taken trans-resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes, and hesperetin, a substance in oranges, and combined them in a pill.
That pill, scientists hope, could in the future offer a new treatment to fight the three killer diseases. Professor Paul Thornally, who led the research, said: ‘This is an incredibly exciting development and could have a massive impact on our ability to treat these diseases.
‘As well as helping to treat diabetes and heart disease it could defuse the obesity timebomb.’ When given in tandem the two compounds acted to decrease blood glucose, improve the action of insulin and improve the health of arteries. The compounds work by increasing levels of a protein called glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) , which neutralises the damaging effects of a sugarderived compound, called methylglyoxal (MG).MG is a major contributor to the damaging effects of sugar. Increased accumulation of MG, as a result of a high energy diet, is a key driver of insulin resistance, which leads to type two diabetes. It can also damage blood vessels and impairs the way the body handles cholesterol, which is linked to increased risk of heart disease. Blocking MG improved health in overweight and obese people, and will likely help patients with diabetes and high risk of cardiovascular disease too.
Pharmaceutical doses for patients with obesity, diabetes and high risk of heart disease could be given to patients in capsule form. Thirty-two overweight and obese people aged between 18 and 80 years old, with a BMI between 2540 were given the supplement in capsule form once a day for eight weeks. They maintained their usual diet which was monitored using a questionnaire and they were asked to continue to take the same amount of exercise.
Changes to their sugar levels were checked, artery health measured by artery wall flexibility and other assessments analysed using blood tests. Highly overweight subjects who had BMIs of over 27.5 with treatment displayed increased Glo1 activity, decreased glucose levels, improved working of insulin, improved artery function and decreased blood vessel inflammation. There was no effect of placebo.