Grapefruit juice investigated as treatment for diabetes

Fri, 10 Oct 2014
A study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, has investigated whether grapefruit juice could be used as an effective treatment for diabetes.

The researchers fed different groups of mice a combination of liquids. These included grapefruit juice and water that contained metformin, a drug widely used to treat people with type 2 diabetes.

Grapefruit juice effects

The report showed that the mice fed a high-fat diet and drank grapefruit juice lost 18 per cent more weight than the group of mice that drank sweetened water.

This corresponded with a 13-17 per cent drop in blood glucose levels which in turn saw an improvement in insulin sensitivity.

The biggest finding was that the mice whose blood sugar was reduced after drinking grapefruit juice displayed glucose-lowering effects that were just as successful as the mice who sipped on metformin.

Restrictions

None of the mice involved in the study had diabetes, so these findings currently bear little relevance to diabetes in humans. However, the use of grapefruit juice as a treatment to reduce glucose levels is one that had Berkeley scientists excited for future trials.

"It was very surprising," said Joseph Napoli PhD, co-author of the study and Professor and Chair of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley.

"When someone says a particular food has this magic quality of improving your health all by itself, we mostly take that kind of claim with a grain of salt."

The Berkeley researchers are now focused on conducting further trials with humans as the next participants.
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