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publicado em 31/08/2010 às 16h00:00
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Discovered antioxidant that helps the liver to break down fatty acids

The naringenin, derived from the bitter taste of grapefruit and other citrus fruits, also increases insulin sensitivity

 
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Foto: Divulgação/Healthy Food
Featured picture of grapefruit, a citrus fruit that contains high levels of naringenin
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Featured picture of grapefruit, a citrus fruit that contains high levels of naringenin

A team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have concluded that naringenin, an antioxidant derived from the bitter taste of grapefruit and other citrus fruits, may help the liver to break down fat and increase insulin sensitivity , a process that occurs naturally over long periods of fasting.

Scientists report that naringenin activates a family of small proteins, called nuclear receptors, causing the liver breaks down fatty acids. In fact, the compound seems to mimic the actions of other drugs such as fenofibrate lipid-lowering and antidiabetic rosiglitazone, and offer the advantages of both.

If our results are extended to human patients, this dietary supplement could become a milestone in the treatment of dyslipidemia (dysfunction characterized by elevated levels of lipids and lipoproteins in the blood), type 2 diabetes and, perhaps, the metabolic syndrome. The report was published by the online edition of PLoS ONE.

"It's a fascinating discovery," says Yaakov Nahmias, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and senior author of the paper. "We have shown the mechanism by which naringenin raises two important pharmaceutical targets, PPARa and PPARy, while a third block, LXRA.

The liver is the main agency responsible for regulating the levels of carbohydrates and lipids in the blood. After a meal, the blood is washed with sugar, which activate LXRA, causing the liver fatty acids to create the long-term storage. During fasting, the process is reversed, the fatty acids are released by fat cells, activate PPARa in the liver and are broken by ketones. A similar process involving PPARy increases insulin sensitivity.

"It's a process similar to the Atkins diet, without too many side effects," says Martin L. Yarmush, director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at MGH and an author of the study.

The bitter taste of grapefruit is caused by the presence of the flavonoid naringin, which is broken in the intestine into naringenin. Previous studies have shown that the compound has cholesterol-lowering properties and may alleviate some symptoms associated with diabetes. The researchers demonstrated that the active PPARa and PPARy, dramatically increasing levels of peptide co-activator of both, called PGC1a. At the same time, naringenin binds directly to LXRA, blocking its activation. These effects resulted in increased fatty acid oxidation and inhibiting the production of LDL (VLDL).

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Naringenin    Antioxindate    Citrus fruits    Gordua    Insulin    Diabetes   
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