Cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes can be improved by eating a combination of two particular fruits. Researchers found that eating a combination of compounds found in grapes and oranges could help improve the health of diabetics, reduce obesity, and lower the risk of heart disease.
The researchers are hopeful that the findings may be harnessed to improve treatment methods.
The researchers pharmaceutically combined the compounds found in oranges and grapes. The trial involved 32 overweight or obese individuals who were given the compounds in supplement form over the course of eight weeks. The participants stuck with their usual diet and did not alter their daily activity.
Patients taking this combination experienced a decrease in glucose, improvement in insulin resistance, and improvement in artery health. The researchers noted that insulin improvement after eight weeks of treatment was similar to what patients experienced six weeks after bariatric surgery. Furthermore, the combination was more effective than metformin in reducing blood sugar in obese participants.
The fruit compounds work by increasing a protein called glyoxalase 1 (Glo1) in the body which neutralizes a harmful sugar-derived compound called methylglyoxal (MG). MG is a large contributor to the negative effects of sugar. An increased accumulation of MG along with a high energy diet fuels insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes, and damages blood vessels. Blocking MG has been shown to be beneficial for obese participants and is thought to help those with diabetes and at risk for heart disease, too.
Although these compounds are found in fruits, one would need to consume a lot of oranges and grapes in order to receive the full benefits. A pill would have to be developed using the recommended dosages of these compounds in order to deliver the clinically proven benefits to the patients.