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A Grapefruit a Day Keeps Heart Disease at Bay

Consider the grapefruit. While most people know grapefruit is good for you, they still prefer to eat other citrus fruits because of grapefruit's bitter taste. A new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has elevated the status of the lowly grapefruit to new heights by showing that it can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood significantly, which helps to lower the risk of other conditions that could lead to heart disease.

The study involved 57 postoperative heart bypass patients who had high levels of triglycerides in the blood.

The patients were divided into three groups. All three groups followed a standard anti-atherosclerosis diet for 30 consecutive days. In two of the groups, patients also consumed one white or red grapefruit each day. The third group did not receive any grapefruit and served as a control population.

While eating either kind of grapefruit appeared to reduce cholesterol levels, the cholesterol-lowering effects were much greater among patients who consumed red grapefruit. In red grapefruit patients, total cholesterol levels were reduced 15.5 percent compared to the control patients, and total triglyceride levels were reduced more than 17 percent.

There are a number of ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. One of the easiest ways is eat a diet high in grapefruit and other foods that are high in antioxidants, which can lower cholesterol levels and provide other benefits that will keep your heart healthy. Make sure to talk to your doctor of chiropractic about antioxidant-rich foods as part of a balanced diet. For more information, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/nutrition.

NOTE: Grapefruit has been shown to interact with statin drugs and other medications. Check with your doctor if you are taking these types of medications.

Reference:

Gorinstein S, Caspi A, Libman I, et al. Red grapefruit positively influences serum triglyceride levels in patients suffering from coronary atherosclerosis: studies in vitro and in humans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ASAP article (doi:10.1021/jf058171g), published online Feb. 3, 2006.


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