Weight Management

The Grapefruit Diet

From weight loss to heart health to disease risk reduction, three recent studies shed more light on the multiple potential health benefits of grapefruit*. Sunkist would like to highlight the benefits of the tangy nutrient-packed fruit is available year-round!

Human Study Confirms Grapefruit Promotes Weight Loss
A study published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food supports the long-held belief that grapefruit is useful in the battle of the bulge. Dr. Ken Fujioka from Scripps Clinic in San Diego conducted a 12-week study of 100 obese men and women and found that consuming one-half grapefruit before meals resulted in an average weight loss of 3.6 pounds with some participants losing up to 10 pounds. Individuals who ate the grapefruit had significantly lower levels of insulin in their blood, which the researchers speculated resulted in the weight loss. Insulin promotes hunger, so having lower levels of insulin in the blood helps dieters control hunger. The researchers further speculated that a natural plant compound in grapefruit, not the fiber content, was responsible for the weight loss since those who consumed grapefruit juice also lost weight despite the lack of fiber.

Directions for the Grapefruit Diet:
The grapefruit diet is easy! Simply eat a half of a grapefruit three times a day before each meal. While there's no need to alter anything else in your diet, eating less fat and sweets and doing 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week is a great way of speeding up the weight loss process as well as helping maintain weight loss. Want it sweeter? Sprinkle on your favorite calorie-free sweetener to sweeten the fruit.

Grapefruit Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Researchers in Israel found that red and white grapefruit contain powerful antioxidants that help promote heart health. Published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists found that serving heart by-pass patients the equivalent of one grapefruit a day significantly reduced LDL "bad" cholesterol levels. The study included 57 patients, both men and women, who recently had coronary bypass surgery and failed to respond to cholesterol-lowering medication. Red grapefruit was especially effective, reducing cholesterol by 15 percent and triglycerides by 17 percent.

Compound in Grapefruit May Protect Against Prostate Cancer
A laboratory study conducted by researchers at UCLA and Zhongshan University in China discovered that naringenin-a beneficial plant compound in grapefruit and oranges-helped repair damaged genetic material (DNA) in human prostate cancer cells. DNA repair is an important factor in cancer prevention since it stops cancer cells from multiplying. The research was published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Scientists noted that DNA repair by naringenin might contribute to the cancer-risk reducing effects associated with a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

NOTE: The contents of Sunkist Health & Wellness are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to beginning a new diet."

*Some prescription drugs may interact with many foods including grapefruit. Anyone with questions about how their medication might interact with their diet should talk to their doctor or pharmacist for more information. For the majority of Americans, there is no reason to stop enjoying the delicious, healthy benefits of grapefruit.

1 Fujioka K, Greenway F, Sheard J, Ying Y. The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin Resistance: Relationship to the Metabolic Syndrome. J. of Medicinal Food. Spring 2006;9(1):49-54.
2 Gorinstein S, Caspi A, Libman I, et al. Red Grapefruit Positively Influences Serum Tryglyceride Level in Patients Suffering from Coronary Atherosclerosis: Studies in Vitro and in Humans. J. Agric Food Chem. ASAP Web Article released February 3, 2006.
3 Gao K, Henning SM, Niu Y, et al. The citrus flavonoid naringenin stimulates DNA repair in prostate cancer cells. J of Nutr Biochem 2006;17(2):89-95