Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tangerines help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes in mice

Tangerines help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes in miceWhile an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a tangerine a day may provide even greater health benefits, researchers say. Scientists at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., say a substance found in high concentrations in the fruit prevents obesity and offers protection against type 2 diabetes in lab mice. Their research, published in the journal Diabetes, found that the naturally occurring substance nobiletin also helped to protect against atherosclerosis — the disease responsible for most heart attacks and strokes. "The nobiletin-treated mice were basically protected from obesity," Murray Huff, a vascular biology scientist at the University of Western Ontario, said in a release. "And in longer-term studies, nobiletin also protected these animals from atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke." Nobiletin is part of a family of molecules called flavonoids that are found naturally in citrus fruits. Tangerines boast the highest nobiletin concentration of any citrus fruit. A Statistics Canada study suggested that one in four Canadians are considered obese

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