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June 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 4)

Molecule in oranges reverses obesity
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Molecule in oranges reverses obesity image

Oranges and tangerines contain a molecule that combats obesity. The molecule also reduces levels of insulin resistance—one of the first stages of type 2 diabetes—and fats in the blood that cause heart disease.

The 'miracle molecule' is nobiletin—but even after studying it for over a decade, researchers from the University of Western Ontario admit they still don't know how it works.

They've tested it on laboratory mice who had been fed a rich diet of cholesterol and fat—and discovered it reversed the mice's obesity and they became noticeably thinner, and also were less insulin-resistant and had lower levels of blood fats that can lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

But it's a mystery how it's doing it. The researchers had assumed nobiletin was interacting with the way the body handles fat, but it was working even in mice who had been genetically modified and were not using those traditional pathways.

The next phase is to test nobiletin on people.


References

(Source: Journal of Lipid Research, 2020; 387: doi: 10.1194/jlr.RA119000542)

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