Scientists from the Hebrew university of Jerusalem and Massachusetts General Hospital found that the compound naringenin, in grapefruit and other citrus fruits, triggers the liver to break down fat.
As we know, the function of the pancreas is hugely important to those suffering from diabetes and the liver plays a large role in the regulation of carbohydrates and blood levels of fats. After we have eaten a meal our blood is flushed with sugars which activate certain compounds which are associated with inflammation, an action which triggers the liver to create fatty acids for long term storage. However, during periods of fasting, such as low carb dieting, this process is reversed and fat cells release fatty acids and break them down to ketones.
The research has revealed that naringenin has the ability to activate certain compounds like in the process described above, resulting in fasting type benefits to the body but without the dieting.
If additional research confirms these findings, the researchers believe the grapefruit compound could be introduced as a treatment for high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.