The study has found that heart patients who eat one grapefruit daily can significantly reduce the levels of cholesterol in their blood in comparison to patients who do not eat the fruit. This study is relevant in the reduction of incidence of heart ailments around the world.
Dr. Shela Gorinstein of the Hebrew University School of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products, in cooperation with Prof. Abraham Caspi, head of the Institute of Cardiology at Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot conducted the study. The laboratory work was done by scientists from Poland and Singapore.
The study will appear in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry March 22 print issue.
57 patients at Kaplan Hospital, both men and women, with who recently had coronary bypass surgery and did not take statin drugs during the study period were included in the study.
Three treatment groups, was the division the patients were divided into. They were administered either a single serving of fresh red grapefruit, white (blond) grapefruit or no grapefruit, along with regular, balanced meals for 30 consecutive days.
The patients who received either red or white grapefruit showed significant decreases in blood lipid levels, whereas the patients that did not eat grapefruit showed no changes in lipid levels, according to the researchers.
The active ingredient found in the fruit is an antioxidant action that provides a beneficial health benefit, says Dr. Gorinstein, adding that the red variety generally has a higher level of antioxidants than the white.
Both the fresh fruit and the juice are believed to be equally beneficial, Dr. Gorinstein and her associates say. One cup of fresh grapefruit is roughly equivalent to half a cup of juice.
Due to its adverse reactions with medications further studies are needed to confirm the results and make it publicly accepted.