Naringenin in Lemons & Pummelos And Liver Health
Naringenin is something of an anomaly when it comes to flavonoids. As the name implies, flavonoids are the compounds that give fruits, vegetables, teas, and other plants their color and taste. Naringenin, however, is both colorless and flavorless. What it has in common with other flavanones (a type of flavonoid) is the way it acts – like an antioxidant. That means it can help fight the cascade of decay and destruction in the body caused by free radicals.
Diet and cancer
A study published earlier in 2019 in an academic journal called ‘Dietary Interventions in Liver Disease‘ looked at many different foods and how they affect liver disease, with a large section devoted to plants. The researchers wrote,
“Several plants display a wide range of beneficial properties, including antioxidant, anticholestatic, antinecrotic, antifibrotic and anticancer, that has been shown to be very useful for prevention and treatment of diverse liver illness, such as viral hepatitis, steatosis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.”
They chose to focus on a series of specific compounds, among them naringenin, because there are a number of research studies to draw from.
What they found:
• Naringenin has an anti-inflammatory effect on cells that inhibits the growth of cancer;
• It boosts anti-oxidant capacity’
• It can also protect the liver by inhibiting fibrosis, which is the build-up of scar tissue as the liver attempts to repair itself.
As the section concludes,
“Naringenin, therefore, has the therapeutic potential to inhibit the invasion and metastasis of tumors and represent a new and safe therapeutic toll to treat human liver cancer.”
Good sources of naringenin include:
• Blood oranges;
• Tangerines & tangelos;
Pro Tip: Remember that the zest or colored rind of citrus fruits contains higher concentrations of both vitamins and flavonoids – grate a little into just about anything from salads to sauces, baked goods, and more, to boost your naringenin intake.
It’s more reinforcement for the many studies that have noted a reduced risk of cancers and other chronic diseases the more fruits people consume.