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Grapefruit Juice can Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Update Date: Oct 09, 2014 12:00 PM EDT

Diabetics might want to add grapefruit juice to their diets. A new study conducted in mice models found that grapefruit juice had similar effects to metformin, a diabetes drug, in reducing blood glucose level.

In this study funded by the California Grapefruit Growers Cooperative, the researchers divided mice into groups based on the kind of liquid they consumed and the diets they followed. The liquid groups included sweetened diluted grapefruit juice, sweetened water and water mixed with metformin. The mice were fed either a high-fat or a low-fat diet.

The researchers found that mice on the high-fat diet that consumed grapefruit juice lost 18 percent more weight when compared to the group that had the same diet but drank sweetened water. The high-fat diet, grapefruit juice group of mice also experienced a 13 to 17 percent reduction in their blood glucose levels and had a threefold decrease in insulin levels in comparison to mice from the high-fat diet, sweetened water group.

When compared to the group of mice given metformin-water, the researchers found that the effects of the grapefruit juice were comparable. In the groups with mice that were on a low-fat diet, the results were less dramatic.

"It was very surprising," co-author of the study, Joseph Napoli, PhD, professor and chair of nutritional sciences and toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley, said according to TIME.

The researchers noted that the amount of grapefruit juice they gave the mice would be equivalent to about four cups a day for people, which is very high. Diabetics could potentially benefit from drinking grapefruit juice, but patients should always consult with their doctors. Some medications react badly to grapefruit juice. The team plans on further investigating the effects of lower doses of grapefruit juice.

Napoli stated that the funding did not affect their study and added, "We were very clear in telling them, you're going to get the data we get. We can't guarantee you're going to like what you see. It might be nothing."

The study was published in PLOS ONE.

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