June 9/Washington/Right Vision News -- Regular consumption of orange and grapefruit juice could build stronger bones at least in mice, says a study.
Farzad Deyhim and other researchers at Texas A&M University's vegetable and fruit improvement center studied 36 male rats in the laboratory for two months.
They gave half of these rats orange and grapefruit juice regularly and found that it prevented osteoporosis, long considered an unavoidable aging disease in which bones become more likely to break, said a university release posted on its website www.vic.tamu.edu.
The researchers also conducted a similar test with orange and grapefruit pulp. Although the result of that research has not been published yet, it showed enhanced bone density, Deyhim claimed. He said the team would now examine the rats' bones at the cellular level "to see what caused that improvement in the bone."
"A reduction in bone density is caused when there is an increase in oxidants. In these studies, both grapefruit juice and orange juice increased antioxidants in the rats' systems," said Bhimu Patil, director of the center at Texas A&M in College Station. "So that is the benefit since oxidants damage bone cells."
"There are about 400 compounds in citrus," he said. "So we need to find out which compound in citrus caused this."
Osteoporosis affects about two million men and eight million women in the United States. Nationally, about 1.5 million hips, vertebras and wrists break each year as a result, he said.
"It's a silent disease of aging, but if we can maintain our bone strength, maybe we'll be able to prevent it," Patil noted.
"This study backs up our thoughts about the value of citrus," Patil said, noting that until researchers completely understand the interaction of grapefruit juice and certain medications, a person should ask a doctor.
"In general, people should eat a variety of all the colours (in food) to get all of the beneficial compounds," Patil added. "
From the June 10, 2010, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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