Citrus May Not Lower Cholesterol — But It’s Still Good For You

Not too long ago, research started to emerge on the potential cholesterol-lowering effects of citrus fruits. Two flavonoids known as naringin and hesperidin, which are found in fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, mandarins and lemons, have been examined for their potential to help lower cholesterol levels. While earlier studies indicated that intake of these flavonoids led to improvement for people with moderately high levels of cholesterol, a convincing study with placebo controls failed to prove a relationship between them.

But don’t swear off that orange just yet: taking a supplement is not the same as eating the food. The authors of the new research state “the citrus flavonoids hesperidin and naringin exert no cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, at least not when consumed in capsule format.” Other components of the fruits may improve your health: The fiber in the orange can help combat high cholesterol levels and the citrus may help prevent kidney stones.

You should aim to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables in daily, so throw in some citrus here and there. The grapefruit may not replace the Lipitor, actually it may interact with it, but it will give you some vitamin C and some other heart-healthy, functional components.

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