Naringenin, a flavonoid found in citrus fruit, particularly in grapefruit, has an incredible effect on the liver making it burn fat instead of storing it after a meal. It also has been shown to “help” muscle cells take in glucose. This is a BIG DEAL! You can burn fat while you eat it and shuttle sugar into muscle instead of fat cells.
Let dig into this a bit more…
The liver fat burning effect
The tests were carried out on mice by a team at the Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario and published in the journal Diabetes.
Two groups of mice were both fed the equivalent of a Western diet to speed up their "metabolic syndrome" – the process which leads to obesity and Type 2 diabetes. The food given to the group A was treated with naringenin and group B was untreated regular food.
The non-naringenin mice became very obese, they developed metabolic syndrome and saw their cholesterol rise and their bodies become resistant to insulin.
The mice given naringenin did not suffer from these. Any rise in cholesterol was corrected by the naringenin which also 'reprogrammed' the live to burn up fat rather than store it!
The Muscle Building Effect
A team from Brock University Ontario exposed young and fully-grown muscles cells of rats to naringenin in test tubes. Young muscle cells did not react, adult ones did. This indicates that naringenin enhances the activity of GLUT4, a glucose transporter. (Any body who trains with me has heard me talk about this.) Fully-grown muscle cells synthesise it; young muscles cells don't.
The figure below shows that as the naringenin concentration rises, the muscle cells take up more glucose. The figure underneath that shows the glucose uptake rises, the longer they’re exposure to 75 micromols naringenin.