An anti obesity fruit? Blood oranges that, thanks to their valuable antioxidant content, counteract the accumulation of fat, even at a visceral level. This is what emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the Nutrients journal by an Australian team (Briskey et al, Nutrients, 2022).
Antioxidants help fight obesity
It is estimated that since 1975 cases of obesity have even tripled, with 39% of the world population overweight and 13% in a condition of obesity. Previous studies have been able to observe that extracts of some plants are able to counteract the accumulation of fat. In particular, anthocyanins, which are a type of antioxidants, suppress the accumulation of lipids in adipocytes through the regulation of lipogenesis, which is the process of formation of fatty acids and triglycerides from glucose and other substrates. Among all the fruits, the blood orange is certainly noteworthy since it is rich in anthocyanins that color the pulp with a beautiful color that can vary from bright red to dark red, almost black. The "moro" blood orange contains the highest amount of anthocyanins, developed thanks to the particular conditions in which this fruit is grown, with large temperature variations between day and night. Thanks to this high antioxidant power, moro oranges effectively counteract free radicals and cellular degeneration. Not only that, they help keep cholesterol and blood sugar under control and prove to be protective for the heart. Given the action of anthocyanins, of which moro oranges are rich, the scientists decided to test the effect of this variety of oranges on body weight and fat distribution.
Moro blood oranges, allies against extra pounds, here's the experiment
Scientists thus recruited 180 people aged between 20 and 65, all overweight but in good health. The volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to take, for 6 months, an extract obtained from the moro orange. The second group instead took a placebo. At the same time, both groups had to follow a varied and healthy diet and an active lifestyle. Well, what emerged was that those who had taken blood orange extract had a greater reduction in body weight and also a better distribution of fat, with a reduction in the accumulation of visceral fat and of the waistline. The explanation is that the anthocyanins of the moro orange were able to counteract the accumulation of fat at the cellular level. Not only that, a type of anthocyanin, Cyanidin-3-glucoside, contained in blood oranges, acts at the level of the biogenesis of mitochondria, which influences the metabolism of lipids. In fact, this process activates the mitochondria, increases their number and also the metabolic capacity with a greater production of ATP that is reflected in a lower accumulation of fats.
Therefore, blood oranges, especially of the moro variety, if inserted in the context of a healthy and varied diet and a lifestyle that includes moderate physical exercise, help to counteract overweight and the harmful visceral fat, the most dangerous. In fact, visceral fat stimulates the production of inflammatory substances and hormones that, in the long term, increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression and cellular degeneration.