Tangerines Fight Obesity and Protect Against Heart Disease

Food as Medicine

tangerinesLike oranges, tangerines are known for their immune-boosting vitamin C, but the benefits of these little citrus fruits go far beyond vitamin C. According to researchers with the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, tangerines can effectively protect against obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Researchers discovered that a pigment in tangerines called Nobiletin can actually protect the heart and much more. For the study, they fed two groups of mice a typical, highly processed western diet. But one group was also given Nobiletin. While the initial nobiletin-free group experienced obesity, elevated cholesterol, increased blood sugar, and a fatty liver—those things that often predict cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes—the group fed the tangerine compound did not.

The mice who receive Nobiletin experienced no raised cholesterol, blood sugar, and the like, and they gained weight normally.

“The Nobiletin-treated mice were basically protected from obesity,” said vascular biologist Murray Huff. “And in longer term studies, Nobiletin also protected these animals from atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.”

In essence, the mice treated with Nobiletin became more sensitive to insulin, meaning their bodies didn’t experience the adverse insulin resistance so common in people who eat a steady Westernized diet. As reported by ScienceDaily, the compound stimulated the expression of genes involved in burning fat and stopped or at least slowed the genes responsible for making fat.

The caveat? Nobiletin comes from the skin of the tangerine. Oh, and the study was partially funded by Pfizer-Canada.

Can you see where this is going?

Big Pharma knows foods are healing, they just can’t make any money off of them. Unfortunately, with most decisions being solely profit-driven, it seems Pfizer-Canada may be looking to make a pharmaceutical drug using the tangerine compound, and a solution for obesity and heart disease are what people need most.

It’s no surprise that tangerines are good for us. They are, after all, a fruit—unprocessed and simple. I once knew a man who ate oranges whole. Perhaps he knew something that we didn’t.

Highly beneficial foods are everywhere; don’t ignore them! Whether you eat tangerines for it’s benefits, or want to experience benefits of camu camu, it’s time to embrace the natural foods nature has to offer.

Additional Sources: