Study suggests grapefruit does blast fat

New research supports the weight loss-promoting powers of grapefruit.

In what may be the mother of all fad dieting “told-you-so’s,” new research has emerged supporting the power of grapefruit to speed weight loss. The Grapefruit Diet (Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days!), all the rage in the 70s, was powered by the belief that eating half a grapefruit before high fat meals blasted that pesky fat right out of your body. The new research may have found a citrusy drop of truth in the plan.
Should we now believe everything on the cover of supermarket tabloids? Is Elvis really stocking shelves at Walmart in Elmira, New Jersey?
Researchers at U.S. Berkeley found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained 18 percent less weight when they drank clarified, pulp-free grapefruit juice compared to another group that drank water. The grapefruit juice-drinking rodents also showed improved levels of glucose, insulin, and a type of fat called triacylglycerol. The weight loss was more significant among mice fed a high fat diet, than among mice who ate a lower fat diet.

“I was surprised by the findings,” said Andreas Stahl, Berkeley Associate Professor of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology who co-led the study, in a university release. “We even re-checked the calibration of our glucose sensors, and we got the same results over and over again.”
“We see all sorts of scams about nutrition,” said study co-leader, Berkeley researcher Joseph Napoli. “But these results, based on controlled experiments, warrant further study of the potential health-promoting properties of grapefruit juice.”
The researchers could not determine exactly how the grapefruit achieved its fat-burning results. “Basically, we couldn’t see a smoking gun that could explain why or how grapefruit juice affects weight gain,” said Stahl. Previous, smaller studies among have found similar results.

Though the study was funded by the California Grapefruit Growers Cooperative, the researchers said the coop had no control or influence over the study. The research was published in the journal PLOS One and noted on

The researchers said they hope to continue the investigation into grapefruit juice. “Obesity and insulin resistance are such huge problems in our society,” said Stahl. As they do, they might want to enjoy Weird Al Yankovick’s “Grapefruit Diet,” to the tune of “Zoot Suit Riot:”

Who's that waddlin' down the street
It's just me 'cause I love to eat
Fudge and Twinkies* and deviled ham
Who's real flabby? Yes, I am!
Every picture of me's
Gotta be an aerial view
Now my doctor tells me
There's just one thing left to do
Grapefruit Diet (Diet!)

*Unfortunately, researchers have yet to find evidence supporting The Twinkie Diet, another popular fad diet, though a nutrition professor documented how he lost 27 pounds in two months wallowing in the sugary bliss of crème filling.

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