UWO Logo Tangerines, a remarkable source of vitamin C and flavonoids are now believed to avert a number of ailments as well. Scientists from the University of Western Ontario have identified that a substance in tangerines helps restrict obesity and renders protection against type 2 diabetes as well as atherosclerosis. These beneficial effects were seemingly observed in a flavonoid of tangerines known as Nobiletin.

The first group of mice involved in the research was offered a western diet high in fats and simple sugars. This group later became obese and was registered with all signs linked with metabolic syndrome. These signs include eminent cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood levels of insulin and glucose, along with a fatty liver. The metabolic abnormalities probably augment the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

“The Nobiletin-treated mice were basically protected from obesity. And in longer-term studies, Nobiletin also protected these animals from atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This study really paves the way for future studies to see if this is a suitable treatment for metabolic syndrome and related conditions in people,” commented Huff, the Director of the Vascular Biology Research Group at Robarts.

On the other hand, the second group of mice consumed the same diet with Nobiletin. Scientists did not observe increase in levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin or glucose, and procured weight consistently. In addition, the research highlights that the mice became more sensitive to the effects of insulin. Nobiletin apparently avoided the development of fat in the liver by activating the expression of genes associated with burning extra fat, and averting the genes liable for forming fat.

The research was published in the journal Diabetes.