Stone Fruits May Combat Metabolic Syndrome

The findings of research scheduled for presentation at the 244th American Chemical Society meeting, to be held August 19-23, 2012 in Philadelphia, reveal a protective effect for peaches, plums and nectarines against metabolic syndrome—a cluster of factors that predict obesity-related diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease.

“In recent years obesity has become a major concern in society due to the health problems associated to it,” noted Texas AgriLife Research food scientist Dr Luis Cisneros-Zevallos. “In the U.S., statistics show that around 30 percent of the population is overweight or obese, and these cases are increasing every year in alarming numbers.”

“The major concern about obesity is the associated disease known as metabolic syndrome,” he observed.

“Our studies have shown that stone fruits – peaches, plums and nectarines – have bioactive compounds that can potentially fight the syndrome, ” Dr Cisneros-Zevallos reported.” Our work indicates that phenolic compounds present in these fruits have antiobesity, anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic properties in different cell lines and may also reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol LDL.”

“Our work shows that the four major phenolic groups–anthocyanins, clorogenic acids, quercetin derivatives and catechins–work on different cells –fat cells, macrophages and vascular endothelial cells,” he continued. “They modulate different expressions of genes and proteins depending on the type of compound. However, at the same time, all of them are working simultaneously in different fronts against the components of the disease, including obesity, inflammation, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

“Each of these stone fruits contain similar phenolic groups but in differing proportions so all of them are a good source of health promoting compounds and may complement each other,” he concluded.

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