Researchers at the Western University of Ontario, Canada, have conducted a study on the effectiveness of nobiletin, a flavonoid naturally found in oranges and mandarins, against obesity.
In a research published in the Journal of Lipid Research, the group of researchers has shown that mice that consume a diet high in fat and cholesterol but receive nobiletin at the same time have a lower overall weight, lower levels of insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes), and less blood fat than those who took the hypercaloric diet without the supplement.
"We have shown how nobiletin can serve as therapy," stated Murray Huff, a professor at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University and a researcher of this molecule for a decade. "We have proved that, in mice that already have all the negative symptoms of obesity, we can use it to reverse the damage and even begin to repair the accumulation of plaques in the arteries."
According to the team of researchers, the mechanism that causes these beneficial effects has not yet been determined. Their hypothesis is that the molecule intervenes on the channel that regulates how the body manages calories, activating the process that burns lipids in the body to generate energy and, at the same time, blocking the process that creates more body fat.
Now, Huff said, we must design trials with humans to determine if nobiletin has the same positive effect on them.