WHAT IS NARINGENIN?
Naringenin is one of the many flavanones that can be found in plant based foods and is part of the phytonutrient family (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health). In this article I will be discussing naringenin in more detail.
WHEN WAS NARINGENIN DISCOVERED?
Naringenin was discovered in 1938 by the Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi as part of the flavonoid family. He initially referred to the flavonoids as vitamin P but it was later discovered that they are not essential to human health and therefore not technically vitamins.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY USE NARINGENIN?
Naringenin is a poweful antioxidant (a substance which protects your body from oxygen related damage) which has multiple protective functions in the human body. The list below outlines the main roles of naringenin in the human body:
– Acting as an antioxidant and protecting your body from dangerous free radicals (harmful by-products of oxygen related reactions).
– Increasing insulin sensitivity (which is particularly useful for people suffering from type 2 diabetes).
– Preventing cancer.
– Preventing diabetic retinopathy.
– Protecting deoxyribonucleic acid (the body’s main genetic information carrier which is also known as DNA) from free radical damage.
– Reducing blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a type of cholesterol which can cause blockages in the arteries and increase your heart disease risk).
– Reducing the production of the hepatitis C virus (a type of virus which causes damage and inflammation in the liver).
– Stimulating the effects of caffeine and potentially increasing its fat burning action.
HOW MUCH NARINGENIN DO YOU NEED?
Naringenin is not considered essential for human health so no recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN NARINGENIN?
Grapefruits are by far the richest source of naringenin but other citrus fruits and rosemary are also very good sources of this phytonutrient. The table below highlights some of the best naringenin foods:
|FOOD||MILLIGRAMS (MG) OF NARINGENIN PER 100 GRAMS (G)
|Pink Grapefruit Juice||17.19|
|White Grapefruit Juice||20.06|
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH NARINGENIN?
Currently there are no reported overdose symptoms associated with naringenin consumption.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH NARINGENIN?
Naringenin is not classed as an essential nutrient so there are no reported deficiency symptoms.
Naringenin is a particularly important phytonutrient for people suffering from diabetes as it can increase insulin sensitivity and prevent the damage caused by this disease. It can also boost your overall health by acting as a protective antioxidant throughout the body. So next time you hit the shops make sure you buy some grapefruit and start enjoying all the health benefits of naringenin.
List of Phytochemicals in Food (Wikipedia)
What is Phytochemical? (Juicing For Health)
USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods