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Grapefruit juice: Can it boost heart health?

Grapefruit juice: Can it boost heart health?

Grapefruit juice is the latest tipple to receive a boost from scientists, following claims regularly sipping on it could help protect from heart disease.

The research was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and suggests that having half a pint of the fruit juice daily would be enough to boost your circulation. It's thanks to the flavanones in the juice, compounds which have previously been linked to superior cardiovascular health.

The study took place at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research at Clermont-Ferrand, France, and saw 48 healthy women between the ages of 50 and 65 take part. The age group was selected because this is when people are particularly at risk of heart heath issues.

Half of them had about half a pint of grapefruit juice a day and the others were given something that looked the same but didn't have the flavanones in it. This was so the research could try to pinpoint exactly what it is about the compound that helps with cardiovascular health.

Two months later the two teams switched drinks and it was found that having the flavanone-rich version regularly did see the participants' blood vessels become healthier - the amount of flexibility they had was measured. It's important that vessels are stretchy, as it enables the blood to flow more easily. The tipple without the compound didn't cause any change.

However, all is not quite as peachy as it seems. People who already have heart problems need to be careful when having grapefruit juice because it can stop their medication being absorbed properly, meaning either too much or too little is taken in. For this reason it is always best to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet.

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