I have no chronic diseases, but I started gaining weight in a little “looser” weight control too. Does grapefruit juice before meal helps in losing weight and under what conditions?  /a reader’s question/

“The looser” weight control at your age for sure may be linked with gaining kilograms, even in the absence of chronic diseases. Grapefruit diet has been well-known long ago among people for its weight reducing effect. Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with low glycemic index and is one of the few recommended fruits during regimens for fat burning or body shaping. Except for not raising sharply blood glucose level, the bitter citrus is rich in fibers (if you eat it whole) and this contributes to its appetite-suppressing effect. Also, grapefruit is very rich in vitamin C, potassium and calcium, and the reddish sorts contain additional amounts of beta-carotene and lycopene.

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The nutritional composition of grapefruit is the following:

100g of grapefruit contains 34-46kcal and 0.5-1.0g protein. 100g of grapefruit juice in turn contains 37-42kcal and 0.4-0.5g protein.

The benefits of this slightly astringent in taste citrus are many, but to think that you may lose weight if you consume it before meal is not well sustained and serious from nutritional point of view. My advice is to increase the physical exercises and to reduce the calorie value of your menu. Moreover, you should know that grapefruit is not healthy for all people. Bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin, which are found in the soft core of the fruit, act as inhibitors (delay the action) of CYP enzymes – important for the exchange of many substances in human body.

The everyday prolonged consumption of grapefruit or grapefruit juice from women in or post menopause may increase the risk of breast cancer because of the blocking of the enzyme P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) which is important for estrogen production – this is proved in recent studies of scientists in several universities in Southern California. The conclusion is drawn on the basis of studies including 50 000 women.

The substances which have the ability to slow down the cytochrome system cause retention of both food utilization and the produced by the female organism sex hormones, including estrogen. The increased concentration of the latter is considered as one of the main risk factors for the occurrence of breast cancer. Women with liver problems for sure must refrain from eating this fruit. You should also know that grapefruit interacts with a number of drugs in the same enzyme principle, including some antidepressants, antihypertensive drugs, anticoagulants, birth control pills, certain antibiotics and drugs for high cholesterol (statins).

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In conclusion, I can say grapefruit is unique fruit, but at the same time it can be insidious, so a consultation with a specialist before taking any “diet” is essential.

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