Folklore has suggested that consuming grapefruit may promote weight control. Sparse data exist to support this hypothesis, although there is some evidence of health promotion effects with regard to blood pressure control and modulation of circulating lipids. The aim of this randomized controlled trial was to prospectively evaluate the role of grapefruit in reducing body weight and blood pressure and in promoting improvements in the lipid profile in overweight adults (N = 74). Following a 3-week washout diet low in bioactive-rich fruits and vegetables, participants were randomized to either the control diet (n = 32) or daily grapefruit (n = 42) in the amount of one half of a fresh Rio-Red grapefruit with each meal (3× daily) for 6 weeks. No differences between group in weight, blood pressure, or lipids were demonstrated. Grapefruit consumption was associated with modest weight loss (-0.61 ± 2.23 kg, P = .097), a significant reduction in waist circumference (-2.45 ± 0.60 cm, P = .0002), and a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (-3.21 ± 10.13 mm Hg, P = .03) compared with baseline values. Improvements were observed in circulating lipids of those consuming grapefruit, with total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein significantly decreasing by -11.7 mg/dL (P = .002) and -18.7 mg/dL (P < .001), respectively, compared with baseline values. This study suggests that consumption of grapefruit daily for 6 weeks does not significantly decrease body weight, lipids, or blood pressure as compared with the control condition. However, the improvements in blood pressure and lipids demonstrated in the intervention group suggest that grapefruit should be further evaluated in the context of obesity and cardiovascular disease prevention.
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