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This often thrown away product could be beneficial for heart health, according to a study

  • May 29, 2024
  • 5 Min
  • 7

It is a product that we often throw away: orange peels. However, the latter can be reused in food to make candied orange peels, an infusion with orange peels or to keep moths away from your clothes. According to American researchers, it could also be used to protect heart health.

Indeed, specialists from the University of Florida, in the United States, have discovered that a component present in the peel of the orange could help improve heart health. Their results are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Bacteria present in the intestinal microbiota could increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Starting point for this research, the intestinal microbiota which “brings together thousands of billions of microorganisms living mainly in the intestines, in symbiosis with the body”, as explained by the Foundation for Medical Research. It is in this group of microorganisms that American researchers began their research. Indeed, based on previous studies, they noticed that certain intestinal bacteria contribute to the development of cardiovascular illnesses.

More precisely, “when they feed on certain nutrients during the digestiongut bacteria produce trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO),” explain the researchers, who are based on research from the Cleveland Clinic. These specify that levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) “may help predict future cardiovascular disease”. Researchers at the University of Florida therefore wanted to reduce the production of TMAO.

Compound found in orange peel may help protect heart health

To do this, they looked at orange peels, the latter containing a compound called phytochemicals, capable of reducing the production of TMAO and trimethylamine (TMA). After analyzing them, the researchers found that these extracts made it possible to inhibit “effectively producing harmful chemicals”. In addition, they noted the presence of a component called feruloylputrescine, which would be able to reduce the production of trimethylamine (TMA).

“This is a new finding that highlights the previously unrecognized health potential of feruloylputrescine in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Yu Wang, associate professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida, in a press release. According to him “These results suggest that orange peels, often discarded as waste in the citrus industry, can be used to make valuable health-promoting ingredients, such as dietary supplements or food ingredients.”

Sources :

  • Discovery of a Novel Bioactive Compound in Orange Peel Polar Fraction on the Inhibition of Trimethylamine and Trimethylamine N-Oxide through Metabolomics Approaches and In Vitro and In Vivo Assays: Feruloylputrescine Inhibits Trimethylamine via Suppressing cntA/B Enzyme – Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
  • Study shows orange peel extract may improve heart health – University of Florida.
  • Everything you need to know about the intestinal microbiota – Foundation for Medical Research
author avatar
Louis Tardy