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Is Grapefruit Good for Weight Loss?

author image William Gamonski
William Gamonski is a graduate of St. Francis College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health promotion and sciences. He was a dietetic intern at Rivington House and has been a personal trainer for the past two years. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in nutrition.
Is Grapefruit Good for Weight Loss?
Two large glasses of grapefruit. Photo Credit: serezniy/iStock/Getty Images

Grapefruit, a citrus fruit, is a rich source of dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants that have several health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and preventing kidney stones. Research indicates that including grapefruit in your diet might be an effective strategy for increasing fat loss.

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Scientists from Kao Corporation in Japan investigated the effects of nootkatone, a compound found in grapefruit, on AMP-activated protein kinase, or AMPK. In the report, published in the “American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism,” the investigators found that nootkatone increases energy expenditure and enhances fat loss, partly by activating AMPK.

Grapefruit Products

Researchers from the Department of Nutrition and Metabolic Research in California examined the impact of grapefruit products on body weight and metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for heart disease. Patients were assigned to one of the following groups: apple juice plus placebo; grapefruit capsules plus apple juice; eight ounces of grapefruit juice plus placebo capsules; or half a fresh grapefruit with a capsule. Each group consumed the treatment three times a day before meals. Researchers discovered that both grapefruit groups lost a greater amount of body fat than the other groups, according to findings reported in the “Journal of Medicinal Food.”

Vitamin C

Grapefruit’s high level of vitamin C might enhance fat burning during exercise, according to a study conducted by researchers at Arizona State University. They discovered that subjects with inadequate vitamin C burned less fat during aerobic exercise compared to those with adequate vitamin C levels. The scientists reported their findings in the journal “Nutrition and Metabolism.”


Grapefruit products might have beneficial effects on weight loss, but they might interact adversely with certain medications. Grapefruit interferes with the enzymes that metabolize medications, which results in a buildup of medication in your body. This can lead to serious side effects. Consult your health care provider before taking any grapefruit products, especially if you are taking medications.

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