Red onions help you stay
hale and hearty
Article page |
Health page |
Fruits and Vegetables|
LONDON: The humble red onion, commonly used in
Indian and Mediterranean cuisine, can help prevent heart disease, scientists
Researchers at the Chinese University in Hong Kong found that red onion helps
remove bad cholesterol from the body which is responsible for heart attacks and
strokes. It also retains the body's good cholesterol that in turn helps protect
against heart disease, they said. Zhen Yu Chen, who led the research , said,
"Despite extensive research on onions, little is known of how their consumption
interacts with human genes and proteins involved in cholesterol metabolism
within the body."
"Our study was therefore undertaken to characterise the interaction of onions
with enzymes in an attempt to explore the underlying cholesterollowering
mechanism," Zhen was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"This study is the first of its kind to investigate the interaction of red
onions with biological functions."
For their study, the scientists fed crushed-up red onions to hamsters who had
all been put on a high-cholesterol diet. They found that after eight weeks,
levels of bad cholesterol, or low density lipoprotein (LDL), had dropped by an
average of 20%.
But over the same time period there was no reduction in the hamsters' high
cholesterol levels, also known as high density lipoprotein (HDL), they said.
"The results support the claim that the regular consumption of onion reduces the
risk of coronary heart disease," said Zhen.
Onions have long been known to have many health benefits including preventing
cancer, heart disease and common coughs and colds. It has been found that some
parts of the world where onion consumption is high have even been shown to have
much lower cancer rates.
For example in Georgia, the US, where the small, sweet Videlia onion is grown
the number of stomach cancer diagnoses are a half the average for the rest of
the cancer. In China, where people eat more onions and garlic than anywhere else
in the world, the risk of stomach cancer is 40% lower than average.
- The Times of India