The citrus skin tastes bitter and people don’t eat it. But a new study in Japan found that one of the ingredients that caused this bitterness, “nomilin,” helps to lose weight and lower blood sugar.
A research team at the University of Tokyo in Japan reported that they extracted nomilin from citrus fruits and then fed a group of experimental rats with high-fat foods and nomilin equivalent to 0.2% by weight of the food. The other group only fed High fat food. After 80 days of weighing, the rats fed only high-fat diets gained 10% of their body weight, while the mice fed the nomilin did not change their body weight.
In addition, the blood glucose of rats fed only high-fat foods was about twice as high as that of normal mice, while the blood glucose of mice fed normiline was 1.5 times that of normal mice. Further studies have found that nomilin binds to the receptor “TGR5” in the small intestine and muscle cells, promoting insulin secretion and cellular energy consumption, thereby lowering blood sugar. Researchers say that when processing fruit, the skin and seeds of citrus are often thrown away, and new discoveries are expected to make use of these wastes. Their next step will be to study how to improve the extraction efficiency of nomilin and whether it can be used to develop functional beverages.