Lemons are a true nutritional powerhouse, and scientific researchers all over the world are exploring its many positive properties for human health. A couple of recent studies highlight not only the fact that lemon juice can have a positive effect on blood lipid profiles, but that it was a synergistic one. That means, the effect of lemon juice plus certain other substances was greater than either substance on its own.
Lemons and Apples
A 2013 study at the Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand looked at the effect of lemon and apple juices on the lipid profiles of people who had been diagnosed with hyperlipidaemia. The latter is a condition where there are elevated levels of lipids in the blood, including any combination of triglycerides, cholesterol, and fat phospholipids.
The controlled study divided the group into three, where one-third ingested an apple a day, another a lemon drink each day, and the third received both. Diet, stress, and exercise levels were taken into account. This is what they found.
- Lemons reduced LDL levels;
- Apples increased HDL levels;
- Both taken together significantly reduced LDL levels.
LDL is often called the bad cholesterol, while HDL takes the title of good cholesterol. It’s an overly simplistic way of looking at them, since both are necessary in the body, but you get the idea – lower LDL levels, and higher HDL levels, are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Lemons and Garlic
A randomized clinical trial performed at the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran studied the effect of garlic and lemon juice taken together on lipid profiles. Subjects of the study were between the ages of 30 and 60, and had been diagnosed with moderate hyperlipidaemia.
The subjects were divided into four groups. One got 20 grams of garlic along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. The second group got garlic only, the third lemon juice only, and the control group received neither. Activity levels and diet were taken into account, with blood samples taken before and after 8 weeks of the program.
- The lemon juice + garlic group experienced what the researchers called a “significant decrease” in total cholesterol, including LDL, and fibrinogen.
- That group also showed a reduction in blood pressure, and increased weight loss.
Lemon juice is known to enhance other flavors, and improve the absorption of key nutrients from your food. Now, it seems to also enhance the cholesterol reducing properties of other foods. We can think of it this way – it’s lemon love.