AN onion a day may keep a cold at bay but also it has the potential to combat obesity, diabetes and an increased blood pressure, according to a new study by University of Southern Queensland (USQ) biomedical scientists.
The study showed that rutin extracted from onions reversed fat stores in laboratory rats, lowered blood pressure, reversed glucose problems and improved liver damage.
The research was conducted by Professor Lindsay Brown, Sunil K Panchal, Hemant Poudyal and Thiruma Arumugam and will be published in this month's prestigious Journal of Nutrition.
Rutin is a non-nutritive component of many foods such as onions, apples, tea and red wine, and has shown health-improving effects in different animal studies but this is the first study concentrating on diet-induced health problems.
The study, led by Professor Brown, involved feeding rats a high carbohydrate, high fat diet for eight weeks until they developed signs of metabolic syndrome, including obesity, hypertension, fatty liver and cardiac stiffness.