Lemon can be considered one of the most commonly used fruit to make juices and vitamin shakes. It is also an ingredient of many food recipes. What almost everyone knows about health benefits of lemon is that it is rich in vitamin C. Apart from that, lemons also contain other compounds which are responsible for many potential healing properties, some of which we will mention here.
Weight Loss with Use of Lemons
Polyphenols contained in lemons are claimed to interfere with lipid metabolism and therefore change the distribution of ingested fat. In several studies, polyphenols derived from lemon stopped the progression of obesity in subjects without changing their diet. The mechanism of action is probably based on stimulating signaling cascades inside of fat cells, resulting in mobilizing and burning more fat than usual.
Benefits of Vitamin C from Lemon
Lemon is very rich in vitamin C, but what is the advantage of lemon over high-concentration vitamin C supplements which can be obtained in drug stores? Lemon is a natural carrier of vitamin C while tablets and capsules always contain additional synthetic substances which are unnecessary to our bodies. Vitamin C is necessary for proper functioning of immune system, blood coagulation system, and it helps iron absorption in the intestines. Additionally, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Before knowing these facts, persons with poor dietary habits (sailors for example), have commonly suffered from the serious disease called scurvy, caused by the lack of vitamin C.
Lemon as a Disinfecting Agent
It has been found that lemon contains natural biocides that kill some biological agents, such as bacteria and viruses. This is why lemon extracts are used to make wet wipes and detergents for disinfection. Several studies examined an interesting application of lemon juice by adding it to drinking water in order to disinfect it. It turns out that lemon can kill the waterborne bacteria responsible for cholera, a disease which had killed millions of people worldwide, especially during 19th century, before the era of antibiotics started. Many cosmetic products contain lemon extract due to its antimicrobial properties.
Scientists today consider some compounds of lemon to be promising natural remedies for prevention of so-called lifestyle-related diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and various types of cancer.
Fukuchi, Y., Hiramitsu, M., Okada, M., Hayashi, S., Nabeno, Y., Osawa, T., & Naito, M. (2008). Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in β-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 43(3), 201–209. http://doi.org/10.3164/jcbn.2008066
D’Aquino M, Teves SA.Lemon juice as a natural biocide for disinfecting drinking water. Bull Pan Am Health Organ. 1994 Dec;28(4):324-30.
Singh, S., & Rajam, M. V. (2009). Citrus biotechnology: Achievements, limitations and future directions. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants : An International Journal of Functional Plant Biology, 15(1), 3–22. http://doi.org/10.1007/s12298-009-0001-2