Citrus, Hesperidin, and Health – A Review Of The Latest Research

A recent publication by Chinese researchers takes an overview of recent data on citrus fruit, and hesperidin in particular. The paper, titled Impact of citrus fruit and hesperidin intake on multiple health outcomes: An umbrella review was published in the Journal of Nutritional Oncology 8(1):p 16-24, March 2023.

The survey study considers the results from 22 meta-analyses and systematic reviews with 28 health outcomes in coming up with several umbrella conclusions.

The broad focus allowed the study to make some general conclusions based on the most recent research. Overall, the research, while relatively recent, shows patterns of responses that indicate citrus fruits could have a wide range of health protective properties.


Hesperidin is one of the more common flavanones in citrus fruits. It was discovered by a French chemist in 1828, using the white pith of citrus peels. It is commonly consumed as a supplement, however, much of the research suggests that eating whole fruits produces the benefits. Citrus consumption is associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart diseases, for example, although hesperidin supplements alone did not achieve the same effect.

Why does hesperidin work? The mechanisms aren’t known for certain, but there are several theories. A strong theory suggests that hesperidin’s antioxidant and anticancer properties were the key.

Results of the study


The risk of several cancers, including digestive and upper respiratory tract types, was reduced with the consumption of citrus in European studies.

The Ohsaki National Health Insurance Cohort, which includes data from 42,470 Japanese adults, revealed the negative associate between citrus fruit consumption and the incidence of all cancers. In other words, the more citrus, the lower the risk.

Cardiovascular Disease

Another large Japanese study with 10,623 respondents shows a link between citrus consumption and cardiovascular disease, in particular, cerebral infarction. Another study of nurses showed up to a 19% reduction in the incidence of ischemic stroke linked to citrus fruits. Protection of blood vessels is thought to be the mechanism at work, along with antioxidant action.

Citrus fruit extracts and metabolism

  • Grapefruit consumption was linked to reduced insulin resistance;
  • Citrus flavonoids in general were linked to improved glucose tolerance and lipid levels;
  • Hesperidin has been linked to antiobesity effects in a recent study.


  • The risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus was reduced by consumption of citrus fruits;
  • Hesperidin was linked to antihyperglycemic activities;
  • Naringenin has a similar effect to the popular diabetes treatment metformin in some respects;

The study adds to the growing body of research that reveals the beneficial properties of lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits.

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