Volume 93, Issue 42

Friday, November 12, 1999


Super Build proposal released

Opt-out fee debate heats up USC meeting

Scholarship sets $1 million aside

An O.J. a day keeps the doctor away

Plea bargaining focus of show

I'll take door #3

Caught on campus

Bass Ackwards

An O.J. a day keeps the doctor away

By Emily Armstrong
Gazette Writer

A Western researcher has discovered drinking three glasses of orange juice a day can do wonders for one's health.

Elzbieta Kurowska, a researcher with Western's department of biochemistry, said her work showed citrus juices can have beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels.

The research, presented this weekend at a American Heart Association conference, involved 25 men and women with high blood-lipid levels. The group was tested over a 12 week period, whereby different amounts of juice were consumed each week.

Originally, these tests were conducted on animals, Kurowska said, adding citrus juice decreased levels of "bad" cholesterol, that which clogs artieries, in animals. "We were very surprised with the results in humans," she said. "We expected that the results would be similar to the animal tests."

In humans, Kurowska explained, bad cholesterol decreases, but the levels of "good" cholesterol, that which the body requires for day to day functions, increases. Good cholesterol levels increased by 21 per cent and bad cholesterol levels decreased by 16 per cent.

An increase in good cholesterol can lower the risk of heart disease, she said.

"This research is very promising and interesting," said Murray Huff, a professor of biochemistry at Western, who attended the conference. "This could provide new targets for the pharmaceutical industry for reducing levels of cholesterol."

Laura Simpson, a spokesperson for Strategic Objectives, a consulting firm which works closely with Tropicana Products Inc., said she could not comment on the study, except to confirm a grant was provided by the juice maker.

Kurowska said the $80,000 grant from Tropicana has caused some people to be skeptical of her work. However, she explained she had already completed a great deal of her study prior to receiving the grant from the juice company. She said the grant only helped further her research.

Brian Shilton, also a professor from Western's department of biochemistry, said he questions the validity of the work. "I am instantly suspicious," he said.

"I personally won't be drinking a lot of orange juice to lower my cholesterol."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999