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Surprise finding: Eating onion could help reduce bone loss!

by , 24 June 2013

Onions add flavour to your favourite dishes, and are “arguably the world's most widely used ingredient,” says BBC Food. But did you know that they can help in preventing osteoporosis, too? That's what Swiss scientists have discovered. Read on to find out why…

There may be another compelling reason why you should keep onions on your shopping list, other than the fact that it’s the starting point of choice during meal preparation.

Scientists in Switzerland at the University of Bern have found that that a chemical compound found in onions appears to slow bone loss.

Here’s how onions help reduce bone loss

“Researchers analysed the active chemical components of white onions and ascertained that a peptide called GPCS was most likely responsible for this benefit. This information adds to other studies, which have also found benefits in eating onions,” says Dr Jonathan Wright of Nutrition and Healing.

In the study, researchers obtained a group of isolated bone cells from newborn rats and exposed the cells to parathyroid hormone to stimulate bone loss. They then exposed the treated cells to the peptide compound GPCS.

They found that exposure to the compound helped to significantly inhibit the loss of bone minerals, including calcium.

This is great news.

“Onions contain the antioxidant polyphenol, specifically the flavonoid quercetin. It is widely believed that polyphenols play a role in preventing the onset of all sorts of serious health conditions, from certain cancers to cardiovascular disease,” says Dr Wright. This after a study at Cornell University found that onions with the strongest flavour, such as New York bold onions, western onions and yellow shallots, seem to inhibit the growth of liver and colon cancer cells too.

And now it looks like we can now add osteoporosis to that list as well.

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