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Health Benefits of Limonin

Limonin is a phytonutrient that is found in citrus fruits. Experimentation has shown that it has some remarkable health benefits. Primary among these is its ability to fight the development of cancer. Currently, the way it does this is not well-understood. However, studies in animals have shown it to have a marked effect.

Girl With Oranges

Along the same lines, there is evidence that limonin enhances the "accumulation and efficacy of chemotherapy agents."1 This is important in that it increases the ability of chemotheraputic drugs to do their job on cancers, while at the same time helping to limit the damage to healthy tissues.

Cholesterol is a major factor in heart disease. Limonin inhibits the production of cholesterol in the liver, helping to reduce problems with the circulatory system, especially clogged arteries.

A 2003 university study in Rome found limonin "to inhibit the HIV-1 replication in all cellular systems used."2 This means that this substance, which occurs naturally, could assist in the control of this wasting disease.

One of the great benefits of limonin is its long lasting presence in the blood stream. While many phytonutrients will be washed out of the circulatory system within a few hours, limonin reaches its peak in six hours and is still present as long as twenty-four hours later. This is a huge benefit because supplementation of limonin would not have to occur multiple times per day in order to be effective against types of cancer that must be continually suppressed.1

Studies have also revealed that limonin has "antifungal, bactericidal, and antiviral effects".4 This makes limonin a great all around phytonutrient.

As good as it is for humans, limonin is bitter tasting when it is broken off from limonin-glucoside. In its pure state, it has insecticidal properties. The agriculture industry is currently researching the possibility of using this cast off from the citrus industry as a means of insect control. (Limonin is found in high concentrations in the seeds of most citrus fruits.)

Next Page: Functions of Limonin


  1. National Institute of Health Study on Liminoid effects on Chemotherapy
  2. National Institute of Health Study on HIV Replication
  3. USDA on Citrus Consumption
  4. Colorado State University Study

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